Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I admit it.  I'm a helicopter parent. I watched my kids like a hawk - where they went and with whom. 

This is NYC where you know your neighbors by sight and perhaps their schedules, passing one another in the elevator, but not much about their backgrounds.  Where kids use public transportation. 

I never understood neighbors sending kids as young as 5 alone in the elevator to come up for a play date or to the store or school alone by the age of 8. 

I was always vigilant but it became even more pronounce after 9/11. It was my older daughter’s first day of high school. New surroundings and new peers. She got her first cell phone that week so we could stay in touch.

Today I had a flashback. A mother boarded a city bus with her child, who must have been around 4 years old, walking behind her. The driver started to close the door not seeing the little girl. Everyone was fine. But my kids always walked beside me or in front of me. Holding hands or in hands reach. Always in sight. 

My daughters gained more independence as they grew - earning my trust and their freedom.   I asked them to respect my need to know where they were. If they planned to be with particular friends or in a specific location and plans changed - to just text me the changes. Someone should know where they were and I assumed that task by default. 

Now they live independently. Do I still worry? Absolutely. Is it to control their lives? No. It’s to make sure they are safe and sound. 

To this day I still like to know where those closest to me are. The girls, my mom, sister and close friends. We stay in touch, even using texts. I am reassured knowing everyone is safe. 

Would I be like this if I lived elsewhere? Yes. It's my personality to worry. 
I remember worrying through my adoption processes so many years ago. Some days were tough and had me wondering if I would ever be a parent. I think about clients who have a tough time with the adoption process. Whether collecting documents for the initial meeting, preparing to talk to birth parents, despairing that no one is calling or that the relationship is a tough one or traveling and waiting for the approval to come back home - I wait to hear from them that all is well. 

My concern (and worry) comes from a good place. To see others safe, happy and successful in their ventures. Whether family, friends or clients - I will listen, do what I can and provide guidance on steps that they can take. When I say "I am here for you", I mean it. 

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a 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 of JCCA from March 1992 to March 2015, was Head Writer for, a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series She is currectly a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York, where she has a private practice specializing in adoption and adoptive parenting. 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.