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Libby's Corner - Blog

Libby's Corenr

I am Dean Kirschner. Why "Libby's Corner?" This blog, actually, all of Adoption Makes Family, is a tribute to my mother who brought adoption to our family in 1956 when my older sister was adopted.

When my mother died in 1967, she left a legacy of love for children that transcended any biological connection. Having been only 8 years old at the time of her death, I do not recall hearing specific words about adoption from my mother. However, through the years, having many conversations with her friends and our family, I have learned so much about my mother's feelings toward children, toward adoption.

Personally, the experience of adoption has been in my life since my own birth. I'm the little brother of an older sister who was adopted at birth. Adoption was never a big deal in our family. We were all treated the same. Biologically conceived by our parents or adopted, there was never a sense for me that we were loved any differently.

I remember at my first home study meeting in preparation to adopt my first son. The social worker asked if I had any personal experience with adoption. My first reaction was a sense of connection. I lived with adoption all my life. I embrace adoption. Now, I am the father of two boys, both adopted.

Every day I realize how much I love my sons. I laugh with my sons. I play with my sons. I parent my sons. Some days there are frustrations. More days, there are fun and joyful times with my sons. Some days, I have had to be a disciplinarian. More days, I am the supporter, the advocate, the fixer, the helper, the confidant, the teacher, the guide, the safety net, the protector. To sum it up, I'm Dad.

My sons are adopted, yet we don't hold that term as a distinction of difference. We celebrate adoption as a means by which I became Dad and they became my children. When I introduce my sons, I introduce them as my sons. Introduce my sister as my sister. The stories of how we became a family are amazingly wonderful. We share our adoption stories proudly. The adoption stories speak to the excitement of becoming a sister, a brother, a son, a grandson, a cousin, a nephew.

I have spoken with my sister and my sons about their feelings about their birth parents and the adoption. No one has forgotten that they were adopted, because adoption is an open conversation in our family. However, there is no angst about adoption. We answer questions honestly and allow complete and open discussions about birth parents and their adoption story. There are no mysteries or secrets. There are stories of love, excitement and family.

As for how we get along as siblings, my sister and I have our disagreements. More often, we have our agreements. We have fought, loved, laughed, played. We are just normal siblings. I don't feel adoption plays into our relationship. We have had wonderful discussions about adoption and birth parents. However, when it comes down to just being brother and sister, we are just that. Brother and sister. My sister has actively reached out and chatted with birth mothers who have created an adoption plan with Adoption Makes Family.

My sons have the same type of relationship. They love like brothers. They fight like brothers. They protect each other and look out for each other. They are not biologically related. They are related through adoption. But, above all, they are brothers.

And so, I turn back to my mother, Libby. I learned from my mother the unconditional love for children. Starting in her own little corner of our family, she shaped me, my sister, my sons and our world. Hopefully, this blog, Libby's Corner, can do the same for you.


  • Our Miracle

    It’s been almost a year since we brought our beautiful, little, Jimmy home.  As we are excitedly planning his first birthday party (with a Dr. Seuss theme), I find myself reflecting on our journey to become parents.

    My husband and I met later in life (I was in my late thirties). We were fortunate to start our married life together with my husband’s wonderful son from his first marriage!  Although I love him dearly, we wanted to add to our family.  

    I was frankly shocked and very depressed when it became apparent that having biological children was going to be very difficult.  Thus started the infamous cycle of infertility.  I had known many friends who had been successful with this process so I assumed that although it might take awhile, eventually it would work.  I thought, “Surely after having had to wait so long to get married, God will bless me right away with a child!”  

    I was wrong.  Infertility brought much heartache and more despair.  I don’t know how to describe it but I just knew when it was time to stop.  Those of you who are going through or have been through infertility treatments might know what I mean.  Although it was a difficult decision to make, it was also a relief to know that we were getting off of this particular roller coaster!

    We turned our hearts toward fostering.  We took the PRIDE classes and were almost ready to finalize when I panicked.  I felt like I would be a much more effective foster parent if I had a child that I knew that I could call my own.  So we decided to delay fostering.

