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.

5 thoughts on “TAKING UP MY CROSS

  1. I sometimes wonder if we should have been more open to an open adoption because I now have questions about the donor family…however, I realize that if we went that route, I wouldn’t have the babies we have. It all works out in the end, doesn’t it?

  2. We chose closed adoption because our case worker told us a story of a couple who had underwent IVF and failed to have a pregnancy. The donor mother decided to donate her remaining embryos rather than continue to “sacrifice” them in her attempts to have a pregnancy.

    I didn’t want to risk being the recipient of embryos from a donor mother who was unable to conceive herself. I do wonder about the family from whom our embryos came and I worry that my daughter will have questions about her donor family that we cannot answer. But I still think we made the right choice for our family.

  3. We donated our embryos as a closed adoption primarily for emotional reasons. We had a lot of embryos that remained after having the children that we felt we could financially and emotionally support. We chose to be part of the decision making process though on who we would allow to receive our embryos. We received as much information as possible about the adoptive couple without any identifying information being exchanged. I do have my moments though wondering what the child/children look like and how they are doing, but I feel that we made the right choice and they are with their forever families 🙂

  4. I wish there were more resources and information available to both Placing/Donor and Adoptive families, so they could make a more informed decision about what might be truly best for all involved; including the children that will result from the adoption and their genetic siblings. It’s really a shame that you have to make such agonizing decisions with no one to really talk to and no resources in which to make an informed decision. It doesn’t have to be that way. We knew an open arrangement was in our best interest and our children’s, but it has been a difficult road to navigate. We wish the resources were there, so that when certain emotional issues come up, one can ask “Is this normal?” I think fear plays a huge role for all involved…the unknowns. Very sad, really.

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