I have an essay here. While there’s only one National Adoption Month each year, the topic never goes away and I always have something more to say. As a birthmother (and a grandmother,) I often feel that respectability and understanding are beyond my reach. People have strong opinions about adoption, strong impressions of what/who they think a birthmother is. Birthmothers and adoptive parents take sides and stand sharply opposed to one another much like we do in the arena of national politics. It’s hard to hold hands and sing kumbaya. Villains are real. Bad things happen. People do things for personal gain without considering the bigger picture. But every story is more complicated than we usually imagine. I respect Carrie Goldman’s efforts to share many points of view during National Adoption Month 2016 in her series 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days on the ChicagoNow website.