Monday, November 21, 2016

National Adoption Month: ABCs of Adoption: K-P

In honor of National Adoption Month, members of the adoption triad are sharing their adoption stories on social media. Throughout the month of November, I'll be using "The ABCs of Adoption" as a guide to help me share my heart on adoption topics. 

Click here to read The ABCs of adoption A-E & here to read F-J! Search #btgadoption on Instagram for more beautiful, honest, inspiring & raw adoption stories.


K is for...Knit & Baby "K"  

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." ~Psalm 139: 13-16


2 years ago at this time we were still just dreaming & hoping about being matched with our "Sweet Baby K" 
Little did we know that we would soon hear about Izzy's birth mom for the first time! 
Last year at this time we felt strongly that another baby was coming to our family through adoption & were preparing our finances & hearts for another adoption. Little did we know that Noah was already growing in his birth mom's womb!  
This year we are snuggling our sweet babies with grateful hearts & continue to have open hearts to whatever avenue God wants to use next to grow our family. Isabel & are our dream come true & answer to so many prayers! Never doubt that you were knit together fearfully & wonderfully by God for great purpose. We love you both so much!

L is for...Labor of Love 

Adoption is truly a labor of love! In the summer of 2014, we were knee deep in the adoption process. One day, as I was working on fundraising orders & praying for our baby-to-be, the Lord spoke to my heart. He told me that this was all just a part of my "labor" for our baby. The word I received that day really changed my outlook on our adoption journey & gave me the strength to continue pouring my heart & soul into the process. 
My "labor" was long & started with me on my knees, years before my children were born. My labor was one of the heart. My labor was one of determination, grit & sacrifice. My labor involved many choices, endless tears & lost sleep. My labor included stacks of paperwork, hours of Home-study interviews, numerous fundraisers & tons of research. My labor included overcoming fears, dying to self & surrendering my plans. Some days I felt like it was all too much, felt like I couldn't go on...but even in my weakest moments my deep desire to be a mother gave me the strength to push on. Every step of the way, my incredible husband was holding my hand & pushing alongside of me. Our "labor" may have only been one of the heart & soul, but nonetheless, it was a labor of love.

M is forMotherhood 

After infertility became part of our story & God made it clear adoption was the path He wanted to use to grow our family, I had to mourn the path to motherhood I'd always envisioned for myself. I had to surrender my plans before I could fully embrace new dreams. As I surrendered, God began to put new desires on my heart. My vision for my family became less about what I'd imagined & more about His heart for the precious children He was calling us to through adoption. 

Although my journey to motherhood was much different than I ever imagined it would be, it was no less beautiful. My heart longed for these babies years before they were ever in my arms...before there was even hope for these precious souls, I wanted & loved them. When they were each placed in my arms, everything that it took to get to them faded away...Suddenly I was just a mom looking down at my baby with love & awe for the first time. So thankful now for the beautifully broken road I had to walk to get to this place of JOY. I'll keep walking this road of infertility, adoption & motherhood with faith & hope because I know that God has a purpose in every twist & turn. 

N is for...Noah's Adoption Story 

Right before Noah was born, Joylynn Breaux of Cher Bebe Birth Stories (located here in Baton Rouge) reached out to us & offered to bless us with a video of Noah's adoption story. 

We are excited to finally share our video for the first time in honor of National Adoption Month! We pray our testimony of the Lord's faithfulness, provision & love will encourage the hearts of many. 
Here's a glimpse of our story

More information about Cher Bebe Birth Photography can be found here: 
 So blessed by the thoughtfulness & talents of Joylynn!

O is for...Open Adoption 

Our main focus with open adoption is doing what's best for our children. We want Izzy & Noah to know where they came from & have access + connections to their biological history. In our home, openness means that our kids will always have the freedom to process, ask & feel about their adoption stories & birth families as needed… Openness means no secrets & no shame about how they came into the world & into our family.
Open adoption means being committed to communication. Open adoption means creating boundaries...working to keep relationships with the birth family healthy, respectful & focused on each child's best interest. Adoption is complex & involves so many raw emotions. Sometimes having open relationships is hard & can get messy, but honestly isn't the same true of all relationships? In our experience, the beauty, redemption & love in open adoption outweighs the "tough" by far! 

