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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/02/2010 in Posts

  1. 6 points
    I have been thinking about this post for a few days. First thank you Elizabeth for your kind words and wisdom!! I know that this time around for us we have tried to be more "laid" back and know that in God's perfect timing we will find the right family to join ours. I will admit that it has been harder than I first anticipated. I am not sure why really not sure what I was expecting to happen, I guess we only have our first expierience to compare it too and we only spoke to two expectant moms and were chosen by the first one I spoke to. (I know no two adoption stories are the same but when it is all you know you can't help but compare the two) I have more fears/worries than I thought I would, I thought the fear of not being chosen would be gone but it was just laying dormant I guess. I worry that all the expectant parents will want their child to be the first in the family or that we are "too old" to them. I know that these are mostly irrational and I know parents that have adopted that are older than we are and that have more children than we do. I can say that we are good most days but the fears do sneak in some days. Another fear I have is that I am such a shy and reserved person that my phone calls with the expectant parents are to short and that they don't get a good feel for us. It takes me a while to warm up to people and I have been this way my entire life, I try my best to open up and have good conversations but I am not sure that they always come across this way. I do hope that more future birth families will consider againers and remember that giving their child a family often times includes a sibling, and that is a great blessing too! I know I wouldn't know what to do with out my younger brother. I have been wondering if we should update or profile and include more about how we are ready to welcome another child and their first family into ours. I guess I will think some more before making any hasty decisions.
  2. 6 points
    Leslie, You may think you are "shielding" your parents but I really believe (at least from my perspective) that most parents don't want to be shielded. I am enormously grateful that Melissa and Steven chose to make me a part of all aspects of their journey, both the good and the sad. Melissa asked me to start reading the forum from the first day she discovered Abrazo. It doesn't take long reading the journeys to truly believe in open adoption. No, it is not the way adoption was addressed when we were growing up, but it is clearly better. I'm not sure I would have grasped that as fast as I did if not for the forum. As you know, they had two matches that failed. Yes, I cried tons of tears for both but was so grateful, again, that the through reading the forum I could see the avatars of those who had experienced similar failed placements and see the precious babies who found their way to them. How do you explain something like this to your parents? Especially while you are grieving? That is why I personally think it would be enormously helpful to allow them to read the forum or copy someone's story and let them read it. The more knowledge we have the better we also understand and process. I will also say that because Melissa and Steven allowed me to meet Bianca early on, she feels very much like part of our family. God forbid that anything should ever happen to M and S, but at least Bianca and I have a great relationship and I would do everything in my power to continue the open adoption! How would I understand the importance of all this, especially early on, if not for the helpful information I've received from all I've read? I'm not sure just hearing it from Melissa's mouth would be enough for me to grasp all that is involved from all sides. As for feeling I lost something because Oliver isn't biological, well I can honestly say that has never crossed my mind but I can see how it might for some. My best advice would be to talk, talk, talk to your parents and make them as much a part of every piece of the journey as possible. Don't shield them from anything. Allow them to grow in knowledge as you have. Help them help you!! And remember, there is nothing like holding your grandchild to erase any pain experienced up to that point
  3. 6 points
    Welcome to our family baby girl! I've been praying for a long time that you will find your home in the arms of James and Christy. They have been through a lot and will love you more than you will ever know. Imagine the future... You will grow up knowing your whole family. I bet you’ll be a well traveled little lady. Your big brother Benny will watch over you. In fact, I bet he'll be super protective! Soon enough we'll be down to visit and give you a zillion little butterfly kisses. (Although I'm ready to pack up today and squeeze those cheeks of yours today!) James and Christy - Whenever I spoke with Mama R, it was clear that she understood the pain that was in your hearts. As strong as she is, she can also be very compassionate. I love how she embraces the concept of adoption with such conviction. Elizabeth, Audra and Brianna – You sure know how to make magic happen! Thank you for supporting Mama R as she chose her path. We will forever be grateful for bringing us all together and showing us the power of love through open adoption. All our love, Carine and Jim Krull Benny, almost 2! – 1st n 10 Kimmy Jo, 4 – InDecision 08
  4. 5 points
