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I realize now that we had many outdated and incorrect perceptions of adoption, in each of its various forms.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.



  1. Thanks for doing this! Just yesterday I tried googling "adoption stories." Stories such as this one are hope-giving, informative, and tend to address the areas that I worry about. Thank you both!

  2. Love these answers~ I'm really looking forward to reading all the other interviews! Thanks for sharing!



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