We all have a different lens through which we view adoption. Whether in agreement or not I feel it benefits us to listen to one another, consider each other’s journeys and viewpoints. By doing so we gain understanding, grow empathy and compassion. The Adoption Bloggers Interview Project is one such great vehicle for providing this opportunity.
As in years past bloggers were randomly paired with each other and this year I’ve been paired up with Kierstin, who blogs at Our Family Building Adventure. (My interview is featured on her blog.) Kierstin is a married mother of four; her sons are biological and her daughters were adopted domestically.
When reading Kierstin’s blog I was immediately struck by a number of things: her love for her husband Chris; the abundant love she has for all four of her children; her faith; her openness; the joy she has for being a wife, mother and life in general; and the compassion and respect she has for her daughters’ birth mothers. Of course, I had a lot of questions, however I attempted to keep them to a minimum. That said, I still asked a lot, and Kierstin, being wonderfully open, answered them all. Since the post is rather long, I’ve made it into two. The second part will run tomorrow, so be sure to check back.
“Our promise to you: to tell your baby how much you love them, and what an amazing person you are to give them this life. To love your baby unconditionally and share the faith of God with them. To provide a secure, safe and positive environment. To raise them as an individual to express their personal talents and strengths. To tell & show them daily that we love them.” ~ from Kierstin to her future children’s birth parents
You have a semi-open adoption with the birth mother of your oldest daughter and an open adoption with your younger daughter’s. How do you compare the two levels of openness? Can you explain how they differ?
Actually they are both open adoptions. Our two-year-old Kaycee’s birth mom requested visits upon our “match” and we agreed initially to meet in a neutral location on those visits and go through the adoption agency for communicating. Kaycee was born October 29th and by December we had opened the adoption up and invited her to our home the day after Christmas. We call and text each other now, however the frequency varies. We were set for four visits a year. The first year we saw her 6 times and this past year we only saw her once. We would love to see her more but we try to respect her and her healing process.
We were hoping for an open adoption with our 2nd adoption and were blessed by Jenna’s birth mom wanting that also. We also have it set for four visits a year and have seen her once already. We’ll see how it goes!
How do you manage boundaries within open adoption?
Well we have had some miscommunications with Kaycee’s birth mom, but I think it’s mainly because we text more than talk. Texting can make things confusing at times. We haven’t had to worry too much about boundaries, as our daughter’s birth mothers haven’t ever wanted more than we could give. I wish we could see them more or that they would want to see us more.
What has the response been about what you share in your blog?
I had actually stopped blogging a while after Kaycee was born because I really wanted my blog to be just about adoption. I had read so many blogs when we were researching adoption and then waiting. I didn’t like having to cipher through family adventures and stories to find the detail of their adoptions. I wanted to have a blog that people could go to for inspiration or motivation (I got a lot of inspiration from other people’s stories so I wanted to do that in return). Anyhow, several people on our Adoptive Families FB blog said they would like to see me blog again to discuss what our open adoption “looks like” after placement. So I started writing again—sporadically.
We’re all exceptionally busy, however if you can find some time, I encourage you to hop on over and read some of the amazing insights being shared via this project. Remember to check back tomorrow for Part Two of my interview of Kierstin.
Discussion: Leave your questions and comments below for either Kierstin or myself. Please feel free to share your perspectives about open adoption below.