This past week in Bible study we talked about “Taking up your cross.” While I was there I realized how God had changed me as I took up my cross for Him. Growing up I was like an only child since my brother was 12 years older than me and my sister nine years. Since my father had died when I was very young, it was just my Mother and me for many years. I can remember referring to her as “MY MOTHER,” even to my own sister! I was very possessive of her.
Another thing that was hard for me to share was chocolate. When my sister lived in Canada, I took her 3 bags of her favorite white chocolates that they did not carry in Banff where she lived. By the time I got to the Calgary airport, those three bags dwindled down to around one. It takes a very long time to get to Banff from Knoxville!
So when it came time for Brian and I to decide on an open or a closed adoption in our traditional adoption I wanted to choose closed. I felt so strongly that that was the right choice that I did my thesis on the topic. I discovered that parents who have a “closed” adoption have more anxiety surrounding the birth mother than the families who chose open. I wanted to know what was best for the child and not the parents, but I could not find any research on the effects of closed versus open as it related to adopted children. The adoption agency let us know that if we chose closed adoption our chance of receiving a child was not good. So of course we reluctantly chose open.
I did not want to share “my” child after waiting so long and enduring so much. Other “normal” parents do not have to share their child. Why should I? These were all thoughts that went through my head. God really opened my heart to “open” adoption by the time Brian and I came to choose embryo adoption.
My first attempt with embryo adoption was with a couple from Knoxville who wanted an open adoption and to spend time together. We talked on the phone before the transfer and I had envisioned what our new life would be like with them playing a role as well. Those embryos ended up not surviving the thaw. The back-up embryos resulted in a chemical pregnancy which was a huge disappointment, but God had other plans.
As I get ready for our Disney trip with the Cassidy family, I see how greatly God has blessed me. If my heart would have remained hardened toward open adoption, I would not have the two beautiful children I have now; furthermore, I would not know the love another family could bring to my life as well as my children’s.