Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Adoption Story: Zach and Nikki Opening Their Hearts to Openness

Congratulations, Christian Adoption Consultants family, Zach and Nikki, on the beautiful gift of your daughter! Watching this couple walk out their adoption journey with open hearts of love for their daughter's birth mom has been so encouraging. When I think about their adoption journey, the first thing that comes to mind is the beautiful relationship they have formed with their daughter's birth mom. Nikki shares:

"Our experience with Christian Adoption Consultants has been invaluable. Before signing with CAC, we had looked into all the different adoption avenues. We felt so overwhelmed by the lengthy and complicated adoption process and our ignorance about all of it. We had hundreds of questions, many of which we didn't even know we had at the time, and Google could only offer so many answers. We were hesitant with the cost of adoption to spend extra money on a consultant, but now I know we absolutely could not have done it without Katie and the help of CAC. Katie counseled us and held our hand through every step of the way. She connected us with agencies for our home study and agencies and attorneys who would connect us to an expectant mother. Without Katie, we would have had to apply to one or two agencies and been on a waiting list for years before even being presenting to an expectant mother. We were literally quoted 2 or more years by several local agencies. With Katie's help, our home study was finished in 3 months and we immediately began seeing expectant mothers' situations. We brought our daughter home just 9 months after signing with CAC. Without CAC, Katie, and the network of supporters she connected us with, we would still be sitting on a waiting list, probably feeling helpless and powerless, as we did before CAC."

"When we first started thinking about adoption, we wanted a closed adoption. We did not like the idea of an open adoption because we didn't think our child's birth mom should be involved in the raising of our child. We were nervous that our child would not see us as his or her parents, and we felt threatened by the involvement and relationship the birth mom would have with him or her. However, after much prayer and consideration, we decided we must go with an open adoption! The role that a birth mom has in an adopted child's life is invaluable. After reading several articles and watching a documentary all by adult adoptees, we knew that it would be best for our child to know his or her birth mom."

"In open adoption, an expectant mother chooses us to be the parents of her growing baby, and she has confidence in our abilities to love and care for that child. Choosing adoption is not easy, but expectant moms choose this option when they want the absolute best life for their child but know they cannot provide that. Knowing this, we can move forward with the confidence that we are our child's parents and that our child loves us dearly. A curiosity about his or her birth mom does not change that. Of course, appropriate boundaries should be set ahead of time, but having ongoing contact is so important for the mental and emotional well-being of a child. As children grow, they start to have many questions about identity. Ongoing contact with his or her birth mom fills this hole and answers these questions. I would absolutely recommend this, as it is vital for our hearts to know where we came from."

"Our experience with open adoption has been a more incredible experience than we could have ever imagined. Before our daughter's arrival, we formed such deep connections and relationships with her birth mom and family. During our initial meeting, we were able to meet her birth mom and both of her birth mom's parents. Our conversation seemed to flow so naturally, and we all connected immediately. We were all in tears over how grateful we were for each other. During the remainder of the pregnancy, we spoke with the birth mom at least once every 1-2 weeks and texted frequently. She sent us ultrasound pictures, and we were even invited to her home a few days before our daughter arrived for a dinner with her and her extended family. We were always so welcomed and felt like a part of a big family. All of these moments, texts, and conversations we treasure dearly not only because we love this family so much, but also we know how much our daughter will treasure these stories one day too when we share them with her. We are so thankful that our daughter's birth mom continues to keep in contact with us and that our child will never have to wonder who her birth mom was or where she came from. We'll be able to help answer her identity questions and help her to feel secure in knowing that her birth mother loved her deeply and made the most selfless and loving choice for her. We couldn't imagine a better situation for our daughter."

If you are worried or afraid about the idea of an open adoption, can I encourage you to go to God with that, pouring it all out before Him? Maybe it will not be what you end up experiencing, but it is worth praying and asking Him to guide you through your fears and questions. What Zach and Nikki shared about their experience is such a good illustration of the amazing gift that an on-going relationship with your child's birth parents can be.
For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com.

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