Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Choosing Open Adoption

Hey y’all! 
For the past couple of months I’ve been meaning to write a post on why we have chosen to have an open adoption. I finally got around to writing it! This is just a summary of our thoughts on open adoption, but I hope it will give you some insight into our journey & into open adoption.

*I realize that we are very new to adoption and all of the complexities involved. I’m writing about this topic from our own experiences and choices. We’ve made our decisions based on multiple factors. We have done our own research, been given adoption resources, prayed about this decision and talked to people about their experience with adoption. I know many of you may have different experiences or opinions about open adoption. Although I believe this is the best decision for our family, I realize it might not always be the best choice for others.

Our definition of “open adoption” goes something like this:
Open adoption means we will enter into a commitment with Baby K’s birth mother to be a part of each others' lives. In a way, an open adoption is like marriage. Our family and the birth family will be connected because of our love for Baby K. Through open adoption, Baby K’s birth mother will become a part of our “family.” We will be making this commitment to open adoption and our baby’s birth mother in hopes that Baby K will have the opportunity to have a connection with his/her biological family. Open adoption is very flexible but it basically means that we are committed to communicating regularly with our baby's birth mother & family throughout his/her life. The amount of communication we have with Baby K’s birth family will most likely change over the years based on each of our needs, circumstances, etc. We know that, more than likely, Baby K’s birth mother will come from a different background than us. She may have different beliefs, lead a different kind of lifestyle, make choices we don’t always understand or agree with, etc. Regardless, we will show her love, welcome her into our lives & work through our differences to build a relationship. Just like most relationships, we realize the relationship with Baby K’s birth family will require work, communication, and empathy. We know it will not be easy, but we believe it will be worth it.

A few side notes on open adoption:
Open adoption is not legally binding. We enter into this “commitment” in good faith that the other party will put in the work to maintain the open relationship. On our end, we are committed to maintaining a positive and healthy relationship with Baby K’s birth family. If at any point we feel like this relationship is causing harm to Baby K or our family, we will be free to distance ourselves. However, contrary to the way the media often portrays open adoption, this type of scenario is unlikely to occur.
Open adoption is NOT co-parenting. Once our baby comes home with us and the adoption is finalized, Cary and I will legally be Baby K’s parents. We will make the decisions about how to parent Baby K like every other family does with their child. Our birth mother will understand that parenting is our role, not hers.

Why open adoption?
There are a many reasons why we are hoping to have an open relationship with Baby K’s birth mother. The main reason is because we truly believe that an open relationship can be beneficial to all involved.

Baby K is obviously our top priority and there are many reasons we think an open adoption could benefit him/her. I will only talk about a few of the reasons here.
It is our heart’s desire for Baby K to grow up with an understanding of how much he/she is valued and loved. We believe having an open adoption will not only allow our Baby to experience this from us, but to also from his/her biological mother. We know that our child will have questions about their biological family. We want to always do our best to help our child get the answers his/her little heart and mind needs. We realize that as he/she grows older, the complexity of these questions will increase. We hope that by having an open adoption, Baby K will have a better opportunity to have his/her questions answered directly and truthfully.
By having an open relationship, our child will know his/her biological mother (and potentially know the biological father) and will not have to imagine or fantasize about their birth parents. We realize our baby might have other biological siblings and if that were the case, we would love to be able to help them connect whenever they are ready to do so. Another positive benefit of open adoption is that Baby K will have access to his/her medical and genetic history.

We believe an open relationship can also be beneficial to the birth mother/parents and biological family of our baby. We know that adoption is bittersweet as our joy over welcoming Baby K home will be the birth mother’s greatest heartache. We hope that having an open adoption will allow Baby K’s birth mother to experience healing. By having an open relationship, the birth mother can experience confirmation that she made the best decision in choosing adoption for her child. Studies show that birth mothers in an open adoption work through normal feelings of grief much quicker than birth mothers in a confidential adoption do. An open adoption gives the birth mother an opportunity to continue to love her child from afar as well as have a direct voice in explaining to the child why she choose adoption.

We feel like as Baby K’s parents, we will also benefit from an open adoption. We will be able to build a relationship with Baby K’s birth mom that is built on a mutual love for Baby K, trust and understanding of one another. We will have the opportunity to learn about who our birth mother is as a person…her likes & dislikes, talents, dreams, hobbies, if she is left or right handed, etc. We think it will be so cool to be able to make connections between our child's & his/her birth mother’s mannerisms, attributes & similarities. 
An open adoption will allow us to love on the woman who choose life for our child life and blessed our family in such a monumental way. When praying for the relationship with Baby K’s birth mother, this verse has come to my heart, “We love because He first loved us” 1 John 4:19. The desire of our hearts is to love on Baby K’s birth mother as we have been loved by God: unconditionally. Cary and I have both given our lives to God and His love has radically changed us. We believe the Lord calls us as Christians to truly love those who enter our lives. We are praying that Baby K’s birth mother would also experience this type of life-changing love from the Lord & that she would enter into a relationship with Him.

