Friday, October 11, 2013

Feature on Birth Mother Baskets



I feel so honored to have our story featured on Birth Mother Baskets today.  This is one of the best birth mom blogs, and best causes!

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After 8 years of marriage (including 6 years of infertility treatments), my husband Greg and I decided we needed to reevaluate our plan for building a family.  We wanted to pursue adoption, but I drug my heels for about 6 years before we completed our paperwork.  I am trained as an economist to look at things from a cost-benefit perspective and it was difficult for me to apply this framework to the adoption process.  It took me a few years, but I finally realized that a cost-benefit analysis does work.  Our amazing birth moms pay a very real cost, and our daughters reap the benefit.   The "transaction" is the gift of life from {T} to Eliana and the gift of life from {M} to Lynlee.
We initially finished our adoption paperwork during a transition phase for our agency, and started with the old-school scrapbook pages.  I agonized over paper choices and embellishments, and then had to do the layout 25 times.  But I got it done and sent out, and about a month later our agency changed to online profiles.  We quickly jumped on board and created a web profile.
Then we waited.

For about two and half years.
Through a series of miracles, Ellie's birth mom {T} found our online profile and started emailing us.  We had emailed other expectant parents before, but this time felt different.  From the time that {T} announced to us, it was like we were living a dream.  We were so excited to get to know {T} and her family and to build our relationship.
We started working on the papers for a second adoption when Ellie was about a year old.  Before we had finished our paperwork, our case worker asked if an expectant parent could email us.
We emphatically and ecstatically said YES!!!!
{M} knew {T} and her experience with placing Ellie in our family.  We rushed to finish our paperwork when {M} picked us to parent her baby girl.  Our case worker finished everything only days before Lynlee was born, 3 weeks early. 

We have two open adoptions, and love it!  Our lives are enriched with knowing Ellie's and Lynlee's birth parents.  We love {T} and {M}—for their decisions to place Ellie and Lynlee with us, certainly—but it goes beyond that.  We love them for who they are, for their strengths and weaknesses, for their talents and gifts.  They are amazing, strong women who we feel privileged to call family.
What does "open adoption" mean for us?  It means we love and respect our daughters' birth parents.  We are committed to nurturing our relationships.  It means that we have met all of the girls' birth parents and have varying amounts of contact with each (depending on what they want).  We visit often (between 1-8 times a year), text, and stay connected through social media.  We have pictures of the girls' birth moms in our family picture gallery and in the girls' bedroom.  We talk about and pray for {T} and {M} daily. 

Q: How has being adoptive parents affected the way you look at life?
A: Being a parent has affected every aspect of my life!  It is wonderful and a little overwhelming being trusted to raise these beautiful girls.  I feel a responsibility to our daughters and to {T} and {M} to be the best possible mom I can be.

Q: What would you say to help educate people on adoption?
A: It is important to know that open adoptions are wonderful, and not something to be scared of.  It is not always easy to nurture relationships with our birth parents, but it is vital—to our daughters and to us.  Greg and I are committed to our birth parents, and through open and honest communication we have been able to work through issues as they come.  Our relationships are not perfect, because we are all human.  But things always seem to work out because we all have the same goal—to see Ellie and Lynlee happy and loved.  Ellie and Lynlee know that their birth moms love them.  That is a powerful thing.
Q: If you could tell your birth mom anything, what would you say?
A: I love you.  I am amazed by you.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of your life.   Words are inadequate to express how grateful I am to you for your decision to place your daughter into my heart and family.  To say you gave us everything is trite and insufficient—but it is true.

In three words describe what adoption means to you?
Love ~ Commitment ~ Communication.

1 comment:

HappyCamper said...

This is a wonderful and heartfelt post. We are so pleased with you and Greg for the commitment, communication and love you have with T & M and especially Ellie and Lynlee. So grateful for all 4 of you

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