Friday, August 25, 2017


Another quiet morning. The house is empty, except for me and the dog. All homestudies and post placements are written. All client, attorney, agency and court calls taken care of yesterday. So this morning, I get to sit with a cup of coffee, catch up on recorded television shows and enjoy the calm.

So why am I feeling there is something else to do? Perhaps, because for 30 years I have been on the treadmill of life with work to be done, meals to prepare, errands to run, children to care for and more. These days, I help people adopt, decide  which option is right for them, provide parenting advice, train other professionals and consult with adoption agencies.

But I like my down time, which includes hearing from family, talking to friends, hanging out with the dog and trying out new recipes. At times, figuring out what to do when not working is tough. I spent so many years balancing work and motherhood. Now I am balancing work and me.

Any parent who works, mother or father, will understand. It isn't always easy to balance the two. There are many decisions to be made. How many activities are good for a child and at what age? How to get a healthy meal on the table every day?  What if a nanny or babysitter is sick or a child is sick and can't go to school?  How to rearrange work schedules at the spur of the moment? Or should I stay home? Mostly, it's manageable, but sometimes the guilt can be  overwhelming. 

I remember  coordinating everyone's schedules - dropping the girls at school and getting to the office, and then rushing back to pick them up at the end of the day, which often included after school activities or playdates. I remember running errands, planning meals, organizing weekend activities and more. I was always tired.

And then there was the adoption complexity. We talked about adoption many times over the years. Sometimes they raised the subject, other times  I did. We talked about the reasons for their birth mothers making the decision they did and  when and how to talk about adoption with others. I learned to allow them to process their own stories, choose the terminology with which they felt most comfortable and follow their lead with needing more information.  We stuck with it, returning to further explore situations and feelings. I never was sure when a conversation would arise and some of them were more difficult than others.

From the busy days of raising young children, to keeping an eye on them as they developed friendships, to launching them into independent women, to watching them pursue their dreams and careers, I have been an active participant along the ride. 

And, so on this quiet morning, my caretaker role continues. the dog has needs to be met. But with just a tasty bowl of food (no cooking needed), some water to wash it down and a quick walk, he will sleep away most of the day. While, he's the easiest "child" to please, a parent's role is forever.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer for ADOPTION.NET  She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly at EMAIL