Thursday, August 19, 2010

adoption and birth families

Having an open adoption with Angel-Leah and Tommy's family has been a good thing for us.  Although a lot of people don't really understand adoption and how it can effect a child, Angel-Leah lived with her birth family for the first two and a half years of her life, and of course had a strong bond with them.  I had gotten to know the family well during her time as a foster child, and I liked them a lot.  Although there were some bumps along the way, and a period of months when we didn't see them before Angel-Leah's adoption was finalized ( not by my choice so much, but I was advised by a particular social worker  who had "all the power") once she was adopted, and especially after Tommy came to live with us, too, we opened the adoption and began to see her birth family often.  It wasn't anything but good for Angel-Leah, who was grieving for them.  And a child cannot really have too many people to love them.

Tommy turned three at the beginning of August, and we met at the park with the birth family for a birthday party.  I've never been good at planning parties.  For some reason, it always alludes me.  Thirteen year old Mary Susannah and I have decided that she might need to take over this part of our life, because she has lots of ideas.  All I need to do is open my wallet, although that tends to be empty a lot...
But all that aside, once again, my party was messed up when we met at all the water park for the third time, for Tommy's third birthday.  The first birthday, the water was turned off.  The second birthday, it stormed.  And this third birthday, the water was turned off AGAIN!!  Next year, I will plan something else - or rather, next year, MARY SUSANNAH will plan something else...

So, we trooped over to the playground, since the water park was dry.  But it was hot, hot, HOT!  We stayed a bit, then went back to my house for a while.  But while we were there, I did manage to get a few pictures.  The family gave me permission to post them, and I thought it would be nice for other families who are considering adoption, and especially are having some emotional thoughts about open adoption, to see that it is possible to have it not only work out, but be a wonderful thing for everyone:

First picture, of course, is the star of the show, Tommy!  He is about as cute as you can get!

This is Angel-Leah's "Nanny" and they love each other like crazy.  I really got to know and like her before Angel-Leah's adoption, and it wasn't hard for me to see her continue to be part of both our lives.

This is Angel-Leah and Tommy's Grandma Bonnie.  She's been a wealth of information for me in dealing with some of the things I need to learn about Tommy.  I like her more the more I get to know her.

This is Aunt Melissa and two of her children (and Luke and Grandma Bonnie).  Aunt Melissa took care of Tommy for a few months before he came to live with us.  She loved and nursed him during a time of his life when he was very sick.  It was hard for her to let him go so that he could grow up with his sister.  Although he doesn't understand all that right now, someday he will.  It's only right that she stay a part of his life, although we don't get to see her near enough.

And although he wasn't there at the birthday party this year, this is Tommy and Angel-Leah's birth brother Ben, who they wouldn't know if we hadn't opened their adoption.  We are very glad to have gotten to know him, even if we don't see him much.  He's a nice young man.

So, once again, the purpose of this blog post is to encourage families not to be afraid of keeing a birth family in your child's life.  I am thankful to some online ladies who encouraged me in this, ladies I got to know through two special adoption and foster/adoption websites.  Some are adoptive parents, some are birth parents, and some are adoptees themselves.  They have been invaluable to me, helping me learn,  and they helped me bless my children and myself by giving me the courage to do this.  Thanks ladies!! 

And thanks, everyone who loves my children, all ten of them, whether they are in our lives by birth, by adoption, or by friendship.  Nothing in life is more important than our relationships, with God first, and with people, next!


  1. Thank you! What a gift for the children as well as you!

  2. Carla,

    What a tribute to you & your family. I think it is just wonderful that you keep these families together for Tommy & Angel Leah. Those two children are surrounded by the love of ALL of their families, thanks to you.

    Wishing you many blessings for your amazing family!


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