Welcome to our corner of the web! Here you will learn about our family and our journey of a family member adoption. In July of 2010, after 9 years of trying to add to our family and 5 years after we started our adoption journey, we welcomed baby Emily Rose. Emily's birth mom is Sharon's adopted sister. We look forward to someday adopting more children but for now, we are enjoying our time together as a family of 4!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Falling Into An Open Adoption ***Guest Blogger

This is my friend Crystal, her husband Matt and their adorable daughter Sammy. I met Crystal & Matt in March at the Adoptive Couples retreat here in Utah. I was talking to a friend about our family member adoption and she mentioned there was another couple there with a family member adoption. I knew immediately I had to meet them. Several minutes later we were sharing stories and they were giving advice. Such a great couple! Such a wonderful family!


Our adoption story isn't your typical one...but really whose is? We knew before we got married that we would be building our family through adoption, it was the when to get started that we weren't quite sure about. We prayed for years if we should get started and the answer was always, "not yet", so we waited. Almost 6 years into our marriage, when we felt the least prepared, living just outside of Washington DC thousands of miles from our family with a friend as a roommate while his wife and kids were in North Carolina trying to sale their home, that the answer to our prayers changed.

With in a week, before we had the chance to schedule appointments with agencies in our area to get the ball rolling, we got a phone call from Matt's mom, you know the kind that changes your life forever. She had gotten a phone call about her niece from her sister in law. Her niece was pregnant with a little girl and they had two choices, find a home for this little one or the state would. Because our families knew that we wanted to build our family through adoption they thought of us, and it didn't hurt that Matt is her favorite cousin.

Five of the fastest weeks of our lives later we were parents, and two of the slowest days after that we met our Sammy.

Open adoptions were just starting to become something that were being chosen by birth parents and adoptive parents alike. Because we hadn't been to any agency orientations let alone spoken with any case workers we had no idea that open adoptions even existed. Before we said OK to being Sammy parents we sat down and decided what kind of relationship we wanted to have since our birth mom is family, and had older children. We knew that our relationship could take one of two paths; we could still be one big happy family with no secrets as to how Sammy came into this world, or we could become this once close family that had nothing to do with each other over fear that the secrets we were keeping would come out. In our minds it was a no brainier, we would be one big happy family with no secrets.

The extended family took a bit to warm up to the idea, it was about three years later that they finally grasped the concept. We were setting up for a celebration for one of Sammy's aunts, her birth mom's sister, the little ones were running around and like most three year old kids, Sammy's legs sometimes moved faster then she realized and she fell. The nearest person to her was her birth mom, Jennifer. As Jennifer scooped Sammy up to comfort her there was an audible gasp from our family, the moment of truth had arrived! What was going to happen? Would Crystal run and snatch Sammy out of Jennifer's arms complete with stink eye and wagging finger? Would Jennifer take Sammy and run? Because we had a solid relationship with Jennifer, both she and Crystal knew who they were in Sammy's life, and Sammy knew who they were, neither of those things happened. Crystal looked over towards Jennifer, asked if Sammy was OK, got a nod from her, then went back to the conversation she was having.

Almost two years ago, when we started the process to be approved to adopt again, and learned about open adoption we realized that we had "fallen into" an open adoption. We know that having extra branches on your family tree full of people that love you is never a bad thing. While it can be "fun" at times trying to reign in three sets of grandparents, explaining to the teacher at parent teacher conference that Sammy really does have a brother and two sisters that don't live with us, that she wasn't making it up, and lining up schedules so we can visit as many times a year as possible with Sammy's birth family, they live a few states away, we wouldn't have it any other way.

You can read about getting the phone call from our friends point of view, the pure awesomeness that is our family, and our adoption journey with an agency this time at our blog http://mattandcrystalsadoptionjournal.blogspot.com/

No comments: