Wednesday, April 19, 2017

adoption story: preston and sarah

I remember the first time I talked to Sarah. What started as a typical call asking about adoption and our services soon became so much more.  I remember my voice catching in my throat as I heard their story. One son I could hear playing in the background as Sarah talked and one daughter in Heaven. When someone shares that kind of sorrow mixed with the most beautiful faith and hope, it becomes a sacred moment. I didn't know how then, but I knew God was in the midst of a redemptive and beautiful story. Not because I could see the future or had confidence in a process. But because God does things like that. He can make beauty from ashes, joy from mourning, and redemption from pain and suffering. 

Today it's worth it to grab a cup of your favorite coffee or tea, pull up a chair, and read how God did just that with this family...

"I've been thinking about adoption," I said as we drove to Children's Hospital for the last time.

"Me too," said my husband.

With tears in our eyes and the deepest of sorrow in our souls, we spent three more bittersweet days with our dying daughter. We surrendered her to Jesus, ushered her into heaven, and drove home with an empty back seat, weary and overcome with grief.

Our almost 2-year-old son was once again an only child.

This was not how we had imagined growing our family.

We always knew that adoption would be a part of our lives, but in our perfect plan we would have our biological children first and then continue to add children through adoption.

But after two unplanned, albeit necessary, c-sections, my body was now limited in how many children I could grow in my own womb. Additionally, I needed to wait at least a year until trying to conceive again.

Even assuming my next pregnancy and delivery would happen without any complications, the thought of waiting that long to have another child felt like an eternity.

Maybe God was leading us down the road of adoption now. Or maybe we were crazy. 

Were we being impulsive? Were we just desperate for a baby to hold? Were we rushing through our grief?

We prayed and prayed. We sought counsel from people who love us enough to tell us the truth. And the resounding affirmation was: Yes. Adoption.

It had always been on our hearts, so we knew we weren't being impulsive.

We did long for a baby, but we knew we weren't desperate. We weren't grasping for a rebound baby. No child could ever replace our daughter. We were seeking a beautiful, unique addition to our family. We love being parents and we desire to have several children. We wanted to keep growing our family.

We weren't rushing through our grief. Adoption takes time. And we knew that our grief would change and certain healing would come even as we continued to move forward.

So we took our first step and contacted Christian Adoption Consultants and our local agency for a home study.

Then we filled out mounds of paperwork. We prayed. We went through hours of training. We cried. We read piles of articles. We grieved. We completed a laborious home study. We hoped. Then we were ready to start presenting to expectant birth families. We waited.

And a whole new wave of doubt and fear crept into our hearts. What if the adoption fails and we lose another baby? What if the birth family lies to us about health issues? What if we unknowingly get matched with a very sick baby? Our hearts can't possibly endure the NICU again. Or worse yet, death. What if...?

But it seemed like every fear we uttered in prayer was replaced with a stronger promise from the heart of God.

I will never leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear. (1 John 4:18)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. (Psalm 23:4)
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

There are no guarantees in adoption. There are no guarantees with biological children. But these things are guaranteed: God is loving. God restores. God sees. God redeems. God heals. God saves. God is powerful. God is for me. God provides. God is good.

Day by day, we trusted God to direct our path in his perfect will.

And then we got the call - just 5 1/2 months after beginning our adoption journey. We were chosen by a courageous birth mother in West Virginia. Her baby boy was due on August 5th - less than a month away.

On August 8th he made his grand entrance into the world:
Sawyer Levi / 8 lb. 7 oz. / 20 in.

In God's sovereign plan, he chose to intersect the lives of our family with Sawyer's birth family, each with our own journey of heartache, and forever join our hearts through the life of this beautiful baby.

We spent three precious days in the hospital with our baby and his birth mom, then we drove home with a sleeping infant in the back seat, our hearts brimming with restored joy and a renewed sense of hope.

On April 10th he officially and forever became a part of our family.

It's almost impossible to describe all of the ways Sawyer has enriched our lives. Or the ways God has used him as an instrument of healing in our hearts. Or the elation we feel when Caleb kisses and hugs his little brother, reads to him, comforts him, and pokes him a little too hard like big brothers do. Or the ways our faith has been strengthened because God called us out into the unknown.

