It’s been on my heart to do this for awhile now, but time has been getting away from me. So today, as I have a little time before church I decided it would be a great time to share a few things.
How many of you know who Frank Ligtvoet is?
He’s an adoptive father who has his eyes and ears open to learning how adoptees feel. That’s right. He’s in total support of the adoptee community, and he’s receptive to continued learning because he wants to understand his adoptive child better. This means learning and listening to adult adoptees who have lived with being adopted.
Frank doesn’t make us feel ungrateful. He doesn’t put us down for making us feel the way we do. He acknowledges our pain, and shares our stories with the world.
Do you all know how much this means to the adoptee community?
Frank also supports the other side of the coin, and that’s the biological mothers & fathers who have relinquished children for adoption. Some of them had no choice in giving their babies/children up. Frank wants to hear their voices. Frank wants to learn what could have been done differently. He wants to know what he can do to better assist his adopted child.
Frank is not closed off to the one side of adoption that impacts him the most, and that’s being an adoptive parent. Frank has opened his heart to learning the truth from so many adoptees and first parents, even when that truth is very painful to learn. Not all adoptees have a wonderful story to tell. Not all first parents have a wonderful story to tell. This is the truth. Because of Frank learning how we feel, he’s better equipped to assist his adopted child when the curve balls start coming. How awesome is that? The tools (adult adoptees & first parents) are right at his fingertips and he’s using them to gain a better understanding.
Can you imagine how many adopted children would be impacted if ALL the adoptive parents out there were like Frank?
I just want to say a warm THANK YOU to Frank, for magnifying our voices, for standing by us and for not letting your own fears get in the way of supporting adoptees and first parents all across the globe. You are appreciated! You are loved by this community! And all you do does not go unnoticed!
We support you and we THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING US! THANK YOU FOR VALIDATING OUR FEELINGS!
Does anyone else have anything they would like to say to Frank? I know I’m one of many who appreciates his support! Leave him a message here if you would like.
You can follow Frank: @frank_ligtvoet
12 thoughts on “Frank Ligtvoet, This Post is for YOU!”
I share your appreciation of Frank. I am honored to call him “friend.”
Thank you Frank ❤
He is truly a great soul
If Frank is so wonderful why doesn’t he give the children he is raising back to their family?
Frank is wonderful in my opinion for all the reasons listed in my blog post. Why don’t you ask Frank why he doesn’t give his children “back” as you say? Feel free to find him on Twitter and ask him yourself.
I feel you are commenting on my blog because you are angry. What are you angry about?
Already asked Frank and he won’t answer it perhaps it’s guilt on his part that he knows he’s wrong. I respect your opinion but in my opinion Frank is a sheep in Wolfs’ clothing.
I’m commenting on your blog with the hope that you might be able to learn from someone who didn’t adopt and become a parent something you and others in your community advocate those unable to have children do.
Thanks for your reply and I apoligize for the delay. First I will say I’m so sorry for your loss. I truly can’t even imagine what you are experiencing but I am glad you are sharing your journey in your blog so people like me, and others can get a glimpse of what you are going through.
My experience with adoptive parents who adopt who are infertile is unique due to my situation, as is all my fellow adoptees. My views on parenting, and all that are mine and mine alone. I was raised with a woman who was infertile and instead of go through grief and loss counseling for her infertility she adopted. To top it off she was mentally and emotionally sick and she should have never been allowed to adopt children. She was never capable of being a mother. There are many dynamics to my story, as I am sure there is to yours. But we are sharing about infertility and with her being infertile I remember during her “break downs” she would always cry hysterically about not being able to have her own biological children. I was simply adopted to fill that void in her life that she desperately wanted filled. She talked my entire life about not wanting to go to a nursing home, which is another reason she adopted. She never adopted to be a mother to me, and chances are if she had her own biological children she would have had them for the same reasons. It didn’t matter what I did, I was never like “her” child would have been. She tried her hardest to mold me into the child she had envisioned all those years , a ballerina, a tap dancer, into make up and brushing her hair and painting her nails. Not to mention a list of disgusting things a mile long. (Wont even go there) She is still as mentally sick now, if not worse than when I was a child growing up. Because of this I have had to totally cut her out of my life for my own sanity due to her being so toxic. For me this means I struck out in the mother area not once but twice, leaving me with a huge mother wound I’ve been trying to heal for years now.
I guess what comes to my mind is, if I have to accept the fact that my first mother didn’t want me and that I need to “deal with being adopted and move on and get over it” and accept all the huge loss that comes with loosing an entire family, IT IS GOD’S PLAN RIGHT???? Then why can’t infertile couples just accept the fact that it was GODS PLAN they not have their own children and leave it at that? It’s like the infertility community has all these options, but why can’t they just be happy with how God made things? Adoptees have to! I understand because people want to be parents SO BAD many would do ANYTHING to be parents. I get it. What I have a problem with is when they don’t heal their infertility wounds before they adopt and they have unrealistic expectations on the adoptee which we can’t possibly fill because we are nothing like them.
