Archive for July, 2017

Yankees’ Rookie & MLB All-Star Aaron Judge is Adopted

aaron judge adoption storyThe new face of baseball. Record-setting rookie. HomeRun Derby king. These are just some of the many titles MLB fans and players have given the Yankees’ new All-Star player, Aaron Judge. At just 25-years-old, Aaron Judge has already become a household name in the sports arena. If you follow major league baseball, you have undoubtedly heard of Aaron Judge before.

Not only did he win his first-ever MLB Home Run Derby earlier this month, but Judge has also won the hearts of many baseball fans nationwide. Even some Massachusetts fans were excited to see what Aaron Judge could bring to the table in this past weekend’s games against the Boston Red Sox.

Talent and strength may be a driving force behind Judge’s swing, but passion, humility, respect, and a team-first attitude are at the heart of this player’s performance. That is why so many people love him. Despite his fast-coming fame, Aaron Judge is not one to brag about his success. “I’m just trying to be the best Judge I can be, every day,” he explained to the New York Post. “I’ve always been about the team aspect of baseball, pass the baton and keep it rolling.”

Talented and respectful, the Yankees’ VP of scouting calls Judge the “super package.” And Aaron Judge truly is, giving most of the credit to his parents, Wayne and Patty Judge, two retired physical education teachers from California. While they did not exactly give him his 6-foot-7, 275-lb stature, they did teach Aaron how to be a devoted, hardworking, respectful man from day one.

Judge professed to the New York Post, “My parents are amazing, they’ve taught me so many lessons. I honestly can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.” Of his bond with his mom and dad, he proudly stated, “I’m blessed.”

Aaron’s mother Patty says that it is actually her and her husband who are truly blessed, having adopted two wonderful sons and having been able to watch them grow into such successful individuals.

You may have heard of Aaron Judge before, but did you know that he was also adopted? Patty and Wayne Judge adopted Aaron as a newborn, on the second day of his life in April 1992. Judge’s parents call that day a miracle, and this baseball star agrees. He told The Post, “I feel they kind of picked me… that God was the one that matched us together.”

Aaron Judge has a closed adoption, meaning he does not (and never has) had any contact with his biological parents. He claims that he has never wanted to, either. In a Newsday interview, Judge simply stated, “I have one set of parents, the ones that raised me. That’s how it is.”

His feelings towards his adoption have always been to this degree—he did not feel the need to learn all the details about his family history or search for his birth parents. He had some questions about his adoption when he was around ten years old, explaining that the conversation went something like this:

“I don’t look like you, Mom. I don’t look like you, Dad. Like, what’s going on here?” Judge explained to, “They just kind of told me I was adopted. I was like, ‘OK, that’s fine with me.’ You’re still my mom, the only mom I know. You’re still my dad, the only dad I know.”

Of course, not all children who were adopted feel this way about their adoption story. In order to develop a sense of identity, find meaning in their lives, or fill in some missing pieces, many adoptees seek out information regarding their biology. This is completely normal. If you are an adoptive parent, welcome your child to ask questions. Give them the answers you can, in an age-appropriate fashion. Be open and flexible to your child’s needs as he or she grows. Remember that, in the end, you are his or her parents. Your child knows this, and will always love you for it.

Aaron Judge put it perfectly when he told Newsday, “Some kids grow in their mom’s stomach; I grew in my mom’s heart… She’s always showed me love and compassion ever since I was a little baby.” For this reason, he explains, “I’ve never needed to think differently or wonder about anything.”

Still, Aaron Judge feels for the thousands of adoptees out there who may feel alone or incomplete; those who have lingering, unanswered questions; those who are afraid to offend their adoptive parents. For them, he advises, “Be open, talk to their [adoptive] parents about the situation, [learn] what happened, maybe get some answers about it.”

As an open adoption agency, Adoptions With Love could not agree more. Even if the adoption is closed, talking about adoption is an extremely important step for a child. Not only does it help the child’s sense of identity, it also makes way for an open, trusting relationship between the child and their parents. Having adoption conversions can also help a child accept and grow proud of his or her adoption story, which is very central for a positive adoption experience.

Whether you are an adoptive parent, birth parent, or an adoptee, know that you are not alone. Millions of people have been touched by adoption in some way – including famous athletes like Aaron Judge. If you would ever like to talk about adoption in a safe and confidential space, or simply learn more about the positive act of adoption, you can always call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 or text us at 617-777-0072.

You can also learn more about the experience of adopted persons by downloading our free eBook here.