We know all too well that not every story has a happy ending on this side of heaven. But we know with an even deeper confidence that "in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purposes" (Romans 8:28).

We praise the Lord that he can miraculously bring beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61),  that he can take seeds of sorrow and create joy (Psalm 126:5), that he withholds no good thing from those whose walk is blameless (Psalm 84:11).

This is certainly not the way we imagined growing our family. But we are thankful that we've never walked alone. And we are thankful that even though sorrow may last for a night, joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

We now have a little blue-eyed cutie pie to snuggle with every day, squishy cheeks to cover with kisses, and tiny toes to tickle. His laughter and gummy smile fill our home with endless delight. We have this incredible baby to love and cherish and nurture.

The Lord has done great things. And we can finally say:

Welcome to our family Sawyer Levi Smith. We love you forever, our dear son.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

what to expect when she's not expecting

Colin and Kendal are in the midst of their adoption journey and have chosen to share their experience and story at Finding Our Arrows, praying it will also encourage others. Today Colin shares transparently about how their struggle with infertility has impacted him as a husband and how he's learned to support his wife through it as well. I'm thrilled to share a man's perspective of infertility, grief, and hope.

I’m sorry, what? “There is less than a 2% chance you can naturally conceive a child.” No, no, you must be mistaken. This must be some cruel joke; after all, it is April Fool’s Day.  “Less than a 2% chance.” But we followed the plan – we both graduated college, I finished law school and passed the bar…we even recently started building a house! Now it is time to start building our family, too! All of our friends are pregnant – surely this is wrong! But the doctor wasn’t wrong. And on that day, April 1, 2014, our lives were turned upside down. 
For those husbands whose families are struggling with infertility and adoption, trying to cope with the heartache, and searching for what to do next all while attempting to faithfully lead their families through such a trying time. Guys, this post is for you. Trust me, I understand and can empathize with the challenges and struggles you are facing; with the feelings of doubt, anger, and confusion. And because of that, I wanted to share with you a few lessons God has taught me through our journey. I’m no expert, but these are just a few of the thoughts and perspectives I’ve gained from our experience thus far.
My first encouragement is men, if your wife is struggling with infertility, make sure you allow time to grieve. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”  Kendal and I received our infertility diagnosis in April 2014. At the same time, we were in the process of building our first home, so questions of wall color, furniture placement, and landscaping filled our minds. After closing on our home that June, our life settled down a bit. So, during a summer evening walk, and just a few months after receiving our tragic diagnosis, I brought up to Kendal the idea of adoption.  My comments were met with silence.
You see (spoiler alert), men and women think differently. Men are fixers and problem solvers.  In my mind, infertility + wanting a family = adoption.  This logically made sense to me.  But I missed the mourning and grieving part. Kendal wasn’t ready. She was still working and processing what such a diagnosis really meant. And I jumped waaaaaaay ahead of her, unrealistically expecting her to be on the same page as me. So men, take the time to grieve and mourn with your wife. And trust me, we did and still continue to do so, both together and individually. I still struggle with this, but I’m learning to stop, slow down, and just wait for her. We both wanted a family, and obviously both came to the decision of adoption, but take time to mourn and grieve with your spouse. Cry with her, hug her, love her. While adoption may be in your future, and perhaps it is God’s plan for you, it is ok to take the time to be sad. 
Secondly, realize that just because you made a plan, that doesn’t mean God has to fit Himself into it.  Proverbs 16:9 says “A man makes a plan in his heart, but God directs his path.” Kendal and I met while we were in college (Geaux Tigers!) and were engaged in December 2009.  I was in law school at the time, so we weren’t “ready” for kids.  But once I finished and passed the bar in 2012, we wanted to add to the two of us.  We thought we were ready – it was just “time” to have children.  All our friends were pregnant and asking us when we would have children.  They spoke as if it were a guaranteed outcome. But it just wasn’t happening for us.  God wasn’t fitting Himself into our timeline – into what we thought we wanted and when we wanted it.
For two people who like plans, schedules, and being in control, this is a tough one to learn. God isn’t restricted to what our feeble minds can imagine, but just as He told the prophet Habakkuk, He is “doing a work…that you would not believe if told.” So, just remember, it is ok to not have the answers. Believe me, I know the pain of waiting and wanting a child and feeling so lonely when all your friends are pregnant and something just isn’t right.  But God is in control. The Proverbs writer puts it like this, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” 
Lastly, above all else, and while it may be difficult to see at the moment, these struggles are just light and momentary. I know that sounds like nonsense while you are enduring your trials, but that is how the apostle Paul describes them in 2 Corinthians 4:17 when he writes “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” In other words, Paul, writing with eternity in view, weighs his present trials against future glory and discovers his trials are actually working for him. So when your world seems to fall around you, when you and your wife are devastated by terrible news, remember that these experiences are paled in comparison with what is to come. And that is something to take hope in – your light and momentary struggles are producing something much better for you! And that is eternal rest with our Father in Heaven. 
I hope this post is helpful to you. Believe me, infertility and adoption isn’t just something you “get over” and move on from. But these are just a few of the many lessons I’ve learned which I hope will encourage you during your time of struggle. 