    At that point, we decided on infant adoption.  The cost was daunting but we moved forward hoping that God would help us to find a way. Through a series of events, I called Dean at Adoption Makes Family inquiring about a homestudy.  He called me back immediately; and on a Sunday!  When I mentioned that he had the most reasonable price that I had seen, he said that it was the same price that he had paid for his own homestudy several years ago.  An adoption social worker who had also adopted!  Bonus!

    When I saw the amount of forms on the homestudy I was originally disheartened.  “Who thought up all of these forms?  Are you kidding me?  How many background checks do I need?  And how many copies?” are frequent thoughts that went through my mind.  

    I just decided to take it one form at a time.  I think that I emailed Dean and Carin (his fabulous, knowledgeable, and very calm assistant) about 100 times with questions about this form or that before I actually sent in the packet.  I also made MANY trips to the notary – just when you think that everything is notarized…

    Eventually we had completed our homestudy.  At the close of the final interview at our home, Dean let us know we were approved to adopt a child. Dean then dropped a bomb and said that he had a baby for us.  I don’t think I remember much after that announcement as we were in complete shock!  The baby was in Cradle Care with a little over a week to go before the 30-day waiting period was finished.  We were ecstatic and eagerly awaited the next few days.

    A few days later, Dean called with the news that the mother had changed her mind and decided to parent her child.  I couldn’t blame her.  I wish her well and hope that she and her little one are happy together.  But, I was very depressed.  It just seemed that my goal to become a mother just continued to evade me.

    Dean suggested that we make a video to be published on the Adoption Makes Family website.  We took his advice and invited his talented and sensitive videographers into our home.  About a week later we got a call from Dean.  He was two weeks old, still in the hospital but should be out soon, were we interested?

    I was flabbergasted and extremely exciited!!  When Dean asked if I wanted to visit him, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go; believe it or not!  I was scared of becoming attached and having another disappointment. But on the advice of Dean and a lovely adoptive mother who went through a revocation herself, I went.  I took one look at him, went home that night and made some substitute plans for my class, and almost never left him while he was in the hospital.  

    Jimmy has been our joy and our miracle.  He is almost always smiling.  He laughs at everything and is the most fun I have ever had!  I hardly remember life without him!  I would encourage anyone who is considering adoption to please take the plunge!  It’s a different roller coaster than infertility.  In my opinion, if you decide to go with Adoption Makes Family, it’s a ride that will end with happiness and miracles; just like our fabulous little boy.

    We are hoping to adopt again and I know that if it’s God’s will, we will have a little brother or sister for our smiling boy.  

    Good luck!

     

  • Our Adoption Journey – Part One

    For many years we tried to have a baby through IUI and IVF. Blood tests, ultra sounds, and hormone injections became the norm.  We lived our life based on my cycle.  The negative pregnancy tests were taking their toll on us both emotionally and financially.  One day while wondering how much more we could take, we realized that maybe our path to parenthood should be through adoption.  After all, we each have an adopted brother so we were no strangers to the idea.

    Deciding to adopt was the easy thing. Figuring out how to go about it was the arduous task. At first we got turned down from several agencies that told us they would not work with a lesbian couple. One agency tried to discourage us saying that birth mothers prefer traditional families and therefore it would likely be a waste of our time to adopt. When we finally found an agency that welcomed us we were overjoyed. The agency seemed to be very caring and they went to great lengths to show how involved they were in the regions where they worked. This would be a foreign adoption and our child would be coming from an extremely impoverished area so we were impressed by the agency’s humanitarian efforts. Or so it seemed. 

    We were eventually matched with a beautiful eight year old girl. We knew her name, received her information, sent pictures and gifts. We prepared her room.  We bought clothes and toys and waited for the call to travel. And then the bottom fell out. The adoption fell through. We were heartbroken. And every time we had to retell the story we felt the pain all over again. 