I know the pain that comes along with being adopted, as you know the pain from infertility. Because I know the pain that comes with adoption I don’t support adoption. I had a friend try to pin me into the “Abortion or Adoption” debate.. I said I don’t support either and I don’t have too. Abortion is murder and adoption is trauma. I support mothers and babies staying together and the only time I support adoption is if a child is in a bad situation, abuse, neglect, etc. Then I believe family should step up and at all costs hopefully the child can stay with the family. Why do I feel this way about adoption? The mother wound, the broken heart from rejection of bio parents, the experience never fitting in with my adoptive family, the anger and rage that comes with not knowing who and where my bio family was growing up, wondering my whole life if strangers are blood kin, and still wonder this. Mental torment, extensive grief, loss and trauma. Attachment issues, alcohol dependency for 25 years because I just couldn’t face the pain of abandonment from my birth mother, never having medical history, and everyone shaming me for wanting to know what is rightfully mine.. But shusshhhh… It’s a secret. I have found both birth parents, but closed adoption laws forbid me from having my OBC (Iowa Adoptee) as if my history is a secret. So you see, this also impacts not only me but my kids, and their kids, and their kids. Lies, lies and lies and more secrets about the TRUTH has hurt more than anyone can imagine.
So you see, I am interested in learning your view, and I’m glad you are here interested in learning mine. We can agree to disagree and I truly am sorry for your loss. ❤
Thank you so much for the reply. No need to apologize for the delay. I get that we all have busy lives plus with such emotional topics sometimes we need to step away for responding.
I am so sorry for what you have been through. No one deserves to go through that. It breaks my heart to hear stories like yours. It makes complete sense to me that you feel the way you do. I’m amazed by your strength and resilience for what you’ve been through.
I don’t know your mother’s background but I will say from my experience the mistake that infertile couples who never are able to have biological children together make is that they try to fill that void with something else be it adopting, third party reproduction or even remaining childless. It was one of the biggest mistake I have made in the last three years since my diagnosis. I tried to find something to fill the void but the reality is the void can never be filled by anything. That’s not to say that we can’t have joy in our lives but there is nothing that can replace that void.
In my experience I would break down my grief in two stages the first was the loss of being able to conceive a child with my wife and the second was the loss of never being able to become a parent with my wife. The latter was the bigger loss and what I struggled with the most. When our quest to become parents ended I sank into a deep depression.
The misunderstanding of outsiders is that infertility is just a couple desiring something they can’t have. The reality is that it is a loss or in my case never had the ability to do something that the majority of humans are able to do. We live in a childfilled society that looks down upon and outcasts those without children. So when you aren’t able to have children you feel like less than a person. When you are someone like me who has always had self confidence issues it amplifies this feeling. I feel that as long as society continues to have these attitudes the demand for adoption and third party reproduction will never change. I’m not saying that we should encourage people to not have children but we shouldn’t look at those without children as less than. We should recognize the contributions of those without children and respect the choices of those who do not want to have children.
The whole idea of “God’s Plan” bothers me. You are right in that it shouldn’t be used. I’m not religious but I have s hard time believing it’s “God’s Plan” that children get cancer or that people suffer from painful diseases that kill them. Bad things happen to Good people unfortunately. I don’t believe that it’s “God’s Plan” that a child is adopted nor do I believe it’s “God’s Plan” that someone is born or becomes infertile.
I never understood the Abortion Adoption debate. To me one is a decision on whether a woman will carry a pregnancy to birth while the other is a whether or not the biological parents will raise a child. They aren’t related to each other no matter where you stand on either issue. Though I will say on the concept of Family Preservation the issue I have is that sometimes advocates care more about the biological family than they do the child. I agree best case scenario is that the biological family should stay together but I don’t think it should come at the expense of the child.
I support unsealing OBCs. With DNA testing and the Internet today it’s getting easier for biological family members to find one another. IMO I think there needs to be a universal change with all birth certificates being two pages. The first page would list all of the birth related information including genetic parents, place and date of birth, etc. A second page would list the legal parents and date of birth for the person. This would be used anytime a person enrolled in school, applied for a passport, etc. For those who are raised by the people who conceived them the first and second pages would be the same.
Anytime there is an event in a family the dynamics change forever. You are right that your adoption impacts you and future generations of your family. My infertility has impacted my wife’s family as her families blood line will end with her. My family blood line may end with my brother and I depending upon whether he has children. It’s impacted both sets of our parents greatly.
I can’t thank you enough for your kind words and engaging with me. There have been few people in the adoption community willing to have this type of discussion. I have done my part to not make it easy at times. These are sensitive personal topics which makes it hard to not get emotional at times especially on the internet when words can be misunderstood.
Are you angry because he is commenting on YOUR blog? The one you hooe everyone reads?
Not angry at all. I actually have compassion for his situation. Hope this answers your question.
What was the deciding factor in you not adopting? If you don’t mind me asking?
There really wasnt one deciding factor in not adopting but a bunch of them for us. It was more the complexity of the adoption process and other complexities with adoption. Though I will say neither one of us had an issue with raising a non biological child. We would have accepted that child for who they were not who we wanted them to be. We would have accepted their family recognizing that they along with our family make up the child’s family. But pursuing adoption and adopting is a lot more complex than that.