To follow along with Colin and Kendal's story, you can find their blog at Finding Our Arrows.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

the lie of adoption

Adoption is full of choices.
What kind of adoption will you pursue: domestic, international, foster care?
Which agency will your work with? What attorney will help you finalize? What other adoption professionals will you work with?
What kind of child are you open to in regards to age, race, siblings, etc.? 
What kind of openness will you share with the birth family?
The choices seem endless once you begin your adoption. You realize there are many paths to take and deciding which is the best for your family is an important part of the process. Adoption is also full of checklists and paperwork. There's a tremendous amount of forms to complete, boxes of preferences to check, and appointments to schedule.

In some sense all of these choices that are available are a blessing. There's tremendous value in doing your research and finding the best fit for your family. There's wisdom in researching all of your choices, educating yourself on what is out there, and prayerfully making decisions as a couple. And being in a space where you are accomplishing tasks that get you closer to bringing a baby home are exciting and life-giving. 

BUT. All of these choices also create a false sense of control in adoption.

Because at some point in your journey, you are left to wait. The choices have been made. The paperwork is complete. The nursery has been decorated. The baby registry is finished. And you're left with seemingly nothing else to do but wait...

And the choice is left to someone else. An expectant family looking over profiles, making their own choices about the future of their child. You realize the control you thought you had isn't near as much as you had hoped.

When all the "doing" is done, the lie of control lingers and can leave you grasping at a false sense of security and comfort. The choices being made in this stage of adoption are just as endless. But this time, they are not yours to make.
When will we be chosen?
What can we do to make sure we're chosen?
Is the expectant mom making healthy choices for her pregnancy?
How will our time at the hospital unfold?  
What if none of this works out in the end? 
This is where the adoption process can become completely overwhelming, fear-inducing, and anxiety ridden. To the point that it can even lead a family to be completely paralyzed and shaken that they are no longer in control and it's all left up to "fate."

But it doesn't have to feel this way. Our fears don't have to become controlling. Our anxiety doesn't have to become our mode of operation during the adoption process. And we don't even have to ensure we have complete control over our adoption.

We can rest, because the truth is we're never really in total control of our lives.

Even while struggling with infertility, you can't ever make yourself get pregnant even if you eat all the right things and take all the right medications at all the right times. Even with a biological pregnancy you can't choose the gender or guarantee the health of the baby. And with many other situations in our lives, there's so much that's simply outside of our control.

While initially that can be a horribly unnerving thought, it can also be incredibly freeing.

What if God's plans are better for us?  

I've found there's a crucial step that every adoptive family needs to come to in order to have peace and contentment through the adoption process. You can hold on to control so tightly that you actually miss what God has for you. Or you can release your white-knuckled grip on your plans and hand them to Jesus. 

But how? How do you overcome the fear and the "what ifs" and the inability to control outcomes in adoption?

Practically, the best way I've seen couples do this is to walk through every open door they have in front of them. Then, prayerfully ask God to slam that door shut if it's not His will. There's always a tension in adoption (and in every aspect of our lives) where we weigh good, solid, common sense and wisdom with a confident and reckless faith. When we ask the Holy Spirit to take the lead. And when we do all we can then leave it with God to do the rest. Sometimes taking the first step can feel like taking a leap off the ledge. But sometimes, knowing when to let God take over is even more challenging.

