My Family

If you are new to this blog and want to read the entire story chronologically - please start in January with "Our Story, Part 1"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Adoption Questions

At Church on Mother’s Day my 16-year-old son leaned over to me and said, “I wonder if I love you the same as I would my REAL mother?”  He really wants to know what it feels like to love his actual mother.
It wasn’t mean, it didn’t hurt my feelings.  I have been wondering the same thing in reverse.
Do I love my children the same as I would if they were biological? 
I can’t answer that because I don’t have any “biological” children.  I love my children. 
Is it the same type of love that mothers have who actually give birth?  I don’t know.  I probably will never know.  It is a question that I can’t answer - but a valid (and hard) question nonetheless.

My son made this for me on Mother's Day. Love him!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rose Colored Glasses

Last night I attended the final choir concert of my oldest son Bryan.  He has an amazing Tenor voice (that I didn’t even know about until last fall).  As I watched him sing I started to cry.  I cried because I love him so much.  I cried because I wished I would have known him as an infant.  I cried because I wished I would have known how it felt to have him kick and squirm in my womb, to see him take his first step, to say his first word, to hold my fingers as he nursed… so many things I missed with him. I cried because I wished I could say he got his voice from me or my husband.  I wished I could say he was handsome like his father.  (I do say this to him sometimes, but he knows he doesn’t REALLY look like his dad).  I cried because I missed the first three and a half years of his life and I cried because he will be leaving soon.

When I was first introduced to the possibility of adoption almost 15 years ago, I had longed to be a mother so bad that I was willing to do anything (well, almost anything) to get a child.  I wore my rose colored glasses and persevered through every issue with a smile and determination.  I didn’t think about what would happen in the future, how I would deal with adoption issues or even what issues might arise.  The only fear I had at the time was that when my children turned 18 they would want to go back to their birth mother (so glad our adoption is open!). 

There are many things I wished I would have known, could have prepared for, or could have been warned about.   

But the real question is; if I had known these things, if I had known I would hurt and feel a loss for the things I didn’t have, would I have still adopted?  
Definitely YES!

Even if I take my rose colored glasses off,
the view is still remarkable.

“If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort.

If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope.

If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened.

If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended.”

Jeffrey R. Holland

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

To all the mothers who have adopted

This weekend has been hard for me. Hard to see all the cute little pregnant mommies, hard to hear about their weekly check-ups, hard to hear about their stories in the hospital, hard to relate to anyone. I can't relate to them, I don't fit in that category.

If you are an adoptive parent, not a biological parent, I would like to talk to you! I have no one to relate to, no one who knows what I am feeling.  The only other people who can know what I am feeling are parents (mothers) who have not had the opportunity to experience being pregnant and giving birth or mothers (like me), who have been pregnant and lost a baby.  Time for a support group! :)

E-mail me at

Sunday, December 30, 2012


I know I have mentioned several times how amazing the attorney is who facilitated all five of our adoptions. Well, as I would thank him for helping us adopt these beautiful children, he would jokingly say,
 “we’ll see if you thank me when they are teenagers…”

I am happy to report that I can thank him a million times for my wonderful teenagers! My three teenage sons have been the most amazing young men and such an inspiration and joy in my life. We have had countless conversations about their birth parents, adoption, hopes, dreams, doubts, etc. and I believe the main reason my sons are so “well adjusted” is because of the openness about their past, where they came from and how they became a part of our family. For me, open adoption has been the only way to go.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

'Extended' Family

Open adoption is an amazing thing. Not only have I gained five beautiful children, I have gained their family as well. A few months ago I received a message from my children’s biological aunt; Ruth’s sister Holli. I have kept in touch with Ruth’s family via Facebook so they can see pictures and get updates on the kids. Here is an excerpt from that message (used with permission).


It’s one of those internet surfing, can’t sleep nights and I’ve been catching up on your blog. Tears and smiles left and right. I think this falls in the category of things that never get old to hear, but I think of the kids more often than any of you know and it overwhelms me how ‘lucky’ they are to have such an incredible life. Seeing photos and updates, though I don’t look often enough, is such a good feeling from an Aunt’s perspective; to see how happy all the faces are. I love knowing they are in your family. Maybe I don’t check on them more often because I know they’re in good hands. I truly admire the environment you guys have created for raising children…. I wanted to let you know I think about you guys and love the blog.