    I was thinking today about how blessed Abrazo is to have as many againers as we do, and how I wish more prospective birthparents would consider againers when choosing parents for their babies. Parents who are placing typically prefer childless couples because it assures them they are changing a couple's lives in a way that nobody else can. They feel it makes their sacrifice more meaningful, on some level. Some wish to only choose childless couples because they want their baby to be the firstborn in the family. And still others feel more secure with couples whose level of adoption experience is akin to their own. They don't want to worry about whether they (or the child they're placing) will measure up to another birthparent, or another adopted child already in the home. This may seem unfair to those who are seeking to adopt a second time. Yet if you think about it, if you're going to a baby shower, you want to be the first person who thought to bring the parents-to-be a Bumbo, not the second or third. No matter how gracious the shower honoree may be, you're probably not going to feel your gift was just as appreciated if yours wasn't their first. That's just human nature... and that's the challenge faced by couples in the open adoption process a second or third time. Parents who are willing to place with couples who are already parenting are sometimes older, themselves. Many are parenting more than one child, and thus they recognize the value of placing with someone with proven parenting skills. (Occasionally, in rare instances, the adoptive parents' parenting skills may create a "make or break" situation with a prospective placing parent who has their own definition of "well-managed children" so keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to bring your child/ren along when visiting the prospective birthfamily before placement.) Abrazo's staff does counsel with prospective birthparents who are considering adopting couples, to help ascertain what's important to them and how to best find the family who will meet their needs. We do routinely encourage expectant parents to consider those who have adopted with us before by pointing out that one's best indicator of a couple's commitment to openness is often reflected in the relationship they have with the child they adopted previously. Yet more important than the agency's input is the adopting couple, themselves; their ease in speaking with prospective birthparents, their openness to a variety of placement factors (race, gender, age, lifestyle) and their commitment to open adoption and ongoing contact after placement. It's important for returning adopters to anticipate the questions or concerns that prospective birthparents may have and address those openly, whether in the profile one creates or on the phone calls that one takes. Help prospective birthparents understand the special place that awaits their child in your home, and how uniquely treasured each child you raise will be in your family. Offer a "reference" from the birthparent of the child you've adopted already, by including a testimonial written by your child's birthparent(s) in your profile. Ask the birthmom of the child you're parenting if she might be willing to serve as a special support person for the expectant parent with whom you match, if appropriate. And while you wait, know that the waiting does serve a purpose, even when it gets so discouraging. Whether you placed quickly or slowly the first time around has no bearing whatsoever on the second (or third) go-round. If your profile doesn't seem to draw the desired response, switch it up! If the mothers who ask to speak with you don't seem to "fit" your expectations for your next match, draw a wider circle of prospects by doing some additional advertising online. Get proactive! It's STILL a matter of "not if, but when!" so square those shoulders, thank Heavens for the child/ren you already have, and keep the faith! Your next son or daughter is going to find you... all in due time.
  5. 5 points
    I always love going back and seeing posts like these... nobody had any clue sweet Madelyn was just a little over a week away from making her grand entrance when this post was written.
  6. 5 points
    Yes, Thank you for posting the reminders! Like Monica I also have all these fears but my hubby tries to keep me in line! lol I have to say I have certain days or weeks where I wish I would know what is going to happen and other weeks that just fly by! I am like Monica I am more reserved and I find it hard to really get to know someone in such a short amount of time and it being on the phone doesn't help things. I feel as though most of my conversations this time around have gone well with that being said. A few weeks ago we visited Alexis and she had asked how our adoption this time around was going. I told her we had talked with some expectant Mom's and told her how things were going. This lead to how she had picked us. I had asked her before but she didn't really give me her true down to the heart answer if you know what I mean. This means so much to me. So with this being said I will wait until our next child's Mom has a moment of pure peace that their child should be with us. I took 3 years to hear this but it was definitely worth the wait. It really changed my perspective for this time around.
  7. 5 points
    I'm here rooting you all on!!! Againers are awesome! It is different the second time around. Some things are harder, some are easier but there will be a family that needs YOU just as you are!!! Our 2nd adoption doesn't fit any of the typical scenarios above. They were very young not older, they were first time parents. Yet they needed us ... they'd been through every profile in our agency in WA before we submitted our profile. Someone out there is going to need Monica, Melissa, Carrisa, Beth (I can't remember all the guys names but them too) and all those of you who are againers but didn't post Lynn & Brent.... and many others. It's still not if but when. Excited to see your journeys unfold.