    Once it was apparent there was no way to complete the adoption we grieved for the loss of a child we’d never met but had come to love.  And even though it seemed like the odds were stacked against us, we were determined to be parents. I could not shake the feeling that we were supposed to be someone’s mommies. There was a child out there that should be with us.

    And then, our many years of trails and suffering evaporated in an instant. In one phone call actually. An attorney friend, who knew our horror story in detail, also knew Dr. Dean Kirschner of Adoption Makes Family.

    One night, while out at dinner I got a phone call from a number I did not recognize. Dr. K was calling to see if we would be interested in adopting an African American infant male. Well that was different from our original plan. But yes!  Absolutely we were interested. “Great,” said Dr. K, “He’s due next week.”  NEXT WEEK?!  And so began 10 days of preparation for the arrival of our first son. 

    It was a whirlwind of activity. We had no car seat, no crib, and no diapers.  Suddenly all of our dreams were coming true. And all of the pain and grief that we’d experienced faded away.  We were not worried about the birth mother changing her mind. We were not concerned about complications of any sort.  We knew better than anyone that those possibilities existed.  But we also knew that this baby was our baby.  He was the one we had been waiting for.

    Dr. K. brought us to the hospital to meet our son, Caiden. We met Caiden in the hospital nursery when he was one hour old.  Holding him in his hospital “baby burrito” and little knit cap made it very very real. Everything we had experienced had led us to this moment.  This was our baby. The one we’d been dreaming and praying and hoping for.  Adoption Makes Family made us a family. 

    Caiden is now a bustling, energetic toddler who recently became a big brother.   We adopted our second child, a daughter, through Adoption Makes Family.   It has been a blessing to our family to deal with Dr. Kirschner and the staff of Adoption Makes Family. They are loving and genuine people who operate with the utmost integrity and caring for both the adoptive and the birth parents. I cannot say enough about how wonderful our experience has been dealing with AMF and we have two beautiful children to show for it!

  • Our Adoption Journey – Part One

    For many years we tried to have a baby through IUI and IVF. Blood tests, ultra sounds, and hormone injections became the norm.  We lived our life based on my cycle.  The negative pregnancy tests were taking their toll on us both emotionally and financially.  One day while wondering how much more we could take, we realized that maybe our path to parenthood should be through adoption.  After all, we each have an adopted brother so we were no strangers to the idea.

    Deciding to adopt was the easy thing. Figuring out how to go about it was the arduous task. At first we got turned down from several agencies that told us they would not work with a lesbian couple. One agency tried to discourage us saying that birth mothers prefer traditional families and therefore it would likely be a waste of our time to adopt. When we finally found an agency that welcomed us we were overjoyed. The agency seemed to be very caring and they went to great lengths to show how involved they were in the regions where they worked. This would be a foreign adoption and our child would be coming from an extremely impoverished area so we were impressed by the agency’s humanitarian efforts. Or so it seemed. 

    We were eventually matched with a beautiful eight year old girl. We knew her name, received her information, sent pictures and gifts. We prepared her room.  We bought clothes and toys and waited for the call to travel. And then the bottom fell out. The adoption fell through. We were heartbroken. And every time we had to retell the story we felt the pain all over again. 

    Once it was apparent there was no way to complete the adoption we grieved for the loss of a child we’d never met but had come to love.  And even though it seemed like the odds were stacked against us, we were determined to be parents. I could not shake the feeling that we were supposed to be someone’s mommies. There was a child out there that should be with us.

    And then, our many years of trails and suffering evaporated in an instant. In one phone call actually. An attorney friend, who knew our horror story in detail, also knew Dr. Dean Kirschner of Adoption Makes Family.

    One night, while out at dinner I got a phone call from a number I did not recognize. Dr. K was calling to see if we would be interested in adopting an African American infant male. Well that was different from our original plan. But yes!  Absolutely we were interested. “Great,” said Dr. K, “He’s due next week.”  NEXT WEEK?!  And so began 10 days of preparation for the arrival of our first son. 