The lie of adoption (and all of life) is that we are in control. But the beauty is that God is in perfect control and completely trustworthy.

In the end, it's God who creates families. He knows best. His timing is perfect.

And when He is the author, God always writes the best stories.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. 
{Ephesians 3:20-21}

For more encouragement in the wait...

Monday, April 3, 2017

adoption story: brandon and erin

What a joy it was working with Brandon and Erin as they brought their son home through adoption! Although sweet babies are born often into our CAC family, the telling never gets old. Each family has a personal and beautiful way God answered prayers, a brave birth mother who made an adoption plan, and a unique story of their family adding a sweet baby. Today Erin shares their journey from a family of two to three...

It’s finally official! We finalized the adoption of our son, Sam, last week. We are forever a family and it feels so good to rest in this certainty. Although our adoption story began from infertility, we shortly realized that this was God’s plan to grow our family all along. Not knowing where to begin, I searched online and found Susan with Christian Adoption Consultants. I immediately saw her love for adoption and heart for Christ from her blog and contacted her the next day. Susan provided so much guidance throughout the entire adoption process. She was always accessible and answered all of our many questions. Susan was there every step of the way and I enjoyed sharing our adoption journey with her. 

We started the adoption process in January of 2016. By the end of February we had completed our home study and by March we had applied to a few agencies. Next came the wait. Waiting to be matched was such a challenging part of the process. Now looking back, it was during this time that God was working the most. He was always present and with every “no” we received, he was there holding us and preparing our hearts for our baby. God was teaching us patience, trust, and how to surrender all our fears and anxiety to Him. During this time, it reminded me that God is intentional in all his acts, even in his unanswered prayers. It took 8 “no’s” to get a final “yes” and on September 29, 2016 we were matched! 

As we waited for “E’s” due date, one thing that surprised me was that I was the one wanting more openness and communication than she. I wanted to to know more about her and build a relationship. She on the other hand was not comfortable communicating just yet, which we respected of course. 

On December 21, 2016, Samuel was born. We met him and “E” for the first time at the hospital and it was truly a beautiful moment that I will always cherish. We admired “E’s” strength and courage that she had chosen adoption, and felt honored that she had selected us. We had a nesting room at the hospital and loved spending every second bonding with our new baby boy. The next 72 hours were a rollercoaster to say the least, and God was there too. Our prayers were answered and we have loved being a family of three ever since.

Friday, March 24, 2017

where the real need is in adoption

It's a common question in adoption, and a good one. 

"Where is the real need in adoption?"

It's a conversation that comes up at least once a week in my work as an adoption consultant. A family is on the front end of their adoption journey and deciding which route to choose: domestic adoption, international adoption, or foster care/fostering to adopt. For some couples, they are deciding which route fits with their preferences or budget. Which makes the most sense for their family.

But for some families, even more than the desire to grow their family through  adoption, is the desire to meet a need for a child.

They want to go where the most need is.

It's no secret I work primarily in domestic adoption. Christian Adoption Consultants also serves families in the international adoption process. And foster care is near and dear to my heart (my husband has spent over a dozen years as a social worker in child welfare).

So you want to know what I tell people when they ask where the real need in adoption is? 

It's in all of these spaces.

We all know our foster care system is in desperate need of families. Families willing to step in to temporarily care for children while their birth families address issues with the goal of reunification. Or families opening their home to a child who has been in the state's care and now needs a forever family since reunification is no longer possible. 

And of course there's a need for families to travel to other countries to adopt internationally. There are children in orphanages across the globe in need of families to provide loving homes.

But a lot of people assume domestic adoption has the least need in the U.S. There is still the false idea that there are families "in line" so to speak, waiting on infants to be born who are available for adoption.

This is the point in the conversation that gets honest and raw and real when families ask where the real need is. So I would love to pretend that instead of you reading this blog from behind a computer screen, we're meeting face to face over coffee. And this is the part where I would lean in close, lower my voice, and tell just how big the need is in domestic adoption.