  8. 5 points
    Mari, I just wanted to tell you that you are such a blessing to this community. Your insight and wisdom are so valuable. You always have a level head and loving heart in the words you share, and I appreciate you so much! Thank you for taking the time to be a part of the forum.
  9. 5 points
    From the days of the Pilgrims and the Indians, this week has been one in which it's customary to stop and count one's blessings, and for one Midwestern couple from our BGE&s orientation weekend of 4/12, the memory of this Thanksgiving week's blessings will forever be woven into the tapestry of their family story! For the birthparents of their new baby boy found their way to our agency thanks to a referral from another Abrazo birthmom from a few years back, and when they first came to Abrazo, their son's first mom said she knew from the moment she saw their profile that they were the family of her dreams. They've become so close over the past few months that the adoptive parents were the only people she felt she could trust to watch her other five children while she was in the hospital giving birth (and what a crash course in parenting they've gotten over the weekend! We trust these well-broken-in new parents will find caring for "just" one newborn considerably easier.) We are infinitely grateful that these dear people all found each other, and we hope theirs is a lasting friendship for which the son they now share will be forever thankful, as well. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
  10. 5 points
    When our youngest graduates from high school, my husband will be 67 and I will be 60! YIKES! Do we think about being older parents? You betcha. And, we do everything in our power to "stay young" and plan for the future -- the kids' and ours. We are forever grateful to Abrazo for being one of the very few adoption agencies that didn't immediately write us off the books for our ages when we first started our journey to being a family in 1997. But, the reality of the situation is that there ARE many age-related things we now must consider if we truly want to be the best parents possible for our girls. Serious things, like maintaining life insurance, having a good financial plan in place, updating wills and designations of beneficiaries, determining guardianships, and keeping physically fit. And, there are some light-hearted things too, like knowing what Dubstep is, dealing with grey hair (and no hair!), understanding that Flo Rida isn't the same as Florida, staying awake past 8:30 p.m., dealing with menopause (and MAN-opause!) symptoms at the same time the girls are PMSing, and graciously coping with being called "Nana" by the Walmart cashier (AARGH!). In fact, probably one of the most eye-opening experiences I ever had as an "older" mom came when I was on a school field trip with our youngest daughter's class. I rode in the car with another child's mom, who lamented the entire way about her upcoming birthday. When I asked her how old she was going to be, she sadly said, "Twenty-nine. Next year I'll be 30 years old!" To which I took a deep breath and announced, "Wow! Can you believe that my husband and I were married the same year you were born?!" Yee-haw! Viva the Mature Mamas of this world!
  11. 5 points
    I can't imagine being in a position where I needed to choose a family... put all my faith in this family... to raise my child, never knowing if the things they told me about themselves (their family history, their medical history, their aptitude to be parents, etc) was true. The leap of faith that takes far surpasses any leap of faith I think APs have to make. Sure, we go through home studies and all of that... but how do they know if the promises we make are true? They have to put their faith in us. We're taking on a lifelong responsibility to raise a child, so of course we hope for a healthy child if it's possible. That BP certainly hopes their child is healthy, too... that's just love. But they put their faith in us that we won't betray them, won't raise their child in secrecy, won't shut them out... there are certain things they can choose on the front end, but the blind faith it takes to hand complete control over to someone else and just believe in them has to be so tough. That's just personally how I feel as an AP. It's impossible for us to write down what we want on a piece of paper and then cast the bottle out into the sea and wait for that "perfect" situation to float back to us. We all daydream... we fantasize about what our child might be like or look like... we lose our train of thought in the middle of the day thinking about how "ideal" we hope our open adoption situation is. But the truth is... when APs get that phone call... hopefully, when they hear that a child needs them, they forget "perfect." Hopefully the APs talk about the things that are REALLY important to them... what they can handle vs. what they've dreamed about... and then they take a humongous leap of faith. Our leaps of faith are different, and while we can all pick and choose certain things, the real decision lies with the birthparent who has to ultimately decide if the APs she chose for her child are the people she really wants to raise her child. She puts faith in us that we'll do a good job and that we'll have that door propped open forever so that even if contact is too hard right now, or her life isn't condusive to contact right now, she can watch her child grow up when it's possible. For PIWs, I think the daydreaming makes us feel more committed and more linked to open adoption promises. We start broadening our minds, thinking, "oh, if my relationship could be like