Adoption Interview Project

I love finding other adoption blogs...especially those that are related to domestic adoption...and even more specifically open adoptions.  
So this year, I participated in The Adoption Interview Project, hoping I would be matched with a blogger that has had a similar experience as we have had.
I was blessed to be matched with Kristen who blogs about her sweet family along with her thoughts of infertility and open adoption sprinkled throughout.  
Although every adoption story is different, I really related to much of what she had to say in response to my questions.

I hope you enjoy!

What led you to adoption and specifically domestic adoption?

Simply put, we wanted to be parents. After we were married in 2004, we spent a little more than a year trying to conceive "the old fashioned way" before seeking medical treatment. We tried that for awhile - with increasing intervention, stress, and disappointment - before deciding that we were more comfortable pursuing adoption than IVF. So, we began researching our adoption options.

I realize now that we had many outdated and incorrect perceptions of adoption, in each of its various forms. The more we learned about open adoption, the more excited we became. 

Since few international adoptions are open, we focused on domestic. I also dreamed of parenting a newborn.

What surprised you the most about the adoption process?

There were lots of surprises along the way. 

One not-so-nice surprise was how uncomfortable it felt working to "market" ourselves and my insecure, illogical urge to assess our attractiveness compared to other hopeful parents. On tough days, it was hard to remind myself that open adoption is about empowering people with information and choices. And, rather than worrying about being perfect, instead we needed to present our wacky, idiosyncratic, imperfect selves for the "right" potential birth parent(s) to select us.

A more positive surprise is how much we came to love and respect our son's birth mom (perhaps partly because many of our "flaws" appealed to her?). I wouldn't have anticipated that we would really like to have more visits and contact with her than she does with us.

I noticed that your adoption is open, did you have any reservations about having an open relationship with your son's birth family?  What does that relationship look like now?

Sure. And I still do. It can be messy, and frustrating, and disappointing, and emotionally hard sometimes. But so far, the rewards for our child - and ourselves! - are worth it.

At this point, though we've only had four visits in three years, we have pretty frequent contact with our son's birth mother, V. We connect with her at least as much as we do most of our family and other close friends. We text probably once a week and talk about once a month. Also, we are Faceb*ok friends, and she posts frequently, so we have that kind of odd window into her life. (Sometimes I wish I didn't know what she was up to on a Friday night!)  I also set up a private group on Faceb*ok called "Watch Him Grow!" to share photos and such.

We have never met his birth father or anyone on that side of D's family. 

Until recently, our only contact has been with V. However, this summer we were honored and delighted to be invited to her wedding. There, we connected with her extended family for the first time. There is LOTS I want to write about that, but I am still thinking about how I might do that while respecting their privacy...

What has God taught you through adoption?

Adoption has taught me a great deal, mostly about myself. Through my struggles with our infertility and waiting to adopt, I learned how even some things that I really, really want are out of my control. This is both frustrating and liberating.

I've also learned a lot about other people. I found support in some unexpected places (including from many Internet strangers). Through the compassion I received, I've learned to be more empathetic and how better to abide by people who are in pain. 

I learned how loving and strong my wonderful husband is. I learned to put aside many of my fears and trust that together we could handle what comes our way.

And, I've learned that even if he didn't come from my body, another human being - the son I love so much - can run around with my heart on his sleeve.

Did you do any special fundraisers or apply for grants that helped fund your adoption?


Have you been asked any awkward/funny questions or comments that you would like to share?

Of course. Though, at least as a momma through adoption, I didn't have to endure strangers feeling entitled to touch my pregnant belly! Sometimes I am shocked by what people say or ask. ("Can his real mom take him back?"  "I don't understand how anyone could give up her child." "You look great for having a two week old!") But I realize that most of the awkward comments and questions come from ignorance and are actually well intentioned. So, I adjust my responses in that light. 

I've found that as D gets older, the weird questions are fewer and further between, and that I feel less compelled to share how he joined our family with random people than I was initially. The other day, the dentist commented that D must get his good teeth from me. I laughed and reminded the doc that he has his birth parents' traits rather than mine because I think genetics is relevant in a medical situation. People tell us all the time how much D looks like his daddy...which I don't really see, but I know it's because they can tell how connected my guys are. Whereas once I would have explained more, now I respond by simply commenting that I know they are both adorable.

Thanks, Kristen, for taking the time to answer my questions!  I've enjoyed getting to know you!

Check out the other interviews by clicking here.



Made with Love {ugly painting turned word art}

This project has been all around Pinterest for a while, so when I saw this "interesting" artwork at a garage sale, I snatched it up to give it a try. 
It was $2.

I bought some vinyl letters at Lowe's.
They totaled $6.

I laid them out how I wanted them.

Stuck them on.

Spray painted the entire thing with paint I already had.
Waited as long as I could for it to dry...I hate this part.  I never wait as long as I should.

And carefully peeled off the vinyl.

Since my artwork wasn't actually a painting but a print, the vinyl tore some of the "painting" off, but I actually love how it looks.

If you look closely, you can see a nice layer of dust on the black credenza...
I take every opportunity I get to use the word credenza.

So go find the ugliest painting you can find and make something beautiful out of it.



Happy Anniversary to the guy who knows all about me and loves me just the same.



Sam's Story {the hospital}

Since the kid is almost 2 months old, I figured it was time to post some of Sam's newborn hospital pictures.
He looks completely different now, it's crazy!

Max and Sam were born in the same city, but in different hospitals.
Therefore, our experiences were a little different.
With Max, we were able to stay at the hospital over night.
With Sam, we had to get a hotel and loosely abide by visitors' hours. 
We would try to get there around 10 in the morning and leave after we fed him around 8 at night. 

Honestly, it was kind of like a vacation.
We ate out or Wes would go get us some food.
We did a little shopping for our surprise bundle.
We had two nights alone at a hotel.
It was a sweet, sweet time of rest before our new reality kicked in.

I remember feeling like I had no idea what I was doing.
There is something about being in a hospital that makes me feel insecure about how to be a mom.
I felt like I was being watched...not in a bad way, but maybe because of the situation.
People are curious and perhaps a little intrigued with this newly-formed relationship.

We learned quickly that Sam pouted his lip like a pro when he cried.
He loved his pacifier.
He was a crazy good eater.
And he loved to be held.


We were slightly nervous about our 2 hour car ride home, but the pacifier saved the day.  
We are so thankful for the time we were given at the hospital to love on and get to know our precious Samuel .


Mickey Mouse Rocked Our House

Mickey Mouse showed up at our house yesterday.

It's too bad Max wasn't here to meet him.

He loves Mickey.

He will be so disappointed.

Oh well, maybe next time...

And just so Max believes me when I tell him, I got a picture with the cute little mouse.  

Linking up with Emily


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