Can I be honest? In once sense, the old idea that there are plenty of families waiting to be matched is still generally true. But here's where that breaks down quickly: many of those families are also waiting on children with a skin tone that matches theirs and with promises and guarantees of both mother's and baby's health, in addition to a fairly closed adoption.

Please hear me. These are all valid desires and preferences. Every couple has to wrestle with what makes the most sense for their family in the context of their communities.

But this post is about where the real need is in adoption. Not about preferences or desires.

This post is about real, raw needs. Real babies in need of unconditionally loving parents. Expectant mamas who desperately and bravely desire an adoptive family to raise their child. Birth families who want ongoing contact with their child and their child's family in the future to know they are doing well and being loved.

Adoption always starts with brokenness. Always. The perfect design of a family breaks down when a birth mother isn't in a place to parent or a woman who desperately wants to become a mother through biology isn't able to. And often, an expectant mother decides to make an adoption plan because she's in an incredibly hard space; she's in unhealthy relationships, she's been impacted by substance use/abuse, or she's made poor decisions in her life. Although this of course isn't always the case, this kind of brokenness often impacts the beginning of an adoption story.

Most often the families "waiting in line" are the ones who don't want some of these realities to be the beginning of their child's story.

So where is the real need in adoption? For domestic infant adoption in the U.S., it's with the baby girl weaning off morphine. It's with the beautiful brown skinned boy. And it's with the baby whose mama would love pictures and letters to watch them grow up. 

A few years ago had you asked me where the biggest need was, I would have told you it's for families to step into adopting children of color. Today, by far, the greatest need is families willing to adopt substance-affected children. Babies who are impacted during the pregnancy with some form of substance ranging from nicotine and prescription drugs to heroin or cocaine.

Truly, the realities of substance-affected pregnancies are a whole other topic. But I can tell you from experience that more often the "what-ifs" are much more scary than the realities of raising these babies. That very often a baby affected by substances has a pretty rocky first few days or months of life and then can be completely on track developmentally in the future. And that a child raised in a substance-affected home (which is very often where a lot of the studies out there have come from) is a much different scenario than a child raised in a substance-free home. 

Ultimately, each family needs to lean on Jesus to guide and direct building their families through adoption. You can be assured that with each each kind of adoption available, there is an absolute need. 

And this is the point in the conversation, where, if we were face to face, I would put my coffee cup down and look right into your eyes.

In our lives, since the need is everywhere, a better question to ask is: What need is Jesus calling us to meet?

How can we step into adoption without strings attached?

What does it look like for our "yes" to be on the table, unconditionally?

Can we trust God to write our family story even better than we every could?

When we start asking these kinds of questions, God has control. He does the work. And we can rest knowing He will be faithful to create our family, according to his perfect plan.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

what adoption has taught me about love

In my work as an adoption consultant, I have the honor of walking alongside couples on their journey to build their family through adoption. I partner with adoptive families for the entirety of their adoption: starting with the home study and sometimes for years afterwards. I watch in awe as they pray, wait, dream, and work to answer the call they have to adopt. We pray together for birth families and babies and we laugh together at God's crazy timing and overwhelming faithfulness. My role as a counselor, educator, and advisor has been incredibly rewarding.

But walking with these families, day in and day out over the years, has probably taught me more than I have ever taught them. I’ve come to the table with information and insights, but, if I’m honest, I’ve learned much more about the important stuff of life from them.

Here’s a few of those important lessons adoptive families have taught me along the way...

READ THE REST OF MY POST HERE: Michelle Madrid-Branch

Michelle is an author and speaker with a strong voice in the adoption community as an adoptee and adoptive mother. Take awhile to take a peek at her website empowering women, advocating for adoption, and strengthening communities. I'm honored to have a chance to share in her space today!

Friday, March 10, 2017

repost: 5 myths of open adoption

In my work as an adoption consultant, one of the most common questions I get (from hopeful adoptive families and others who are curious about how it all works) is about openness in adoption. I've shared a lot in writing about openness, including tips for a healthy open adoption and a series on navigating openness. Today I thought I would repost some helpful thoughts dispelling common myths about open adoption.