Making an Adoption Hospital Plan for Pregnancy & Delivery

The adoption journey can be very emotional; especially as your due date approaches and you begin to prepare for the birth of your baby. As excited as you are to welcome your son or daughter into this world, you may also be feeling some sadness or grief in anticipation of the day. All the while, you may be feeling scared or nervous about how labor, delivery, and your overall hospital stay will go.

Many expectant mothers worry about how they will feel, how they will be treated, and how they will cope during their hospital time. Some women wonder if they will have time alone with their baby after birth, if they can feed or bond with their baby in the hospital, and whether they want the adoptive parents there in the delivery room.

While it is common to worry about the hospital experience, you do not have to; an Adoptions With Love social worker can help you create an “adoption hospital plan” to ensure you are comfortable at every point of your hospital stay – in labor, during delivery, and after giving birth to your baby. By making a hospital plan, you can rest assured all your needs will be met during your hospital stay.

What is an Adoption Hospital Plan?

For those who may not know, an adoption hospital plan is a document that details exactly what you, the expectant mother, wants to happen (and not to happen) during your hospital stay. This plan is typically created before going into labor, to help give you peace of mind and prepare mentally for the delivery and adoption process. As you approach your due date, it can help to have a birthing plan in writing.

Your hospital plan can be thought of as your letter to the hospital staff, to the adoptive family, and to your adoption agency. It will detail exactly what you want your hospital stay to look like, including who will be there, how you will give birth, how much time you want with your baby, and which mementos (if any) you would like to bring home. By planning ahead, you can make your wishes known and ensure they are met prior to birth. You can also devote more thought and energy to your time with the baby.

Adoptions With Love can help you create an adoption hospital plan that meets all of your hopes and needs. If you have not already, we can also help you find and choose the right hospital to give birth – a facility with reputable, compassionate staff who understand your emotional and physical needs. Adoptions With Love is here to ensure you feel confident and comfortable at each and every phase of your adoption plan – during your pregnancy, in the hospital, and long after you have given birth.

Things to Consider When Making a Hospital Plan

Before making a hospital plan for pregnancy and delivery, there are several questions you must ask yourself. Try to be open and honest with your answers – the hospital experience will be emotional, but sharing your wants and needs with others now can give you greater control in all that lies ahead.

Your Labor & Delivery:

  • Who would you like to be your labor coach?
  • Who do you want to be allowed in the labor and delivery room? Who is not allowed to be in there with you?
  • Do you want the adoptive family at the hospital with you, in the delivery room or in the waiting area? If you have an open relationship with the prospective adoptive family, you might consider having them in the birthing room. This can help them bond with your child from the beginning, but is completely your choice.
  • At birth, who do you want to hold the baby first? (It can be you.)
  • Who (if allowed) do you want to cut the baby’s cord?

Your Baby:

  • Do you want to see or hold your baby?
  • Do you want to feed and/or change your baby?
  • How much time do you want to spend with your baby? Do you want alone time?
  • Do you want your baby to be in the room with you following birth? Do you want your baby to sleep in your room, or in the hospital nursery?
  • Will you name your baby, leave this to the adoptive family, or choose a name together?
  • Which, if any, mementos do you want to bring home from the hospital (baby bracelet, nursery card, copy of birth certificate and footprints, blanket, etc.)? Which would you like to pass onto the adoptive family?
  • Do you wish to take pictures of your baby? Is it okay if others take photos?

Your Hospital Stay:

  • Do you wish to be a “no information” patient? This means you will remain anonymous during your hospital stay, and only the direct care team will have access to your personal information.
  • After birth, do you wish to stay on the maternity ward, or another floor of the hospital?
  • Do you wish to see and meet the adoptive parents? Would you like to see them together with your baby in your room?
  • Who do you want to visit you in the hospital? Is there anyone (e.g. family, friends, the biological father) you wish to see or hold the baby?
  • Is there anyone you do not want allowed to visit you?
  • How do you wish to leave the hospital—before or after the adoptive family?
  • Who do you wish to carry your baby out of the hospital?

Remember, you are in the driver’s seat of your adoption plan as well as your hospital plan. You should never feel pressured to please anyone (including the adoptive parents) or obligated to make a certain decision. This is your plan and your choice. We are here to help you navigate the process.

Call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 for help creating your adoption hospital plan. You can also text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, at any time of day and any day of week.

If you are pregnant and making an adoption plan, be sure to check out our “Preparing for Adoption: A Month-to-Month Guide” for more information on the process and making a hospital plan. If you are a clinical professional working with an expectant mother, please download our “Clinician’s Guide to Adoption” for more information on creating a good hospital experience.