Friday, August 26, 2011

1 Adoptive Family + 2 Birth Families = Summer Vacation Memories

FLS Adoptive Family, Roger & Pat, pictured above with children Ryan & Morgan.  We asked them to share about their summer vacation plans which included a road trip to visit both of their children's birth mothers.  Pictures with members of Morgan's birth family & Ryan's birth family are below the story.  This is one adoptive family who has prioritized keeping adoption connections intact for their family.  Enjoy!

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.

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