Birthmoms and what they mean to us

birth-mother

(In order to protect the privacy of these brave women, we are omitting names or even stories we have heard, as those are not ours to tell).

One of the things we loved the most about the training we attended was the panel towards the end where we were introduced to adopted parents, adoptees and birthmothers who had placed their children for adoption. We really enjoyed hearing all of the stories and experiences, but what we got the most out of was the stories we heard from the birth mothers and their experience.

Before going to this training, one of the things that we had conversations about was the subject of open vs closed adoptions. We had talked with our friends that have adopted, and got a wide variety of feedback about their personal experiences. At first, the term “open adoption” seemed a bit daunting, and it was hard for us to visualize what that would look like. Based on our research, personal experience, and the guidance from others, we felt that a semi open adoption was something that we were interested in. Throughout the weekend, we felt our hearts be moved so deeply for the birthmoms that we met. We felt a confirmation in our hearts that having the option to contact the birth mom, and keep her or her family updated on the life of our child, is not only something that we are open to, but something that we are excited for. It is easy to get caught up in differences and worries. It is easy to worry about the things that make an open adoption sound scary. We have learned that although we may be very different in many ways, there is one thing that is the same. We both love this child. We both will make life changing sacrifices for this child. We both will see The Lord in new and amazing ways through the gift of adoption. We both are different pieces of the puzzle of who our child is, and we would not be complete without each other.

Birth mothers make a huge sacrifice when they decide to place their child for adoption, sometimes they decide on their own, sometimes the birth father or their parents are involved in their decision. Regardless of what moved them to make that decision, there is still grief, there is a loss and there is the need for healing. One of the things we loved the most about our agency is the fact that they continue to offer support and counseling to the birth families as well, as some agencies kind of just match and then it is the end of the story. They are often forgotten or just seen as a means to an end to a family who is adopting and then they are just left to deal with it on their own. We talked at length with the case worker during our consultation about the process of healing and what that looks like for them, which is why they encourage that even if a closed adoption is what the birth mom wants to still write letter and maybe send pictures to the agency as they have seen before that in some cases they will come or contact them just wanting to know how the child is doing and this also helps them heal and be reassured that they made the right choice.

We know nothing about our birth mother, if she will want an open or a closed adoption, if she will want to get pictures and letters or not. We don’t know what she likes, what her background is or anything. We don’t know if the birth father will be involved in the decision, or won’t care. There is so much we don’t know, but we are excited to get to that place, even if that is still a while away. Birth mothers are strong.

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The Uncomfortable Step in Adoption (or a very honest post about it)

Neither Danielle and I love begging people, specially family and friends we care about for money, we are just not those type of people. We set up a Go Fund Me page and have received an overwhelmingly amount of emotional support from people, loving messages and a lot of shares, we even made a video about adoption and have many people tell us how beautiful it is and we will always appreciate that…but we need your support.

This week we were hit with the realization of something, fundraising is not very easy.

While the idea of coming up with fun ideas and raising money to get your child sounds like a fun thing to do, it is a lot of hard work. Adoption is very costly, and while we are doing some things to raise funds (events and such), we have still be hit with the reality that we are far from the end goal. We are left with the question of “will this even be possible?”

We are still in a very early stage of adoption and being on a waiting list (a long one I should say) gives us hope that we can do this, that we can get to our goal and raise enough funds to adopt our child, but the reality is that we still have so much to get done. Adoption is a blessing, but one that comes with a very high price.

For those who have gone through the process of adoption, you know how challenging it can be, specially when you plan for things to go a certain way and then they turn out to go slower than you thought. It can be frustrating and a little disappointing at times, but we just need to have faith that at the end, everything is going work out the way they should. Just the other day, Danielle and I had a rough time thinking how unnatural it feels to be asking for donations, we shouldn’t have to, we should be able to just make a kid of our own, but God had different plans for us when He had placed the path of adoption in our hearts and we are so happy to be walking that road together. That constant reminder of the fact that because of possible fertility issues we are not able to have a kid “the natural way” can come bite you every now and then, even when you are so excited about the idea of adoption. Even as I sit down in front of my laptop and write these words I feel attacked and wonder if we will even be able to reach our goal, and while I feel confident we will, I still feel scared and worried that we may not.

Many people have shown us so much love and support emotional and prayerfully, and while that is awesome and we couldn’t ask for anything better, we still ask that if you have a minute to please consider with any little bit of help. Also, keep an eye for fundraising events we will have soon. After all, we have always felt that we belong to such a strong and tight community and we know that we have the love and support of it.

So how much does an adoption cost?