theirs, I could do this." At least that opens up our minds to think and reconsider what once might have sounded scary. Then, hopefully, the more we all realize that EVERY situation is different, the more we begin to trust in ourselves that we can do this... no matter what hardship may arise. If I learned nothing else at all from this experience, it's that when your baby is placed in your arms, the challenges are somehow pushed far into the background. When you're witnessing a woman's pain, there is no "ideal." In open relationships, when times get tough (because undoubtedly, times will get tough somehow, some way along the road) there is this child in your life calling you "mommy" who counts on you... and somehow, it gives you the strength to "do right" by that child in any way you can, if openness truly matters to you. Elizabeth has written many times that in an "ideal" world, adoption wouldn't exist at all. We'd be fertile and able to have biological children. Birth parents wouldn't be plagued with hardships that make placement plans their best options. Children would grow up with their biological families and wouldn't experience loss. But "it is what it is" and so we all do the best with what God has planned for us... because birth or adoptive parent... it's my opinion because of my faith that we can plan and plan and plan... but when God has something in store for us, if we listen carefully with open hearts, we'll all get exactly what we need. The subject of this thread is "Selecting the Right Family for YOUR BABY" and I think that puts things in the right perspective. Selecting the right adoptive parents is a gift that birth parents get to give their children. It's so easy to forget (I oftentimes do) that adoption isn't about what I get out of this relationship... it's about Ollie's birthmama choosing people she felt would raise her son in a way she could be proud of. It's about me living up to those promises and providing Oliver with the best life possible... one that affords him the ability to stay strongly connected to the family who made his life possible.
  12. 5 points
    My experience.. When I spoke to the AP's I picked it just "felt right" on a personal level! I didn't know what to expect when I called. I was sure they were going to be just as nervous as I was. They were the 2nd PIW I spoke to and on our subsequent conversations I felt connected to her as a friend. I thought that if I met her outside this situation that we could be friends. The 2nd thing that made me feel wonderful is that they felt the need to connect to their current child's BP's. Even though those BP's had chose not to continue an open relationship w/ them they continue to send pictures, letters, etc to the agency. That made me feel like they really wanted this to be an open adoption, do what's best for their son and that it wasn't just an "easy" way to obtain a child/family for themselves. The 1st couple I spoke to were very nice and had never adopted before. When I asked about how open they wanted their adoption to be they were unsure. They weren't certain as to when they would tell the child they were adopted and how they would tell him. That concerned me and I never called them back. When I finally met them and their son, there was no doubt that if I were to go through w/ the adoption, this family was sent to me and I was sent to them. Once they met my older children, they took them under their wings and embraced them. They made them feel included and assured them they would always be a part of their brothers life. Although it hasn't been very long since they have taken my son home, they have exceeded every expectation I could imagine. I hope this helps some BP's.
  13. 4 points
    Monica, your profile is fine! Not to worry... if we thought it needed revisions, we'd have Brianna tell you so (and so for those who have gotten that advice from Brianna, please know that she's only the messenger, and remember that we are still waiting for your "new, improved" look!) The road to one's second or third child is invariably a different voyage than the journey to one's first. The second (or third) time around, you have the benefit of knowledge and experience that you didn't before. And yes, the second (or third) time around, you're not just wiser but older, too, and that can present new worries of its own, sometimes. Yet the "right" birthparent will be that expectant parent who looks at your profile or hangs up the phone after a call with you and says "yep-- they're the ones!" and whose relationship with you enables you to share that same sense of destiny at some point in the ensuing match. The expectant parent who is looking for a couple straight out of college or young enough to run triathalons or wanting to raise an only child isn't going to fit your needs any more than you'll fit hers, in the big picture. So don't doubt yourselves. Expand your expectations of what "sort" of situation or child or birthmama might fit, if need be? (Remember: "if you build it, they will come.") Do what you can with the opportunities that come your way. Work on connecting better in those initial phone calls, if you need to. Keep up with homework and don't forget to keep up with date night, too. And start including in your prayers now that special birthparent-to-be. She's out there somewhere already, she who is meant to find you someday, and she's going to need you to have held out and waited faithfully for her and her child to enter your lives, through whatever seasons and tides it takes to unite you. It's just a matter of time and all will, undoubtedly, prove to have been worth the wait when it's all said and done.