I hope this summary of our heart for open adopting gave you some insight into our decision. Like I said above, we realize an open adoption will not always be easy by any means…but we absolutely believe it will be worth it. As long as we are all committed to loving Baby K and doing what is best for him/her above all else, the relationship can flourish! :)

Would you be praying for us as we prepare to be matched with, meet, develop a relationship with & love on Baby K’s birth mother?!
Since we have not been matched yet, we are not completely certain that our adoption will be open as the decision depends not only on us but also on the birth mother. Would you be praying that this type of loving, healthy & beneficial relationship with Baby K’s birth mother will be possible?
And while you’re at it, will you ask the Lord to move on our behalf & match us with Baby K quickly? Our hearts are yearning for news of our little one.

We know the Lord has big plans for our family & we cannot wait to see how He knits everything together.
Thank y’all so much for following our journey! Please keep us in your thoughts & prayers.

 Photo credit: Carolynn Seibert Photography
Photo credit: Carolynn Seibert Photography 

Photo credit: Eva Cranford Photography 

 "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." ~1 John 4:15-21

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Adoption Auction Donations Needed!!!

Hey friends! 

We will be hosting a Facebook Adoption Auction mid November! In order for this auction to be successful, we need YOUR help!!! 

If you're interested in donating an item/product/service to 

our auction or if you have questions, please email me ASAP at for more information! 

Help us spread the word!

Thank you!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Journey of Faith

Adoption is hard. Adoption is beautiful. Adoption is messy.

This process can be extremely overwhelming. It can also be unbelievably fulfilling. Today is a hard day in my journey with adoption. I was just washing dishes and as I stood there at the sink, tears starting flowing and words starting coming to my mind/heart. So I sat down to write this post in hopes that it will make sense, give ya'll an insight into our journey and maybe even relate to your own journey of faith.
The unknown weighs heavy on my soul. I am feeling scared, confused and torn about the future of my family. On this journey, I have been challenged. My faith has been tested. I have been stretched emotionally. I have reexamined my views on what makes a “family.” I have thought about and read about God’s heart for family, sacrifice and redemption. I have questioned my dreams, my motives and my heart. 
I know these challenges are part of God’s will and journey for me. God is teaching me much about His heart, His vision and His plan. A lot of the time it looks a lot different than mine. I’m tempted to put limitations on what I think I can handle. Maybe I’ve held onto my idea of what our family will look like a little too much. Maybe in doing so I have allowed part of my heart to harden. And maybe I haven’t allowed myself to hear God’s voice as clearly… 
These are the types of things that are on my mind today. Are they easy to deal with? No, but I believe they are necessary. I believe God is working with a purpose in this difficult time in our adoption journey. He is asking me to live what I believe. My faith is so important to me, but lately I have found myself frozen with fear and full of uncertainty. He is asking me to trust Him and to let Him guide us in growing our family. It won’t always be easy but I do believe it will be worth it. Taking risks are hard but God often asks His people to walk in faith through the hard and ugly for the sake of His name and His purpose. He uses the messy to bring His hope, love and restoration to this lost, broken and hurting world. 
How can we expect God to perform miracles for us if we aren't willing to put ourselves in the position to need a miracle? God has always had a way in turning ashes to beauty. Scripture is a testament to that…so today I’m diving into His word and coming before Him with an honest but open and trusting heart. I am saying, “Lord, lead me. Help me walk through the hard times with your grace, strength and vision.”

Would you be praying for us? We would appreciate it so much.

Prayer requests & an update on where we are in the process:

We are expecting to be living in Canada for about another month & a half. We should be home by end of November or the first week of December at the latest, if we go to the Grey Cup. I am hoping we will be back for Thanksgiving, which also falls on my Birthday this year. At the same time, it would be incredible for my husband’s football team, the Hamilton Tiger-cats, to go to the Grey Cup (which is basically the Superbowl of the CFL). 
We are open to a baby born as early as the first week of December. We’re praying we will have more time than that to prepare for the arrival of Baby K after moving back home (to Louisiana where we live during the offseason). For us, January seems like the ideal month for Baby K to be born. However, we know that God’s plans are better than ours and we are believing that we will be able to make whatever due date He gives us work! Every day we are checking our email (I check it about 100 times a day with my heart pounding every time) & waiting to hear from our consultants about potential situations. Please pray that when the right situation comes along we will have peace and confidence in sending our book to the birthmother. 
It is the desire of our hearts to be matched with our baby SOON. We are presenting our requests to God and asking that He would meet us where we are… We are praying the details would start falling into place. Pray that God’s mighty hand would be all over every detail in this process from now until when Baby K is officially ours. Pray for our waiting hearts…pray for God to strengthen our faith and our understanding of His plan. 
Pray for our continued fundraising efforts. We have been blessed by so many and are truly blown away and forever thankful. We are getting close to reaching our fundraising goal, only $6,000 away!!! 
We believe in the power of prayer and nothing would mean more to us than for you to join us in lifting up these requests. It's been 6 months since we announced our adoption & 7 months since we started this process. This journey continues to be whirlwind but we know Baby K is worth it all.

Thanks for praying & supporting us as we journey on!

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. 
~Psalm 61:1-4

Juno girl is so excited about Baby K! 
Photo credit to Eva Cranford Photography 

 Photo credit to Eva Cranford Photography

Photo credit to Carolynn Seibert Photography