Hearts Wide Open

An adoptive mom talks about her son’s open adoption…

Meet Carey and discover how open adoption has impacted her family’s life in a positive way.

We have an open adoption, and we have the most open relationship with our son’s birth parents that I’m familiar with. It was actually the only specific request we had while we were praying for our adoption. That we would be able to find a couple that wanted to be as open as we did. God was there and more than answered our prayers.

I can tell you our adoption was out of the ordinary, definitely not the norm, but the best way to describe it is just to recount what took place.

Our son, Joshua Paul was born around Christmastime in Kansas. We are from Texas, and because of the holidays, the paperwork took a little longer than expected. We celebrated Christmas in an extended-stay apartment and Joshua Paul’s birth parents spent the majority of nights with us. The apartment turned into our little cozy haven where we got to know our son and each other. God was present in that little apartment.

Each of his four parents took turns with the 2 a.m. feedings, the poopy diapers and just holding and staring at him. His birth parents know that he will know who they are. We have all jumped in with “hearts wide open” to do what is absolutely best for this child. No territorial rights are being exercised. God has been leading us the entire way.

Our son’s birth mother pumped milk for him every three hours during those two weeks, including at 3 a.m., so he wouldn’t have to be on formula. His birth father was quite adept, maybe even more so than my husband, at changing poopy diapers! They both decided that as hard as it was when we finally went home, they were going to spend as much time loving on this child as possible. Their sacrifice and vulnerability is truly humbling and we are so grateful for the life they created and for choosing us to be Joshua Paul’s parents.

We spent Christmas day together. We were all miraculously experiencing our son’s first moments on earth while we celebrated Christ’s birth. God was with us.

The 3-year-old daughter of my son’s birth mother said, “My brother has two daddies and two mommies.” My 4-year-old daughter chimed in, “And two sisters!”

The bonus is we genuinely like and love each other. We’ve shared dinner, movies, board games, life stories, tears and laughter. We worshiped in church together and went together to our son’s first doctor’s appointment. Our tears have all blended together as we held each other over the heartache that the birth parents are experiencing. It really doesn’t get much more real than this.

A friend of mine described it best when I told her what those weeks had been like. She said, “it sounds like a little glimpse of Heaven on earth.”

The only way a relationship like this works is to give up any fears or preconceived notions and trust God. We’ve learned during this adoption journey that when you completely let go and refuse to be afraid of the unknown, He can do amazing things. There is no room in love for fear! (1 John 4:18)

Our son will always know that when he came into the world, all four of his parents and both of his sisters were there to welcome him. The four of us are family now, knitted together because of this precious child.

The morning we said goodbye was the hardest day yet for all of us but God was there. We prayed together over our son, for his hope and future. We prayed for these courageous young adults for the purpose and plan that God has in store for them. I know Jesus was with us and He cried with us. God can certainly identify with the loss of a son, but I think He’s also smiling at the hope and love that our Christmas miracle brings. Yes, God has been with us through this entire journey healing hearts and making families.

When our son was six months old, we celebrated his baby dedication at church. His birth parents came into town for it and stayed at our house. They joined us on stage when we took the oath to bring him up in a Godly family and lead him to Christ. I know it can’t be like this in every adoption situation but we have all four committed to putting this precious child first and our own emotions, fears and insecurities aside for his sake - with hearts wide open.