  14. 4 points
    I think Melissa said it better than I can. I can't imagine the difficulty BP's face in essentialy trusting complete strangers with their most precious child. As an AP, not being selected by a BP would feel like rejection, however, we would completely understand. They have to do what they feel is right and not rush into something that are not completely on board with. This is one of the biggest decisions of their life and we would expect nothing less. From the beginning Tim and I wanted it to be the right match and not match with the first BP that was interested in us just because we want to be parents. When you are new to adoption, you dont really understand what that means. Yes, we clicked with our first match, however we never had any difficult or intense conversations. Some things about the situation seemed to point to it being the right match for us, so we moved forward. Things fell through at time of placement and in hind-sight, I can see some things that I may have missed. We should have had those difficult conversations. As difficult as it was and as much as I worry about that baby, I wouldn't change a thing. It was clearly God's plan for us to learn from and grow stronger. We know He had a different plan for us. A plan that was already in the works, we just didn't know it. With our current match, Ellen was a friend of ours before we knew she may be a birthparent. We clicked from the beginning and had so much in common. Since our relationship was rooted in pre-match friendship, I think we both felt a real connection and have a deeper level of trust and friendship already established. We always felt at ease maintaining our friendship, because we had thought that because we lived at a distance, we didn't fit her criteria as a prospective adoptive couple. We often talk about how we both feel God is watching over this friendship. I don't like using the term birthparent when talking to my friends, because thats not what she is to me. She is Ellen, my dessert twin, who loves the Seahawks (unfortunately), works hard for her family and is working toward becoming a teacher. I look forward to texting with her every day and I love our weekend conversations, even if they keep me up past my bedtime. We are open and honest about everything. We talk to each other like we have been friends for years. I am glad that our match is longer, so we can grow our trust with her and show her that we WILL live up to the things we discuss. I imagine at some point we will have a bump in the road, but since we do have open communication, we will get through it. Wether or not she choses to place, she is my friend and I will support her. Even though we only spoke to Ellen pre-match, we have since had the opportunity to speak with Sergio and establish a relationship. We look forward to meeting him and seeing Ellen soon! Leslie
  15. 4 points
    Yes, it's good times! The nice thing was that we referenced our old application a lot to help with some of the details. It was interesting to see how we answered the questions in what I'd call the essay portion of the app...and then to think of how our views had changed after going through the adoption process once. For instance, I vividly remember the question on what contact info we'd share with a birthfamily and the first time we answered it something like "we'd share our email address". I'm sure we were afraid of being bombarded via phone, mail, and a visit on our doorstep by a birthmom looking for her child back in a couple years...um silly us! We had a lot to learn but I can look back at some of those responses and worries and see how we've grown in the 3+ years since we first started looking into adoption. I didn't really enjoy filling out ALL the paperwork again but understood why we needed to and it was kinda fun to reflect on where we were in the past and where we've come to now. Jocelyn, you sound like us. It was pretty neat to see how much we had "grown" in our adoption views. We also had put something like we would give out our email. We have learned so much and why it is so important for Garrett to have the relationship that we are growing with his birthmom. I would never have guessed that she would have been to our home and that we would have the type of relationship that we have. We were silly weren't we! So here's to all of us who have grown and opened our minds and our hearts!!
