Love In An Open… Adoption

Within our adoption chat groups, a lot of families inquire about what an “open adoption” looks like. I think it is REALLY important for people who are looking or desiring  this to consider a lot of different possibilities. Mainly… the possibility that ANYTHING will be possible. More families and birthmoms are advocating for open adoption than ever before. The idea that adoption should be kept quiet or a secret is being challenged each day when making the decision to adopt or place for adoption.

Again, when we were in our first round of adoption, this is an area Mike and I were not on the same page about. He felt that it would be confusing or challenging for him to cater to the needs of our child while also allowing a birth parent to have a relationship with them. I could see many sides to this. There would certainly be no secret that our twins were not biological. Race is something we were prepared to take on but as we pushed ourselves further it became obvious that we needed to support our birthmom in hopes of sharing with our twins that THIS is what love looks like and THIS is how you treat people.

So, here we are. OPEN adoption. What that has really meant for us is far from a text book definition. It has meant that we are fully…and completely… open to what may or sadly may not happen. We may get calls, we may get letters, we may be asked to call, we may be asked to send letters. One day we may meet, we may never meet. You know how you have that friend who might randomly reach out and initiate a conversation and then suddenly it seems like their phone was sucked up into the Bermuda triangle? That is open adoption.

Not knowing when your phone might ring, not having expectations of that other person, protecting your family and child from hurt, all while keeping the bleak thin line of communication open the best way you know.

Updates may come few and far between. Loving someone enough to be there in support of them when they do call or reach out, with no expectations or no agenda. It may be just in that moment you are open to hear their needs or offer a familiar voice/text. Loving someone enough to support them without enabling or becoming a doormat. That is a fine line for me. I’ve been a doormat on a couple occasions.  Adoption is one of the most unique experience I have ever been through in my entire life. Our journey now, looks nothing at all like it did the first time, even with the same woman. My giving and compassionate heart is being stretched and at the same time my boundaries are being tested.

The feelings we had of being chosen have not surfaced again. In this state, we have been called to choose. And now, every time the phone rings I have to make a choice. Be prepared for whatever is on the other line. The need. The want. The grief. The despair. The complete unknown. So, that is what an open adoption looks like. It feels a lot like when you leave your 3 year old in a room and for a while… all you hear is silence. The minute you take a look back into that room… your eyes are wide and although you were somewhat prepared for anything, the reality is there is a lot of mess you weren’t really ready for.

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But God…

I’ll preface this with full disclosure. I did not act with kindness and grace. I was a miserable cow with the weight of this situation hovering over us.

My test from God was to let him work and remain still, but I did not extend much kindness as a wife, to the person who was equally pressured in this situation. For that I am sorry.

When Mike left for work yesterday I knew the first thing on his agenda was to call our attorney and deliver our decision .  By the time it had occurred to me that he had most likely done this I felt a small wave of peace.  I felt like there was some room to breathe and begin to move forward.  Mike had come home briefly to deal with a delivery at our house next door and we barely exchanged words as I left to take the twins for a walk.  When I got back from our walk he had already gone back to work and I would not hear from him again until much later in the afternoon.

What I did not know was that he had left a message for the attorney to call him back.  In that time several hours passed and Mike found himself in conversations with his business partner, our adoption consultant, and at the gym  where he tuned in to worship music.

In that time and in those conversations God did something.  God spoke a 180 to his heart and literally moved him to tears something I never expected to happen.  It was hours before he connected with the attorney because their attention was on another baby that had been born that morning.  He was next on the list to be responded to and when that time came at 3pm, he just simply told them “we are in.” And P.S. “do not contact us again after this.”

All this is not because we do not think GOD would bring forth a loving and deserving and perfect family. This is not because I was begging or crying for another baby. Really. This is because the heart beat for adoption and the heart for our family is that we WILL be the hands and the feet. Even when we weren’t on the same page. Even when God was moving us at difference places and times and what seemed like different directions. 