    It was a whirlwind of activity. We had no car seat, no crib, and no diapers.  Suddenly all of our dreams were coming true. And all of the pain and grief that we’d experienced faded away.  We were not worried about the birth mother changing her mind. We were not concerned about complications of any sort.  We knew better than anyone that those possibilities existed.  But we also knew that this baby was our baby.  He was the one we had been waiting for.

    Dr. K. brought us to the hospital to meet our son, Caiden. We met Caiden in the hospital nursery when he was one hour old.  Holding him in his hospital “baby burrito” and little knit cap made it very very real. Everything we had experienced had led us to this moment.  This was our baby. The one we’d been dreaming and praying and hoping for.  Adoption Makes Family made us a family. 

    Caiden is now a bustling, energetic toddler who recently became a big brother.   We adopted our second child, a daughter, through Adoption Makes Family.   It has been a blessing to our family to deal with Dr. Kirschner and the staff of Adoption Makes Family. They are loving and genuine people who operate with the utmost integrity and caring for both the adoptive and the birth parents. I cannot say enough about how wonderful our experience has been dealing with AMF and we have two beautiful children to show for it!

  • Dear Birth Parents

    Dear Birth Parents,

    Our journey started in 2011, two years after the passing of our biological son, Brayden. We had reached the point where we knew we were ready to move forward and reach for our dreams of growing our family.

    One evening, we were sitting at home finishing dinner when the phone rang. Caller ID read “Adoption Makes Family” which always made us excited to answer. Upon answering it was Dr. Dean along with a birthmother and her mother on the line. The next thing we knew, the four of us were sharing family morals, values, traditions and what the meaning of family is to us. A few weeks later we all met face-to-face and instantly knew we were all brought together for the future of this unborn child.

    On October 21, 2012, our dreams became a reality when our son Jaiyden was brought into this world. Our family and the birth family have become one for eternity. We have been joined together through our love for Jaiyden. 

    Jaiyden is two months old and is the light of our lives. This holiday season was filled with many firsts. Thanksgiving was a day to reflect on how appreciative we are for the miracle that has joined our family. Christmas was full of family hugs and kisses and allowed us to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday.

    We can never express enough to the birth family how much we appreciate the most selfless act that they gave their son. Over these two months, the letters and pictures that we all exchange have brought us even closer together.

    We have promised to provide for Jaiyden a loving household full of honesty, trust and never ending love.

    Sincerely,

    Justin & Whitney & Jaiyden

  • A Letter from a Birth Mother to Her Son

    Dear Donovan and family,

    I’m struggling over how to begin this letter to someone whom I hope will allow me back into his life one day with the understanding that what I did for him was good.  I’ve struggled for almost two years on what to write. Then it dawned on me one day that I don’t need to script out what I want/need to tell you. It should come from the heart. I want you to know that having you was a real wake up call for me. When I found out that I was pregnant with you (my third pregnancy). At that moment I knew that I wanted so much more for you. Not that I didn’t want more for my oldest two. I just knew that keeping you wouldn’t have been fair to all three of you.  I knew that creating an adoption plan would have been the best thing I could’ve done for you.

    I remember the day I gave birth to you as if it were yesterday.  Once my water broke, you were ready to come in to this world. I was only in the hospital for about an hour before you were born.   You were very feisty like your sister. Neither one of you wanted to be bothered by the nurses as they checked your vitals. I still think about that moment today and get the giggles.  The night I had you, I meet your parents. For me never have meeting them before that night I felt so close to them. We bonded, we cried, then came the moment where I wanted to see you with them. It was picture perfect. You just fit so well with them. At that moment I knew I choose the perfect family for you. 

    Today, two years later, I find myself finally getting on the right path. I’m working for Baltimore County Public Schools. I work in the office tempting at different schools in the County. I now have my own vehicle.  And soon I’ll be enrolling back into school so I can earn a degree in Early Childhood Education. Your brother, Angel, is getting ready to transition/graduate from Pre-K and start Kindergarten in the fall. Gabrielle, she as well in transitioning into Pre-K. They’re both very excited because now they’ll be in “big kid” school.