  16. 4 points
    I've been wanting to jump in and post on this for a while but I wanted to have an actual computer to do it on, not a smartphone! Voila! I acquired my desired medium so I'll put my two cents in. 1) This is why I needed to make adoption plans when I did... When I found out I was pregnant, I was 17 and a few months shy of graduating high school. My father had already told me (after I got caught sneaking out a few times) that if I got pregnant he would kick me out of the house. Well, sure enough I was late. I couldn't go to the doctor since I was only 17 and still under the Medicaid my grandma had for us. I decided to ignore it, assuming it would go away. The baby started kicking, I ignored it. I had taken 5 or 6 home pregnancy tests and I knew I was pregnant. I hid it from my family. I had already been accepted to the university I wanted to go to, and we had already paid the commitment fee. I was terrified. I knew that I wasn't ready to be a parent, emotionally or physically. I had no transportation, no money, no job, I shared my room at home with my sister, no maturity and no boyfriend. I didn't have anyone I could turn to. My best friend tried convincing me to keep the baby but I didn't listen to her because I knew what I was doing was best. Sure, I could have lived at home and had my grandma help me raise the baby while I went off to college but I didn't want that. I didn't want my baby to grow up on food stamps. moving all the time and having to have a step daddy like I did growing up. I could barely cook or get up early in the morning; how was I supposed to wake up 5 or 6 times a night to take care of a baby? I was too self-centered to be a parent and I was mature enough (ironically) to admit that. I prayed fervently about it and God let me know that what I was doing was right for the baby's sake. I wanted to graduate college. I wanted to experience life as a young adult. His father was abusive. Not to the point where I was scared for my life or bruised, but he was very controlling and put his hands on me. My daddy always taught me that if a man hit me once, that was two times too many. I wasn't going to bring a child up around that. I wanted the baby to be able to have all the things children need (and then some) that I didn't get growing up. I wanted my baby to have a better childhood than I ever did. 2) This is how I found Abrazo & why I chose this agency... I was initially matched with a couple in a semi-open adoption through a completely different agency. The semi-openness was their idea, because it was all they were comfortable with. I was "okay" with that because at the agency I was with, I was only able to see three profiles because nobody else was interested in a half Caucasian- half Hispanic baby. I started with that agency in late August and wasn't even able to see profiles for about three weeks. I was desperate, I guess you could say. I was talking to my campus minister about my situation, which she thought was absurd! She knows Elizabeth and gave me her number or email (I can't remember which). I contacted her initially to reach out to some birth mothers. The one I spoke to the most was Elicia, and she told me all about how wonderful Abrazo is and what true open adoption is! She let me know that I didn't have to settle for a semi-open adoption, that I could get the contact with my child I deserved. I talked to her for a long while and we looked at some profiles online. I found the family I loved and we spoke on the phone! The other agency wouldn't let me have phone access until we were matched and I had already met them in person. I was sold after speaking to the people who would ultimately raise my son on the phone. I was in awe of the connection we formed! I switched agencies. Although I knew what I was doing was right it was very hard for me to tell my caseworker that I was going with Abrazo. The wonderful Abrazochicks offered to do it for me, but I had grown close to this woman and wanted to tell her myself. It was very emotionally draining for me but I have not regretted it for a second. I am going to be a returning birth mother, after all. I adore Abrazo. 3) This is how my decisions have benefitted my child... There isn't one way it hasn't benefitted my son! He's so smart and thriving. He has everything I could never give him and he is the perfect little boy. His parents are wonderful. 4) This is the encouragement I'd offer others in my shoes... Wow, this is kind of a tough one. I would tell a woman in my shoes to go with her gut. If she knows it is the best choice for her child then nobody can shame her! I would tell her that it is the hardest emotional pain you will ever go through, but little by little your life starts being colorful again and you remember how to laugh. There are still going to be tender and raw moments even years later but the satisfaction of seeing what you did for your child will far outweigh any hurt or heartbreak you will endure. It is a tough time but stick with the openness or you will regret it. There is nothing better than seeing your worst fears vanish and your dreams come alive! Adoption allows you and your child the opportunity to have better lives and it will be, in a bittersweet way, one of the best decisions you will ever make for your child. It's hard to write down exactly what I would say, but I feel it would be easier to talk to one of these precious women on the phone. I'll always take a phone call, email, text or pm!
  17. 4 points
  18. 4 points
    We Skyped with Victor and Julie's bps for the first time today. It went SO well. The kids were much more engaged in the conversation and you could tell it meant alot to Stacey and David! Julie said her ABCs for them and Victor read them a book....even held the book so they could see the pics!
