Thursday, September 5, 2019


I dropped my dog off at the vet yesterday. As I drove him there, I saw many children waiting for the school bus to arrive.  The younger ones with parents, the older ones without.  Today, NYC  kids go back to school.  I remember  those  first  days  so  well.  There were weeks of preparation and anxieties on my girls’ part (and mine, too) as we waited for the class list and teacher  assignment.  There  were  shopping  trips  for  clothes, shoes  and  school supplies. There  were  discussions regarding school or homemade lunches and after school activities. The night before, sleep  was  hard  to  come by. The next morning, everyone was sleepy but excited.

I recall first days at new jobs. The anticipation of a new chapter in my professional growth and concerns over co-workers and learning the ropes. My first day working for an adoption program was meeting with a family for a homestudy. I had lists of questions to ask and information to impart from articles I had read about adoptive parenting. (I was not yet an adoptive mom.) My job fit perfectly into my plans to become one. Six years later with my second child joining our family through adoption, I assumed the role of director of that adoption program. I loved the work - helping couples and singles achieve the dream to parent or enlarge their families and educating their extended families, communities and other professionals.

Another first was my day as an adoptive mom in 1987. We met our daughter and her birthmother in an agency meeting room. I was nervous, unsure of what to expect or to say. The agency staff was wonderful. The birthmother asked questions which confirmed what she had been told about us. She was making sure we were the people she chose. We asked questions about the baby, who had been under her care for 3 weeks. What she was eating, what was her sleep schedule, etc. Returning to the hotel with the baby, it seemed like a dream. Was this little baby really going to be ours? Could someone just hand you a baby and make you a mom or dad? The answer was yes. After 10 days, we returned to NY as parents. The first time my parents met our daughter is etched in my mind. The smiles at the airport. My sister showing up about an hour later eager to hold her niece. The first time everyone got to hold her. The tears in my parents’ eyes. I remember us all sitting in my parent’s living room just watching our daughter, their granddaughter, sleep. Yes, our daughter. How long had we waited to be able to say that?

There have been many other firsts in my lifetime. And still, every time I talk to or meet with a family exploring or starting an adoption process, I recall my own journey to motherhood. There were many firsts during the process. The first time I placed an ad, spoke to or met a birthparent. The first time I fed or changed my daughter’s diaper, watched her take a first step, say a first word, start school. Each day brought a new and exciting part of parenting.

Funny how a simple thing of seeing some kids waiting for a school bus can bring back all those memories. Adoption and my daughters’ birthmothers made us a family. My daughters made me a mom.

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 the  Adoption  Advisory  Board  of  Path2Parenthood, She is currently a  Adoption   Professional   Advisory  Council  of  HelpUSAdopt , a member of the Advisory Board of the Family Equality Council 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