    I hope this letter finds you in great toddler spirits, I just ask that you do me one favor. Give your mommy and daddy a big hug and kiss for me and tell them I said “Thank you!”.

  • An Adoptive Mom Tells About Her Adoption Journey

    The following story was sent to Adoption Makes Family by an adoptive mother who wanted to share her journey.

     

    When I heard people talking about adoption and referring to it as a “journey”, I never really understood why they said that.  Frankly, I thought it sounded a bit melodramatic.  However, as I look at my beautiful 10-week old son, Cameron, and reflect back on my experience with trying to have a baby, and finally choosing adoption, I realize how relevant that term really is to the experience.

    When I met my husband in 2000 it was very obvious that kids were going to be a huge focal point of our lives.  I am a teacher and my husband works for a childcare company.  We even met while I was substitute teaching at a school and he was working in a program for emotionally disabled students.  So it was no surprise to anyone that when we married in 2006 we wanted to try for a family right away. 

    After a year of trying to conceive, we realized that there was a problem and we consulted with a fertility specialist.  For the next 5 years we attempted 4 cycles of IVF which resulted in 3 failed attempts and one miscarriage at 10 weeks.  We hadn’t yet fully discussed adoption as an option for us because we were trying to get through the fertility treatments and take each event as it came.  After the 4th IVF we realized that we were spinning wheels on the path we were currently on.  We also realized that having a biological child was not the most important factor for us, but rather, having a child to love and welcome into our family was what we desired most.  At this point we decided to research adoption and so the journey began.

    I challenge anyone to type “adoption information” or “How to adopt a baby” into Google and see what comes up.  The information overload is completely daunting. For someone with no experience in the process, it quickly felt to be an almost impossible task. 

     hrough our research we quickly realized that domestic adoption was the best choice for us, but the next step was determining who we would use to facilitate this process.  We went to seminars, visited and called multiple agencies, and even contacted a national organization based on their “short wait times”.  Through all of this we never felt that we found the right agency that fit our needs.  Then we contacted Adoption Makes Family.  When we finally committed to an agency we started to feel that our dreams and goals of having a family were finally going to come true.  However, choosing an agency was only the beginning of the journey.

    Throughout the home study process, which took a few months, we had to fill out a lot of paperwork.  But more so, we actually took a good look at our marriage and what made us unique as a couple and as individuals.  The home study process allowed us to examine our marriage and encouraged us to communicate our feelings and expectations in a clear way to each other.  This communication is vital in any marriage, and I think even more so if you are considering adoption.  There are so many questions we had to consider as a couple (i.e. What races were we open to adopt?  What if a birth mother used drugs?  What if a birth mother wants to have additional contact after we take the baby home? Etc…).  If we couldn’t communicate honestly than the journey would seem more like a struggle. 

    Finally, in October 2011, we were officially a “waiting family” and we were anxious for a birth mother to choose us.  Three weeks later our dream came true. We were matched with a woman who was in her 5th month of pregnancy.  We followed her throughout her pregnancy and met with her several times.  When it was time for her to give birth, we were both at the hospital. I even was witness to the delivery of her little girl during a Caesarean section.  Sadly, after spending 5 days in the hospital with the baby, the birth mother chose to parent.  Needless to say we were devastated.  We felt every range of emotion from anger to despair to sadness and, strangely enough, even hope. 

    Adoption Makes Family counseled us through our loss and served as our own personal cheerleader through the weeks after the failed adoption.  There were numerous therapy sessions being conducted in person and over the phone at 10PM. Without those sessions, we wouldn’t have been able to keep it all in perspective.  We made the decision to keep pushing forward and continued to look for another birth mother.  Two months later our beautiful son Cameron was born.  On May 10, 2012, 7 months after we officially became a waiting family, we brought home our son. 