  19. 4 points
    I say a prayer every night for God to lead is in the direction we are meant to go. I too learned that God had a different plan for our family long ago. What a wonderful plan he had. Faith is a very strong thing! Still wondering if he has more plans for our family.
  20. 4 points
    Makes perfect sense, right? I think that's why so many of us out-of-towners want our kids to have Texas pride. That's why we invest in the Longhorns gear, Don't Mess with Texas t-shirts, etc. And it's why we plan our annual trek there! I know it's to a much lesser degree, but it's still parallel. As good adoptive parents, you should want your child to be proud of where they came from - their heritage, their roots, their culture. Kinda hard to do that when the child hasn't experienced their place of birth first-hand!
  21. 4 points
    I have been trying really hard not to respond because I think even at Abrazo, we still have plenty of clients who still think this way, at least initially, and that pains me to admit it. Yet... it's all too easy to forget that expectant parents living within ideal circumstances rarely need to place. (And that children who were once adopted still need their parents to honor their primal connection to "chain-smoking bar hopping birthparents with lots of drama" just as much as those whose birthparents are good Christians from good families.) Obviously, some adoptive parents struggle with entitlement issues, and need to view themselves or their life choices as being of a superior quality to those of their child's birthparent/s. But can you imagine the unspoken message that is relayed (and repeated) to the adoptee, who grows up understanding they ultimately were someone's "mistake"? Much of what is unspoken in the comments of "Future Adoptive Family" has to do with eugenics, and the idea of "better stock" (and those attitudes are still alive and well in the greater adoption community today, unfortunately.) Let's be honest: most adoptive families DO come to the adoption process hoping for a "smooth" (read: drama-free) placement experience, and some do expect to be protected by a hermetically-sealed bubble that exempts them from the effects of the dramatic circumstances surrounding those who must place. Those are the ones who are "fine with openness"... so long as none of the chaos of their child's birthparents' lives impacts them, as well. And most birthparents who place are likewise hoping that their child's life will be free of drama, too, and they don't expect their future to be affected by chaos in the adoptive parents' lives, because they've generally been assured that the people to whom they are entrusting their child are more stable and secure than they themselves are. But the ideal situation in open adoption, in my mind, is for an adopting family and a placing family to appreciate that their contrasting circumstances do not compromise their shared commitment to a child's welfare... that the differences in their background need not define their friendship... and that the child for whom they are both responsible will ultimately grow up to reflect the very best of whom both families are, in this life.
  22. 4 points
    Monica, you know how blessed we feel to have you and your girls, and of course the cutest little man in our lives! Not a day goes by that we don't think of you and pray for you and are thankful for you. We are as committed as ever to make the best of a difficult situation... we are so aware of the pain you feel. We know that we weren't brought together by accident and we look forward to a future of watching these beautiful boys grow up together with you in our lives. We feel such excitement when we hear how Aria and Elida are excelling in school and sports and all the sweet things they say and do. They are great big sisters. When we think of how you all embrace not only Nico but Luke also it really touches our heart.
  23. 3 points
    Mandi, Sounds like you are on the right track, and Hannah and Karen have both shared some wonderful insight. I have found for me that admitting my weakness to God and asking Him to strengthen me and help me live the way he wants me to is very powerful. I don't believe God expects us to "do it," but rather it is what He does in and through us. Just being yielded to him which, like Karen said, is a day by day thing (even minute by minute sometimes). Your story reminds me of Joseph in the Old Testament who was falsely accused and put into prison in Eqypt where he seemed to be forgotten. (And this was after being betrayed by his own brothers and sold into slavery.) Then one day, God brought him out and lifted him to a position second only to Pharoah. When he was reunited with his brother later he told them that what they meant for evil, God used for good. I, too, went through a period of time where I was mad at God because I knew He could change my circumstances and yet He did not. But now I see that what seemed to be for bad was actually used for my good. I wish you so much joy and peace for your life.