Ultimately, as our children get older, it will be up to them to determine what kind of relationship they want to have with their birth families. Until then, we are committed to doing our best to cultivate healthy relationships & keep doors open 
Finally, open adoption is an incredible opportunity for us to bring the hope & love of Jesus into broken situations. Openness means desiring & seeking healing...for all involved, but especially for our precious kids & their beautiful birth moms

P is for...Positive Adoption Language + Privacy/Protect 

Positive Adoption SO important y'all! The way our children hear their stories talked about will shape how they view themselves. 
For the most part, people we encounter speak positively about adoption, but too frequently we still hear negative/careless language or comments that make our jaws drop. When something is said that doesn't sit right with me, I usually pause, take a breath & then respond with emphasis on the correct phrasing. I try to give lots of grace with a dose of education when this happens, because I'm well aware that even with the best intentions, I definitely haven't always gotten it "right" either. Until adoption is an intimate part of your life, you can't truly understand how important it is to speak about all things adoption with respectful language! 
With that said, if you're someone who interacts with our family on a regular basis, knows our story & talks to us regularly about adoption, I am going to ask you, for the sake of our precious babies who deserve to have their stories spoken about with the upmost love & care, please make every effort to educate yourself & use appropriate adoption language!  When in doubt just ask us about correct phrasing & follow our lead! We are SO appreciative to everyone in our life who loves our family so well by being intentional & making every effort to learn & use "better" adoption language.

 There's SO much more to say on this topic, but I'll try to wrap up this novel by giving more perspective + examples: 

-Our children weren't "unwanted/unloved" or "given away/given up or abandoned" by their birth moms. Izzy & Noah's birth moms loved them deeply & wanted the very best for them. They intentionally "made an adoption plan" & "placed them for adoption" by carefully choosing us to be their parents. 

-We refer to our childrens' biological parents/family as their "birth parents/birth family" Cary & I were specifically chosen by both of our childrens' birth moms to be "mom & dad" to our babies. So if you ask me about my child's "real mom" or even "mom" I'm just going to assume you're asking about me. It gets old to constantly feel like I have to defend my title as "mom" just because our children came to us through adoption. 

-If you ask us if we are going to have our "own kids" we will immediately clarify that Izzy & Noah ARE our "own kids" While we would still love to have "biological children," we are honestly just as excited about the option of continuing to grow our family through adoption. We know God's plans are best aka Izzy & Noah are "His best" for us & we love them with ALL of our hearts! WE consider ourselves to be the "lucky ones". Also, although our children were both adopted & are not "biological" siblings, let me assure you that they are "real" siblings! 

Please hear me when I say that I'm all about educating, giving grace, acknowledging the complexities in adoption & agree that not all adoption situations are beautiful & loving. With that said...there's a line! If you have something judge-mental to say about birth moms, something stereotypical about adoptees, something disrespectful about (adoptive) moms or negative about adoption, please just show our family some respect by keeping it to yourself! Our family isn't "second best", our children aren't "damaged" & we LOVE our babies' birth moms so there's simply no place here for your negativity. As a momma bear, please understand that protecting my family will always be my top priority.

Privacy & Protect…
Obviously we love sharing our hearts & experience with adoption! As you've probably noticed, we've chosen to keep most details about our childrens' birth families private. We don't share pictures or details simply because we don't feel like that part of the story is ours to share. Our children didn't have a choice in how their story started, but they will have a voice in how it's shared. There are some questions we are asked about our childrens' stories that we choose not to answer out of our desire to protect our childrens' hearts & privacy. 

That was a difficult post for me to write. If you read it all the way through, thanks for bearing with me! I appreciate your willingness to hear my heart & extend grace to me as I try to share on these adoption topics with honesty + grace! We truly love talking about adoption & don't ever want anyone to be afraid they can't ask or talk to us about it, we just really appreciate your respect & sensitivity when doing so!


Hope y'all are enjoying reading along this month as I share our story! Search #btgadoption on Instagram for more beautiful, honest, inspiring & raw adoption stories.

With love, Tyler 

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