    I still remember our car ride home from the Agency with Cameron in the car.  I sat in the back seat just staring at him as my husband drove so slow it took us twice as long to get home.  I couldn’t believe I was finally a mother.  He was finally my son.  He was in my arms and in my home. After 6 years of trying to have a family it had finally happened.  Each day brings new joys as I interact and love my son.  Nothing makes me feel better than when he wakes up in the morning and gives me his gummy smile showing me he is so happy to see me.  I could never imagine our lives without him and realize that all of the struggles were leading us to this most amazing gift.  Although not born of my body he was certainly born of my heart.

    I am sure life will offer us many more challenges as we raise our son and we are already fielding many questions about adoption (some of them a bit ridiculous).  My favorite question in response to hearing Cameron is adopted was “Why didn’t you want a baby of your own?”  I simply answered, “What do you mean?  He is mine…”  We truly feel that way with our whole hearts.  Every day and every milestone is a gift to cherish with him, and we are so blessed to have been given the opportunity to share our hearts and lives with our amazing little boy.

     

  • A Birth Mother’s Story – Joslin

    We ask birth mothers to share their story if they choose.  Here is what Melissa wrote:

     

    My story is not easy to tell. It is about two people dedicated to each other and to giving our child the best possible life…even if it means that it isn’t with us.

    I found out I was pregnant on a hot July day. At only 20 years old, I was very scared and felt alone.          

    For the first couple of weeks, my boyfriend Brandon and I weighed our options. Abortion was completely out of the question. We debated raising our baby ourselves and at first got excited about the idea. After talking to our families, however, reality set in. Neither my family nor Brandon’s family were in physical or financial states to help us. Brandon was having difficulty finding work and I wasn’t making enough money to be able to support all of us.

    We then decided that we were going to give our child what she deserved; a life where she never had to go without as we did growing up.

    We came to the agreement of adoption.

    We contacted Dean at Adoption Makes Family, filled out paperwork, and set up a meeting. The first time we met Dean, he was so warm and heartfelt that we immediately felt at ease with our decision. He brought over portfolios of adoptive families for us to look through.

    That’s when we fell in love with Chris and Michelle, the adoptive family.

    After the first meeting with Chris and Michelle, Brandon and I knew our baby was going to be so happy, loved, and very well cared for in their home.

    As the pregnancy progressed, we grew even closer to them. Michelle and I even agreed on a name together and she let me honor my mother and grandmother by picking the middle name for our daughter.

    On March 22, 2012 at 9:43 P.M., Madelyn Rose was welcomed to the world weighing in at 6 lbs. 5 oz., 19 inches, and very healthy! Brandon and I got very emotional the next day when it came time to sign the paperwork that sealed the adoption. Dean remained supportive the whole entire time.

    The next morning was the hardest thing in my life I’ve ever had to do. I had to say goodbye to my daughter, who I carried for 9 months, felt every movement and kick, and stole my heart just 36 hours before.

    As soon as I left the hospital I cried for the whole rest of the day in Brandon’s arms. 

    Adoption does cause stress on every party involved. Brandon and I were just two young people in love, forced by our circumstances to make a scary decision for the innocent life of an unborn child. Looking back, however, we wouldn’t change our decision for the world.

    We keep in contact with Dean and love receiving updates and pictures of Madelyn. It makes us feel good to know that we made the dreams of our baby and two loving parents come true by choosing adoption.

  • What makes a letter and pictures so important?

    Adoption Makes Family has a policy of asking adoptive parents to send a letter and pictures of their adopted child to the Agency throughout their adopted child’s life.  Why?

    First, many birth parents express their desire to see that their biological child is happy, healthy and growing.  Birth parents don’t stop loving their child when they create an adoption plan.  As a matter of fact, we all know that an adoption plan is created because the birth parent has such love for a child, that the realization of not being able to care for a child has lead to the self-less gift of creating an adoption plans.

    Birth parents experience a grieving process that is eased by hearing their adoption plan is doing well.  To receive a letter that shares how the child is doing, and seeing a few pictures of the child, gives the birth parent a tremendous sense of relief. These letters and pictures help the birth parent to see the positive outcome of their adoption plan.  Adoptive parents need not fear the birth parent.  The creation of the adoption plan has created a permanent loving bond between the birth parent and the adoptive parent – all centered around the love for the child.

