My name is Heather Schade. I’m the caretaker here at Open Adoption Bloggers.

I started this blogging network because I believe in the power of telling our stories and listening to the stories of others. In the very beginning, it was stories that demystified open adoption for me and made it something I not only agreed with in principle, but really wanted for our family. Stories turned unknowns like “contact” and “visitation” into regular people sharing phone calls and meals. Stories from other adoptive parents let me make sense of the role I play in our personal triads. The honest words of first parents made me more sensitive to my kids’ birth families. Listening to the stories of adopted adults helped me to be–I hope–a more empathetic, aware parent with my kids.

When I’ve struggled with our own adoptive relationships, knowing there are other people who have faced the same worries has eased the loneliness. And when I stumble on a blog of someone who’s been living open adoption for years and years? I’m almost turning cartwheels at all their insight into what lies ahead.

Beyond the sterile research studies and mass media pieces, I think it is our stories that show the world the reality of and reasons for what we do in open adoption. And that give us a sense of comraderie as we live out openness–something which is all at once completely normal and completely counter-cultural.

The heart of Open Adoption Bloggers is the list of 300+ bloggers writing about their open adoption experiences. Writers from all sides of open adoption gathered together in one spot– place for us to find each other and for others to find us. We also gather for Open Adoption Roundtable discussions and host the Best of Open Adoption Blogs awards.

My husband and I are the lucky parents of three young children through open adoption. You can read more about our family and my thoughts on adoption at my blog, Production, Not Reproduction, which has been named a Top 25 adoption blog by Adoptive Families magazine, About.com, and Circle of Moms. My writing has been published in Adoptive Families and I presented at the Symposium 2011 Opening Adoption: Realities, Possibilities, and Challenges in Richmond, Virginia on social media and open adoption.

Questions? Ideas? I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me at admin [at] openadoptionbloggers [dot] com.