Thursday, June 11, 2015


My older daughter has been living in her own place for many years. And while I wish it was a bit closer (she’s about two hours away) I do get to see her and know she’s doing fine. My younger daughter has been living at home and just recently shared her thoughts on moving out. Again, I was so happy for her and discussed her plans and reviewed some of the things she would need to do to be on her own. What I didn’t expect, was the sadness I would feel of being, once again, an empty nester.

I remember when she left for college. Everyone said I would be so sad, but I was so happy for her and honestly looked forward to a quiet house and less pressure.  This time just felt different. I’ve tried to figure it out. When my girls left for college, I assumed they would come back home. And they did - for vacations and on summer breaks. But now in their mid to late 20s, when they make that decision to move on, the reality is they will not come back to live at home again.

I keep thinking about those news shows on TV - they talked about kids coming back home at the age of 30 after living alone for many, many years. And I think there’s a part of me that always hopes my girls will return. After all, when you’ve spent 27 years being a mom, who has had her kids around almost every day, it’s hard to think of them being away - forever. Of course I’ll see them, but it won’t be the same.  Who is going to keep an eye on them, make sure they’re eating, getting enough sleep, hanging out with the right people.  

Someone asked if I thought it had to do with their being adopted.  I really don’t think so. I believe it’s the same for any mother who sees her kids grow up, being so very proud of them and launching them into the world as independent adults.  This would be for an adoptive mother or birthmother or an aunt, grandmother, or any other woman who has helped raise a child into adulthood.

So to all you mothers who raised your kids, who saw them through the good and bad days, who healed their physical wounds, soothed their emotional scars, wondered what they would be when they grew up and, at times, prayed for the day they would grow up, leave home and be more independent   -  we did it!!!

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program from March 1992 to March 2015. She is Head Writer for, on the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and has a private practice in New York City. She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001, Follow or reach her at ADOPTION MAVEN BLOG or EMAIL.