Growing the Love Through Open Adoption

 

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It’s funny how things turn out.  My husband and I always knew we were meant to adopt children.  It was even a topic of conversation on our first date!  What we didn’t know was how much our children were meant to adopt us.  They made our lives have meaning.

Frick and Frack* were placed in foster care at three months old.  They were “lucky” in that they were with the same foster family for the first 2 ½ years of their lives.

Meanwhile, my husband and I were planning adoption.  What age range ware we able to take?  What gender?  What interests?  What special needs?  What extent of trauma?  The questions are overwhelming.  We decided to adopt a sibling group between 4 and 10 years old…no, make that 4-8…we’ve never been parents before, so a 10 year old might be difficult to adjust to… but what if there is a 3 year old in a sibling group Finally we decided on an age range of 3-8 years old.  We were told about Frick and Frack, a pair of 2 year 10 month old boy/girl twins of Columbian and African American descent, and all of our “rules and plans” went out the window.

Here’s what we’ve learned about kids and adoption:

  • Kids are not predictable and they don’t fit into a box.
  • Kids are people with a past, a present, and a future.
  • Adoptions are messy.  There are lots of people involved and everyone has a different opinion from the kids, to the birth parents, to the social workers, to the judge.
  • Adoptions take a lot of patience, but it’s worth the wait.

And then there are the open adoption agreements…I know, cringe!  Frick and Frack had an open adoption agreement for 2 visits per year with both their birth mother and birth father.  This is a huge consideration.  Is an open adoption agreement right for our family?  Will the children bond with us when there is continued contact with their birth family?  Will the visits help them or harm them in the long run?  When it came down to it, we could either take these beautiful children with an open adoption agreement or say no to adopting them.  There was no question.

We basically freaked out before our first visit with the birth father.  Call us crazy, but we rented a car so that he would not know our license plate and see us driving around.  The first visit was awkward to say the least.  It was two hours of watching someone try to build a relationship, but we all got through it. Then, the next visit was easier and then the one after that was even easier.

One day in May, magic happened!

The adoption went through for our family AND Frick and Frack’s younger siblings were adopted by another family and we could have visits together.  The kids now play with each other at different venues three times a year while the parents talk and visit.  We talk about the kids’ similarities, our different parenting styles, how they are so bonded as “cousins”.  We couldn’t ask for more.  We truly feel that we have an extended family in the birth family, the other adoptive family, and the children’s birth siblings.  What a way to grow a family!

 


About the Family
We are a family with a Dad, Mom, 9 year old boy, 9 year old girl and a 9 year old dog.  We are currently waiting to be matched to add one or two more children to our family.  We enjoy spending time together camping, reading Harry Potter out loud, watching/playing the kids sports activities and we are very active in our church.

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