  24. 3 points
    Mandi, I can only speak for myself here (I realize there are many different faiths/religious ideals represented on the forum!). I don't see myself as good or able to "earn" any religious favor with God. I think that He freely gives that to us, and that He is perfect because we are not! Then I try to live according to what I see in the Bible. For me I try to read and learn what it says, and then how I can apply that in my every day life. That being said, I fail every day and often have to ask forgiveness from others or from God and I believe He freely gives it no matter what we've done or where we've been. I think one of the best thing Christians can do is to be genuine and not feel like we have to fake being someone we are not. I think it is ok to admit where we are weak or have struggles. There are many things in my life that I can't understand why they happened. I have never had what happened to you, but we've had some sad things happen. The only thing I can put my hope in is that God is using those times to make me into the person He wants me to be and also to be able to help others who have gone through hard times. I heard someone once talk about our life being like a tapestry. Sometimes we can only see a thread here or there and it looks ugly and knotted, but at the end we'll be able to look back and see how all the bad and good was woven together to make a beautiful piece.
  25. 3 points
    Iam writing to just say how much open adoption has meant to me..when my daughter told me of her plans for her child i have to admit apart of me was screaming noooo...then after sitting and listening to her and knowing it was coming straight from her heart she wanted better for her child more then she could give him at the time...through our journey of looking for the right agency we discovered abrazo and iam glad we did our journey i have to admit was a hard one. just knowing that the baby wouldnt be with us on a day to day thing was hard enough for me to come to terms with..but deep down i worried about my daughter she just graduted high school..she wanted to take time off before following her dream of being a pastry chef ... would this keep her from it i wondered..would she be to hurt and long for this child she wanted to give up?... i asked her daily are you sure?...she always replied yes i am sure...so the phone call was made and an interview was set up...my daughters only request was that the family she choose would have to be from texas so it wouldn't be to far away so she could keep in contact and watch her child blossom.. i remember when the family's profile came in the mail from abrazo... my daughter was napping and i couldn't wait to see it. i opened the package and began to read and look at pictures of this potential family i honestly began to cry and my heart was screaming, yes this is the family...when my daughter woke i didnt say anything to her i just handed her the profile..i watched her as she read it with tears in her eyes she looked up and said this is the family i want... with that a phone went in and a phone call was set up between her and the potential family...the call came and my daughter was smiling and talking to this person on the other end of the phone ...then she asked would you like to talk to her and i said yes!...i talked to this person and it was as if i had known her and we were old friends just catching up...my heart was somewhat at peace...but i still hurt for my daughter, this decision was big huge...it will forever change her life as well as this other family..of course there's things going thru my head ..like all the what if questions...and who are they ...and the big question when can we meet?... when the meeting was set up they drove into see us and with them they brought my daughter's best friend, so in other words she got to grill them first...haha..seeing them as we walked up to them was at first a relief...whew, they look normal..my daughters friend cried seeing my daughter for the first time in months her belly had grown she looked beautiful...we all had dinner and talked about baby names and shared pictures..then it was time to go... i remember asking my daughter well?...whats up and all she could say was yes ...they are the ones...as our journey progressed and she came closer to her due date, i became scared honestly, this is my grandchild, my first...but the plan was made and i was going to support her plan ... when my daughter went into labor i called the family and as i recall, the daddy freaked out a little... its quite funny now thinking of it... the mommy remained calm and level headed as most women do, lol...as the hours went by waiting on the bundle of joy and watching my daughter go threw the hours of labor my heart broke, wishing i could take away the pain...when it was finally time to push..her 2 best friends were by her side and i was there too.. when he made his grand entrance into this world all i could do was cry and reach for my phone. i texted the parents "omg we have a baby"...not too long after that i went into the waiting room to see them...we all hugged and cried in joy that this little person would bring us all together...a forever family... on july 1st the adoption was made final, my daughtee's decision to be present i am guessing is for her closer to be at peace within herself...we had a great weekend meeting our new extended family, knowing that my grand child will be forever loved knowing he brought 2 families together... because of him makes my heart at peace... seeing my daughter look at her child with so much love knowing her choice was the right one for all involved makes me happy...and knowing that he will grow up knowing his journey knowing his birth mother makes me feel at peace... there will more to come i am sure as the years go by ... p.s. my daughter is following her dream to be a pastry chef which makes me happy and so very proud of her in many ways.