  • Talking to your child about adoption

    I have asked families how they talk about adoption to their child.  Here are four responses.  If you have one, please send it along.


    Every six months, we send our birth mother a little photo book telling her about our son’s new accomplishments and emerging personality.  It is written to her, and while it doesn’t address her by name, it does speak directly to her with sentences like: “His beautiful smile came from you… as did his great intelligence… We will teach him to honor you for all that you provided him.”

    One of the reasons we chose to send our birth mother a photo book, instead of a more traditional letter and pictures, is that we also wanted copies for our home.  It’s important to my husband and me that guests, extended family, and all of our children clearly understand the gratitude we feel towards our son’s birth mother.  Because we have two biological children and because our son is a different race from ours, we want to make it crystal clear that we *celebrate* the special way that Joshua entered our family.  We also wanted our son to grow up feeling secure about the fact that adoption and his birth mother are safe, open topics in our home, and we felt that these books take the burden off of him by starting the conversation ourselves. 

    For the first time just yesterday, Joshua approached me with one of those books in hand.  He turned around and backed up, indicating that he wanted me to pull him onto my lap.  At the same time, he handed me one of his books.  We turned the pages together and he smiled and laughed at “Jos-swa” as a baby.  As I held him on my lap, I read the words I wrote to his birth mother. 

    Joshua didn’t understand the words I read yesterday, but for the first time, he heard them.  Little by little, one reading at a time, hearing will turn to understanding.  He will understand that he has a birth mother, that she loved him before we even knew of him, and that we honor her.


    Every night we say a prayer…I say it as if I were Amy who is now 2. So it will be her prayer as she gets older and says it herself.

    “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the lord my soul to keep, when in the morning light I wake, teach me the path of love to take.   God bless Nana, Grandpa, mommy and me, my birth family, my extended family and friends.”


    Caiden is only 2 but since he was born we have talked to him about the fact that he was adopted.  We are very open about it and use age appropriate language but we talk about it regularly so that it becomes “normal” for him and so that it is never something he feels different or shameful about.  Caiden is African American and we are white so we also talk about our differences and similarities.  We have childrens books about adoption and differences in families in terms of how they are created and the types of families there are.  Sometimes when we are putting him to bed we talk about the first time we ever saw him (in the hospital nursery) and how excited we were to finally meet him.  We tell him how we met his birth mother and that she wanted to meet us to make sure we would love him and take good care of him.  We feel like the more open and honest we are with him, the easier it will be as he gets older, and the more confident he will be when other people ask him questions.  We really want Caiden to be confident and proud of himself and where he comes from. Every family has to do what’s right for them but I can’t imagine not talking about it or having a date in the future when he will be told.  It’s his history and we feel like he has the right to grow up knowing who he is, where he comes from and how we became a family. 


    I just wanted to tell you about how I tell my kids they are adopted.   Have a little story to tell them.  I started telling them when they were really little so it gave me time to try it out, to find out what I felt comfortable saying and make sure that I included everything that I wanted to say.  The stories have evolved but have solidified into a predictable bedtime story.  Sometimes I tell it every night.  Then I go through phases where I don’t and then it comes back again.  They start as every good story should: Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl named Josephine.  You were growing inside of her.  She was your birthmom.   Daphne doesn’t quite know her’s the way Brett does yet. It is really fun. He knows when I get to the part where I say, “I remember the first time I saw you.  I picked you up and I kissed you like this.” He turns one cheek to the side while I kiss it and then turns the other cheek while I kiss it.  He loves the part when I say, “One night the phone rang and they said, “your baby boy was born! Your baby boy was born!”

    Anyway I think what I want to share with other adoptive families is that I believe in telling my kids their story from the time they are tiny! It has helped me to say the words out loud so that I know how to do it.  It is also a special thing to hear about their special story and because I use the same words every night it is familiar and they love it. 