While adoption is a huge blessing, it is very costly and depending of the agency you use can be anywhere between $20,000-$30,000 (or maybe more). Now the good thing is that most agencies have a fee schedule where you can break the cost so that huge amount is not due all at once.

From the very beginning we have wanted to work hard to get to that goal, whether it is through setting up events, yard sales and even through little contributions here and there from friends and family. More than ever before, one way or another we need your help!

Luis

Also, when you get a chance, here is the link to our Go Fund Me campaign, just click on the button to get there:

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For international donations (because we have family outside of the USA), you can do so through PayPal as well by clicking here

Once again, thank you and please enjoy our video again!

A Father’s Tale

I never thought this would be us…

I repeated that many times to myself when we started considering the idea that maybe having our own biological children may not be something in the cards for us. I would say it out loud to myself in my thoughts, when I was by myself driving to work and even with my wife. The thought that maybe there is something wrong was never a conversation that I would be having with my wife or with anyone. It just didn’t seem like this would be our case and our story. I remember feeling insecure and feeling like maybe I was the problem, that I was the reason why we couldn’t have children and that it wasn’t fair on my wife who dreamed of becoming a mother some day, I felt like I was failing her in the duty to give her that.

Although many blogs and books on adoption, pregnancy and even parenting seem to be written in the woman’s perspective, there appears to be very little that is geared to men. Our society seems to really put a lot of the weight of having children on the woman, and that is righteously so since a man will never endure morning sickness, cramps, miscomfort or the pain of giving birth and I don’t think any man would want to, but I feel just like myself there are many men who need to know they are not alone.

Some of the hardest moments my wife and I endured while we started considering we may not make our own children was the news we keep hearing from friends about pregnancies, seeing pictures posted on Facebook of ultra sound or quirky announcements, pictures of newborns and friends posting the many pictures of their children as they grow and reach a new milestone. We really struggles. I really struggled and it was not easy to overcome.

Traditionally, whether they want to or not, the man is who “brings 50% of the ingredients it takes to make a child”. As a man you want to know that you are leaving a legacy in this world, that your DNA and genetic code is not going to end with you and the thought of this possibly not happening can be very hard to accept. You want to give your wife those children she loves and prays for every day even if she has never met them, you dream of teaching them things, sharing your skills and hobbies, watching them play sports or take on an activity or interest that will make them happy. You dream of your son or daughter resembling you and you desire for them continue your legacy in the future. At least I did and I know I am not the only that has. I mourned. I cried. I resented God and kept thinking to myself this was not fair because there are so many people out there who don’t want children. I would think of all the children born out of wedlock that are not wanted by their mother and their fathers and how it was not fair that for some reason people like them would easily conceive, neglect and ignore their children. I would hear stories about some of the mothers about that resented their children and blamed them for their situation and would just see them as a burden to their life style and the men in their life. I would think it was not fair that women like that would be granted children and not us, who are responsible and would love to have kids because we want them.

But something happened the moment we had that honest conversation about adoption. As we have both said before, adoption was always a plan of ours, not a plan B and I always believed that because we talked about it even back when we were just dating and thinking about what our future would be like if we got married. I think like any couple who has adopted first, we deep inside wanted to maybe have one or two biological kids first and then adopt a third one, but I remember realizing that maybe it would be our first and second and possibly third that we would end up adopting and I remember feeling that was fine, that it was exactly the plan for the very beginning and that was perfectly OK. All of the sudden the thoughts, fears and even the sadness of realizing that my “DNA” may never genetically be carried over to the next generation was not something that mattered anymore. I all the sudden seemed to have forgotten why that was a concern to begin with and would not care what our children looked like or even if they remotely looked like us. I don’t care if they share the color of our skin, eyes, hair or even if they are polar opposite to us. Whoever I get to call son or daughter will be just as loved no matter where they came from.

Happy-Fathers-Day-Quotes-From-Adopted-Son-Daughter

I remember getting to that point and feeling an incredible peace and comfort knowing that genes and DNA had nothing to do with my children carrying my legacy and being excited about loving the children that have been hand picked by God to be ours, and to carry our legacy no matter who made them. We can’t make time go faster and wish we could because we have heard from other adoptive parents that is a slow process that will test your patience, but that is fine, it will give even more time for our hearts to grow to loving our children even more with each day that passes.

This has been a huge journey for me and for both of us, and I hope that if you are a man that is going through this situation that you know you are not alone. One of my hopes for this blog is also to reach to others that are in the same situation and be of any kind of help or encouragement, like many others have been to me in this. I believe that God can change our hearts and desires and give us His.

-Luis