Open adoption changed my world when I was 16 years old. It was my compromise– while I wanted to parent I knew open adoption was the best option for us at that point in my life. Now over 14 years later it is still the best decision I have ever made in my life (aside from entrusting Jesus into my heart!). Our open adoption may look different than others, as it is extremely open and may not be what is best for every situation. But, for us, it has been a blessing and worked well. Her amazing adoptive parents have always included me in their lives from the beginning as an important extended family.
The first two years of her life, we often visited monthly. I found it really helped with my grief (along with counseling!) to see how happy she was and how fast she was growing and they told me how they wanted to share these moments with me as much as possible out of gratitude and joy. I would stay weekends with them, getting to enjoy baby feedings and sweet snuggles, and even babysitting. I loved these formattable years getting to know her adoptive parents deeply, building the relationship foundation that we stand on today. As the years have progressed, we still enjoy visits on average 3 times a year as our schedule allows. Now that she is a teenager, our own bond is forming stronger and even more freedom of visits and communication make my day! We go with the flow with what works, sometimes that is more or less depending on what’s going on in our lives. It is constant evaluation and communication for what is best for everyone.
After placing my birth daughter at 16 years old, I went on to graduate college, marry my love, and we now have 5 children of our own. When I’m not changing diapers or folding mountain ranges of laundry, I can be found writing for various websites as a freelance writer, designing social media graphics– and hopefully chatting with people like you! I’m a coffee mug collector, an essential oil smeller, and lover of deep conversations– especially about Jesus.