As a child, did you ever dream that you would one day adopt?
Adoption was always something I felt called to and loved hearing about growing up. Over the course of my life, through people I knew, stories and personal experience, I learned that family is the most important thing we have in life and it is comprised of more than our DNA. Some of the best people in my life have been added through fate and I find adoption to be the same for one of our most powerful relationships between a child and parent.
Why did you choose adoption?
My husband Markus and I spent the first weeks of dating talking all about our lives, our dreams for the future and what we wanted our families to look like. I was so excited when adoption was something he was also called for. We originally talked about it a lot as something we would do to add to our family, but the more we talked about it the more we knew it was truly the way our family was meant to grow. Markus and I are so different from each other which is what makes our relationship thrive. We knew a baby that was just as unique as we are would be the perfect addition to our family.
Domestic or international? Open, semi-open or closed adoption?
After looking at many options, we chose an open adoption from domestic agency in Austin, Texas.
Describe the rewards and challenges of your type of adoption.
Open domestic adoption is so rewarding to us. Our relationship with Heidi’s birth mother is such a wonderful bridge to her development and background. She provides such a unique form of love to us and Heidi.
I'm sure you've heard the myths about adoption, adopted children and birth mothers. So if you could dispel one of them – what would you say?
People have wondered if an open adoption is a potential threat to the structure of the family and emotional well-being of the child, and we can see nothing but the opposite of that. There are so many questions that Heidi will face about her future as she grows up, but her past is something where she will always have as many answers to as she needs. The intimacy and attachment I have with my mother comes from the moments we’ve shared together and her response to the times I’ve needed her, not to her biological makeup. It is no different for Heidi and I, so being able to provide her a link to her birth mother only makes our relationship grow as I identify and resource her needs. The most important thing that we want to be evident to Heidi throughout her life is the pervasive abundance of love for her, not only from Markus and I, but also from her birth mother. The story of Heidi’s adoption is only possible because of the overwhelming love of her birth mother.
What's been the most surprising experience as an adoptive parent?
The more I grow in love and daily life with Heidi, the more I grow in respect for our birth mother who has two young girls herself. I respect her tenacity and ability as a single mother to two and her ability to make a decision that brings so much love and opportunity to her family and mine by placing Heidi with us.
What's your greatest wish for adoptive parents today?
I hope that all adoptive parents can be exposed to the educational resources we received through our adoption agency on open adoption, birth mother contact and talking with children about adoption. Education eradicates fear and opens you to amazing opportunities.
If you could tell your child's birth mother one thing - what would it be?
I would tell her she is the bravest person I know – but I did just text her that this morning!
What excites you about BraveLove?
People know and love the best parts of adoption – the amazing birth stories, the relationships and reconnections. The more we let go of the myths and fear associated with antiqued practices, the more thriving adoptive families we have and we grow in diversity as a society. Adoption at its core is about trust, acceptance and love. The more we have of these three things in the world the better we live together.