    My kids who are not adopted have said, “Mom, do I have a story?”.

    I hope this helps someone! I also have a few books that I have found that I like.  I love You Like Crazy Cakes (Rose Lewis) and Over the Moon (Karen Katz) are about International Adoption but still share the feelings of adoptive parents.  I Don’t Have Your Eyes(Carrie  Kitze) is probably for transracial families.  How I was Adopted (Joanna Cole), Forever Fingerprints (Sherrie Eldridge who is adopted and has written a book for adults called 20 things your Adopted Kids Wish You Knew), And My Adopted Child, There’s No One Like You (Kevin Leman) talk more about the feelings of the adopted child.  I love the one by Kevin Leman even though the name doesn’t sound as interesting as the others.  I also have the Jamie Lee Curtis book and love it.  I always cry 🙂

  • Our Adoption Journey

    Adoption is as much a miracle as birth itself.

    Bryon and I started out on our adoption journey in June of 2008. We chose to go the route of adoption when we discovered that I could not biologically conceive a child. For us, parenting and loving a child was and is more important than a biological connection.  

    We started looking around for information on adoption and realized that we first needed to have a home study done. I found a link with information about adoption home studies and entered our information. Adoption Makes Family called us that day! We then made an appointment to go in and meet with Dr. Kirschner so we could get a better understanding about the adoption process. After meeting with him, we quickly realized that this was the agency we wanted to work with to do our adoption.  We started on our paper work and dear birthmother book that day.

    We had always dreamed of becoming parents. We have worked hard and have learned a great deal in life.  We know that in life it is a very rare thing to be able to make a single decision that will have such a powerful and positive impact on us and others.   The decision to adopt did just that.

    There were many ups and downs that went along with this journey and some times it became a little discouraging.  We understood the struggles a birth parent experiences and that sometimes birth parents decide to parent their child rather than create an adoption plan.   We had a few situations where the birth parent decided to parent her child. We understood and supported her plan.   But we still had faith we would become parents. 

    So you can only imagine our excitement when after only a little over a year we learned that we had been matched with a birth mother! We were absolutely ecstatic! We were lucky to have been able to meet our son’s birthparents and get to know so much about them.  We took notes and learned so much so when he does ask about his birth parents we will be able to tell him everything we know.

    Our birthmother was 5 months along when we met her and the next 4 months seemed like they lasted forever. We held onto the memories of meeting the birth parents for dinner, sharing time together and getting to know each other.  It was amazing to know that we were going to be joined together through an adoption.

    Finally the big day came. Our son was going to be born! To say we were excited doesn’t even begin to describe the emotions we were going through that day. We packed up the car that morning and set off on our 2 ½ hour trip down to southern Maryland where he was being born. The trip seemed to take forever.  We were able to spend the whole day with our birthparents. To my surprise, I was able to be in the delivery room when our son was born! What an experience that was! To be with our son and his birth mother  at the start of his life was such an amazing way for our family to start.  That is a forever memory that still puts a lump in my throat. We stayed down there for 2 days until we were able to bring our baby home with us.

    Adopting through Adoption Makes Family was a fantastic experience and one we can’t wait to do again! Dr. Kirschner was there for us from the beginning of our process through the day we brought our son home and beyond. Thank you Adoptino Makes Family.  Here we go again!

Adoption Makes Family is for the adoptive family as well, providing adoption services to a family choosing to embark on their own adoption journey. Adoption Makes Family is located just north of Baltimore, Maryland, serving birth parents throughout the state and adoptive families across the country.
10635 York Road
Cockeysville
Maryland
21030
USA
Adoption Makes Family was founded to meet the needs of birth parents and adoptive parents in a manner that is sensitive, compassionate, and personal. We are a non-profit (501-C3), licensed adoption agency based in Maryland. Our highly trained staff is prepared to meet the needs of birth parents and adoptive parents, as well as children in need of a loving home.
10635 York Road
Cockeysville
MD
21030
USA