Did you ever dream that you would one day adopt?
I don’t think I did, necessarily. I didn’t know much about adoption but I was open to it when we found we were infertile and my husband had two sisters adopted from Korea.
Why did you choose adoption?
We thought it would be a wonderful thing to do for a child and I didn’t want to go through IVF. My aunt had done IVF for many years and ended up finally adopting when she was in her 40’s.
Domestic or international?
I have a heart for kids from the US.
Open, semi-open or closed adoption?
When we adopted our first daughter in 2003, open adoption was pretty much cards and letters and an occasional visit. We sent letters for years and when our daughter was 11 she met her birth family and we’ve been back and forth ever since. She attended her birth mom’s wedding and met her great grandmother from The Netherlands. Our third daughter is adopted as well. We are open with her birth family as well and visit 1-2 times a year.
Describe the rewards and challenges of your family’s adoption story.
It has broadened our definition of family. I always say “Love Makes a Family” and that is especially true of believers in Christ. We are adopted into God’s family when we accept him as our Savior.
I'm sure you've heard the myths about adoption, adoptees, and birth parents. If you could dispel one of them, what would you say?
People ask if it’s expensive because we did private adoption. We did it that way because we were military and moved every few years. We didn’t have a “stable” home they said. We got loans and government grants and we managed like you do when your investing in a car or a house. I ask people, “How much is your child worth?”
What's been the most surprising experience as an adoptive parent?
How much I could love a child someone else gave birth to. It just doesn’t matter.
What's your greatest wish for adoptive parents today?
Don’t be afraid to be open to the birth family even if they are different from you. Sometimes you can’t have the fairy tale. Our third daughter’s birth mom is in prison. She tries to manipulate us and get money from us but we still visit the people in her family who are in our child’s best interest. If you can, let your child know where they came from.
If you could tell your child's birth mother one thing, what would it be?
I have a very close relationship with my first daughter’s birth mom and I have told her, “You made me a mother.” For that, I am forever grateful.
What excites you about BraveLove?
BraveLove is lifting up these women to their rightful place as heroes, loving on them and changing wrong perspectives.