Friday, August 26, 2011
My husband, Roger, and I adopted our daughter, Morgan, and son, Ryan, through Family Life Services eight years ago. We chose to have an open adoption with their birth mothers. I look at these young women as our heroes because they sacrificed so much to make sure their babies had two Christian parents.
We live in Tennessee, and our children’s birth mothers live in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Open adoption has been a wonderful experience for us because we have been honest with each other about our feelings and expectations. Even though we wish we could see each other more often, we try to get together every two to three years. We all have had the experience of people being astonished by our relationship. Some people say they can’t believe that we would let our children’s birth moms be a part of their lives and others tell the birth moms they can’t believe that we would let them see the child they gave birth to. It’s hard for me to understand their concerns, as I’ve always believed that no one can have too many people loving them.
This year, we used our vacation to see these special women. Following a two-day drive, we made it to Pennsylvania to spend a day with Heidi, Morgan’s birth mother, and her two children, Joshua and Hannah. Morgan knew Joshua, but was so excited to meet her half-biological sister, Hannah, who is three years old. Morgan is a caregiver, so she wanted to carry Hannah around all day. It was too cute. What a fabulous day we had watching the children play and interact. Of course, we took lots of photos. It was so natural and comfortable, like visiting with family. For me, it was really special to see Morgan and Heidi together. Even though Morgan doesn’t have a complete understanding of it all, I could tell she felt a connection with Heidi, which I am thrilled about.
We then saw the patriotic things on vacation: Gettysburg, Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center Memorial Preview Center, and Liberty Bell. After that we headed for Lynchburg to visit Rose, Deanne and Janelle at Family Life Services. Morgan and Ryan were so excited to find their placement photo pages in the agency scrapbooks. I showed Morgan where Roger held her for the first time and where I changed her diaper for the first time. And we showed Ryan where we saw him for the first time; where we held and fed him for the first time. They loved hearing those stories. Janelle even gave us a tour of the Godparent Home so Morgan could see where Heidi lived when she was pregnant with her. That home is simply beautiful and has been a blessing to so many girls.
We ended our vacation by spending a day with Cameron, Ryan’s birth mom, and her son, Aaron, at a children’s museum. The boys clicked right away and they were so cute together. Since Aaron is only 4 years old, Ryan and Morgan felt the need to “take care” of him. It was incredible seeing them together. I loved watching Cameron watch Ryan. She loves him so much and we love her. We have such a mutual admiration for each other. That night Cameron and I took the children swimming at the hotel pool. We had a great time catching up with each other and I learned more about how she chose us. It seems my laugh and southern accent had something to do with her decision to interview us.
However, when all is said and done, it was God that put us all together. I’m so thankful for these wonderful women who allowed the Lord to use them to build our family and answer our prayers. Roger and I heard from the Lord many years ago that we would be parents, but we didn’t know how. God blessed us over and beyond what we prayed for or expected when He chose us to be Morgan and Ryan’s Momma and Daddy.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Today, I'm reminded that I am a work in progress. I have not arrived, do not know all the answers, and am in a constant state of learning....learning about myself, about others, about adoption, about working with people, about relating to people, and the list goes on and on and on. Although we strive to "arrive" at the place where we have put the learning process behind us (which includes many "passes" and "failures") - it continues.
It makes me think of an analogy that I heard about several years ago relating to adoption.
Adoption is not a snapshot, it is a moving picture.
It's not a one-time event that takes place and then adoption is never thought of again. Adoption remains a part of an individual and family's make-up through the years and it, also, grows and changes with the various seasons of life.
That is why it is so important, not only to prepare yourselves as adoptive parents and birth parents prior to adoption, but to continue a commitment to lifelong learning about various ideas relating to adoption. What may not apply to your current situation now, may be helpful in the future. There are so many books, webinars, online classes, seminars, etc. available for adoption help through the years, but it is each individual person's responsibility to take advantage of the opportunities in front of us. Will you accept the challenge?
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Forgiveness. It’s something that we all need at different times in our lives - okay, every day if we are honest. The road to forgiveness can be difficult, whether it is forgiving others or forgiving ourselves.
This book, by one of my favorite authors, Karen Kingsbury, shares the difficult story of a young couple who live with a choice they made secretly as teenagers. Join them in Shades of Blue on their journey to work through their past and find true forgiveness.
~Rachel Curley, Adoption Caseworker
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Are you longing to share your home with a child and waiting to adopt? Here's a wonderful opportunity for you to invest in the life of a child! The Fresh Air Fund is still looking for 200 families to host an inner-city child for a week and share your family, home and experiences with them. They need to find families this week and are specifically looking for families in the 13 Northeastern United States (starting with Virginia and heading up the coast). You would have the opportunity to host boys or girls, ages 6 to 18, who are anxious to spend time with a family in the country or the suburbs. Think about it....could this be a meaningful way for you to invest in a child while you wait to expand your family?