I feel blessed beyond belief. I love being a mom!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ava meets her birth father!

Last October my daughter Ava had the opportunity to meet her birth father. His name is Tony, and he and I have kept in touch over the years. Once in a while he will call and talk to Ava, or Ava will send him little messages and videos on my iPhone.  We share pictures via Facebook, but Ava had never met him in person (at least since she was about one year old).

My children all know their birth mother, but none of them have met their birth fathers except for the first few months of their lives. All three of my boys share the same mother and father, but my daughters have different dads. My boys would like to meet their birth father but we don’t have any information about him except his name (we have never seen a picture of him).

Ava has known about her birth father since the beginning. I have pictures of him in her photo album and she has talked to him on and off over the years but had never met face to face until last fall.

Tony’s mother (Ava’s grandmother), sadly passed away last year (Ava was able to talk to her and send her a short video before she passed on).   When Tony came to the funeral he was only a few hours away from us. He sent me a text on a Saturday morning and asked if he could see Ava. We made arrangements to meet a few hours later at the same McDonald’s that we met at years ago when Ava was first placed with us. Ava was so excited! I also brought my son Bryan because he knew Tony, (Bryan lived with Ruth when Tony and Ruth were dating).

Ava looks so much like her biological father!

Tony adores Ava and is very respectful of our family.

Tony is Native American from the Ute Tribe and he gave Ava some of her grandmother’s jewelry. She has an amazing heritage and I want her to know about her family and ancestors.

I love that my children can know their birth parents.

Thank you Tony for taking the time to come see us!
Thank you for allowing Ava to be part of our family as well!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hard questions

The other night my 4-year-old daughter was getting on her teenage brother’s nerves. My son made the comment… “can’t we just give her away and let someone else adopt her?” He was completely serious as if it was a viable and available option.

It reminded me of a discussion that he and I had a few years earlier when he asked me if someone else could adopt him. He was worried that if I didn’t want him that I could just give him to someone else. His comment and question really made me think of the numerous questions my children have with regards to placement, adoption, biological parents and their own situation.

I tried my best to explain to my son that, no; I wasn’t going to allow anyone else to adopt him and that he was my son forever. This was a hard question to answer because of course he wondered how he could be placed in our family and adopted and that it couldn’t happen again. He knew his older brother was placed and then taken back and then placed again… such a confusing time!

I think about all these questions and I realize that when my children were young and I was dealing with the day to day struggles of parenting, placement, home studies, etc., I had no idea how/if/when I would have to deal with these inquiries.

I am grateful that we have been very open with our children with regards to their birth parents, their placement in our home and their own individual stories, it has made these discussions easier, but there are still questions that are hard to answer. It is almost weekly that we have talks about their birth mother, their birth father(s) and even their biological uncles, aunts and grandparents. I don’t have all the answers, but quite honestly, what parent does?

I don’t know any other families who are in an open adoption, much less any who have teenagers right now, so here are a few things that have helped me over the last decade:

(If any one has any suggestions/ideas that have worked for them, please feel free to share!)

Validate the question(s), it is okay to have questions.

Reaffirm your love for them as an individual and as your child - Sometimes my children were hesitant to ask me questions about their birth mother because they didn’t want to “hurt my feelings” if they were talking about their “other mom.” I will admit that when my boys were first placed with us, I did feel jealous of their mother, I felt I was being compared on every level with her. I don’t feel that way now; I feel that she and I both have significant and independent roles to play in their lives.

Be honest – I try to answer their questions to the best of my ability, but sometimes I don’t have an answer to their question(s). If they ask a question and want an answer right away, I do my best, but sometimes after I have time to think about their question and my answer, I may go back and tell them that I didn’t answer their question properly. I have told my older boys, “I don’t have a parental instruction manual, I am learning just like they are and I am not always right!”

Love them unconditionally.

So blessed to be a mom!