Open adoption is something many families hold close to their hearts. For every family it looks just a little bit different. It also ebbs and flows with time and circumstances. It is my desire to share with you stories of families who wade through the hard to find the beauty that is found in open adoption.
Today Kristin shares her story……
My husband and I kind of fell into open adoption. Coming off a hard season of infertility, we were naïve about adoption – even though we knew God was leading us there. We didn’t sign up with an agency when we decided to adopt. I thought it seemed overwhelming coming on the heels of so many doctor’s appointments where I had to recount details of my female cycle and how many rounds of Clomid I’d taken.
Turns out, God planned for us to adopt independently. We’ve adopted three times – and all three times we met the birth moms through someone we knew. We were at the hospital each of the times our babies were born and brought them home from there. Still, the stories are different. The timing is all God’s. But the similarity is this: Open adoption is a ministry.
I know open adoption seems scary and awkward, but when it’s the situation God designed the ways of this world don’t apply. Having been involved in three open adoption processes, I know each relationship and scenario looks different. But being able to know my children’s birth moms is a unique and valued part of their stories.
The first time, our daughter’s birth mom was more than four hours away, so we’d drive to her doctor’s appointments and then take her to lunch. We got to know her during those conversations around the tables in Bloomington, Indiana. When Cate was 6, she got a chance to meet her birth mom and we’re all so grateful for that experience.
Our second adoption was local. The relationship I began with Ben’s birth mom while we were sitting in the doctor’s office waiting room before appointments continues to this day, more than six years later. But Ben doesn’t have a relationship with her. His birth mom taught me about how these brave women each process their grief differently.
Much more recently, we brought our third baby home in September 2015. This is the adoption that taught me just how much joy and pain is intertwined in open adoption.
When Rachel was born at the hospital a few blocks from my house, the delivery nurse handed me this sweet baby wrapped like a burrito. And I handed her my iPhone with the camera ready to go. She snapped pictures of my husband and I meeting Rachel. And then she kept snapping pictures as I handed Rachel to her birth parents to hold and then as the four of us gathered around a baby girl we all loved.
We ended up spending about 90 minutes with Rachel’s birth mom after the delivery. We took turns holding her and chatted about our other kids – my two who became part of our family through other adoption processes in 2007 and 2009 and her two who aren’t yet 2 and 3 years old.
We visited with Stacy later that evening as she recovered in another room and then again the next day when we met with our attorney and social worker before we went our separate ways
These moments were open adoption at its finest – and they’re part of the story I’m excited to share with Rachel one day. I have so many great pictures to show her.
But I also know the needs that prompted an adoption plan. Rachel’s birth mom doesn’t have a car or a job. There’s the rocky relationship between the birth parents. Since Rachel’s birth, her birth dad has returned to jail and her birth mom unexpectedly lost custody of her two kids.
Those situations break my heart. I pray for her and check in with her. We’ve chatted about these hard things during our monthly meetings since Rachel’s birth. She holds Rachel and asks about her newest baby tricks.
I think about when Psalm 68:6 says, “God places the lonely in families …” and realize how true that is. Yes, God has placed our three children who needed families in our family. But he also put these birth moms in our lives. They may not do everyday life with us, but they’re prayed for regularly. Because of adoption they have someone else on their side in life.
Kristin Hill Taylor believes in seeking God as the author of every story. You’ll quickly learn her favorite story to tell is how God created her family through adoption after a hard season of infertility. God continues to surprise her – in the best kind of way – with how her life is nothing like she expected. She lives in Murray, Ky., with her husband, Greg, and three kids. You can keep up with her at Kristin Hill Taylor.
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