I've found there is an air of mystery surrounding open adoption and a lot of questions from my adoptive families first beginning to contemplate adoption and what will be a good fit for them.

What will our relationship with the birth family look like in the years to come?

What kind of contact will we with have with the birth mother?

Will the birth father overstep his role?

Is openness even good or healthy for our child?

For adoptive families, it's critical to wrestle with these questions early on in the adoption process and understand the benefits and challenges to open adoption.

Openness in adoption describes the relationship between the adoptive family and birth family. Years ago, closed adoption was the only option. Pregnancy outside of marriage was looked at much differently and a woman was expected to make a secretive adoption plan. A closed adoption ensured she wouldn't shame herself and her family and allowed the adoptive family to avoid admitting publicly that they had fertility issues.

Closed adoptions led to a lot of problems. Children who didn't know their stories. Birth families who had no idea if their children were loved and well cared for. Adoptive families left with gaping holes in their child's medical history. 

Now we know that some level of openness benefits everyone involved in the adoption triad (the adopted child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents). But there are still many popular myths that are still believed, even after the research has shown how positive openness can be. Many of these myths come from the media that exploit the rare negative experiences or Lifetime movie dramas. 

So today we're busting the myths about open adoption. Here are the top 5 I hear often:

1.   Open adoption is co-parenting  
Some people assume that with open adoption comes co-parenting with the birth family: sharing parental responsibilities and decisions and even custody or time. When an adoption is finalized, the adoptive parents become the legal parents of the child. A new birth certificate is issued with their names listed as parents. That means that all of the decisions, custody, and rights lie solely with the adoptive parents, even if the birth family disagrees with these decisions. A better way to look at open adoption is co-loving the child rather than co-parenting.  

2.   Having an open relationship with the birth family is risky since they might change their mind and decide to parent
Not only is a new birth certificate issued at the time of finalization, but at that time the adoption is also irrevocable. This means that when the birth parents make an adoption plan, sign consent forms, and the adoption is finalized by a judge, it is final; the child is forever a part of that family. This is one reason it's critical to have adoption professionals (like a consultant, agency, and attorney) who know what they're doing walk beside you to ensure all of the necessary legal steps are taken. Once an adoption is finalized, even if a birth parent changes their mind, the adoption can not be overturned.

3.   In open adoption, birth parents regret their decision
The assumption is that if a birth parent sees their child growing up they will change their mind. Actually, open adoptions often have the exact opposite effect. A birth parent can see firsthand that their child is loved and well cared for. Instead of wondering if they made the right decision, they are able to witness firsthand the blessing their decision has been to a family and have confirmation that it really was the best choice for their child.

4.   Open adoption only benefits the birth family
Not only does a birth family get the assurance that they made the right decision, but the benefits of openness also extend to the child and the birth family. The child knows their birth story, has a healthy sense of identity, and has the assurance of their birth parents love firsthand. The adoptive family is able to be aware of medical and social issues in real time, not just from a form that was completed during the pregnancy. And the entire adoption triad serves as a sort of beautiful extended family for everyone involved.

5.   There are no boundaries in open adoption 
Just like all relationships we have in life, boundaries are good and healthy to have. I have yet to hear of a birth mother who shows up on a doorstep unexpectedly. More often birth mothers are hesitant because they don't want to encroach on the family she has chosen to help create. As in relationships with grandparents, extended family members, and friends, healthy boundaries are necessary and include open communication, clear expectations, and seasons that are closer than others.

By no means do I want to communicate there is a one-size-fits-all method to pursuing open adoption and what is best for each family. Openness is on a spectrum and is unique to every family (birth and adoptive). Finding the right fit is to be prayerfully considered and can change throughout the adoption process and the child's lifetime. 

It's also worthwhile to note that these decisions are harder to make with a nameless, faceless couple who are future birth parents. I've often found that once an adoptive family and birth family meet and the process of getting to know each other happens organically, much of the fears subside. When a true relationship is formed, bonds are created, and the best interests of a shared child is a mutual goal, openness can create a beautiful story for everyone involved.

For more on this topic, check out this post: Open Adoption [A Mini-Tutorial]

Want more adoption [mini] tutorials? Click here for more resources!

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