Trust me. We gave away ALL our baby stuff in the last month. This was not OUR plan. Our families are shocked, torn, confused, and probably all going to move far away from our crazy. There are always uncertainty with adoption and there is always  risk. But God…


From Mike:

It was a rough week and a half but an especially rough weekend. Rachel and I were not on the same page and things were not getting any better. I met with my Pastor on Friday and prior to the meeting, Rachel had let me know (again) her feelings however, she felt she was being called to let me lead our family in this decision, as the bible instructs. For the record, I was never 100% against moving forward with this adoption, contrary to what Rachel believed. As someone who is wired to be analytical and business like with all decisions, it can take longer for God to speak to me. By Monday morning, our deadline was up. To me, if there was any shadow of a doubt, the answer had to be NO. I called our attorney around 10 and no one was available so I left a message. I called two hours later, eager to put this behind me so my wife would no longer have this hanging over her head and the attorney had gone to lunch. WTF. Backtrack a few hours, God had been lining up people for me to talk to. I spoke to my (Rachel’s) uncle Mark, my pastor and even put a call in to our adoption consultant. Everyone understood my position and supported my decision but I couldn’t stop reaching out to people, as if I was trying to find the one person to sway me. I spoke to my business partner who shared a story from a decade ago where he was about to make the difficult decision to close the company by day’s end and his sister convinced him to wait until the last possible second in case God spoke to him. He ended up getting a sign and kept the business open, which happened to be my first job out of college. At this point, I’m lost so I throw on my headphones and walk down the hall to LA Fitness and decide to work out. I throw on Lecrae, my favorite Christian Rapper. I have the music on real loud and his song is talking about regrets and all of a sudden, I started wondering how I could face Quinn and Coss later in life when they ask if they have any other siblings and perhaps they asked why we didn’t help. The tears started falling, like I was leaking (luckily I was sweating so I don’t think too many people noticed). I had to stop working out and sat in the sauna, continuing to listen to my worship music (yes, it can be in the form of gospel rap) and I was brought to my knees. At that moment, I made my decision to lead this family to another adoption. I informed the attorney and then called Rachel. It wasn’t much of a call because I was pretty much crying the entire time. Had our attorney answer my 10am or 12pm call, we would continue our journey as a family of six. Because God’s timing is always perfect and he showed up at the right moment, we will now become 7 sometime in early 2017.






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Sitting in bed, in the dark with tears streaming, it is the Eve of delivering our decision. To be completely honest I’m angry that this is how I’m feeling today, knowing that this decision was made more than several days ago. I’m angry that the feelings and thoughts and HOPE I was strung along on for two weeks, are going to be something I have to face and forgive before I can even process the sadness. Because today I am mad. I mad that God was clearly showing me one thing and that one thing was not seen by nearly anyone else. I’m broken for the NO.

There is  no light for me today. There was no rising with the dawn.  Saying no to something just to say yes to something else hurts like tiny knives.

When our birth mom called yesterday I could hear the pain she is in I could feel  her deamons  and I could not speak the words to tell her our story was dividing. She needed me then and she’s needed me before. I can’t fix her but  allowing me to be in her life…blesses me.

I don’t know how the rest of this story will go but I know today that I am not the same person that I was as I sat in the parking lot of the store where I bought the first outfit the twins would wear home and took the phone call that another baby was going to be born to the same mom.

To me. I have lost a baby. I’m missing something I didn’t know was mine because God isn’t flying His YES blimp around everyone else who needed to see it. My faith is stronger and this must be my test now. It doesn’t feel good. I have never felt tested to this degree.

This and everything else I have ever spoken about adoption is real.  I don’t take back anything that has led me to where I am but I certainly don’t know what this leaves me for the future. I have so many questions. I have so much hurt for me, my family, my birthmom.

To this baby. You are loved and you are wanted and you are pure joy. For someone else you will be everything. God made you special and he made you perfect and whole.

Now,  I have to keep moving….somehow…but not today.

To the hundreds of friends who reached out to me. Thank you.

Thank you for standing beside me, hoping to carry some of the load.

Thank you for the texts when you saw little rainbows and thought of me.

Thank you for the messages and words when you didn’t have to say anything.

Thank you for believing in what I saw and not judging my feelings.



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