What is the best part of your adoption arrangement?

AMANDA

I think for me, the adoption process in our arrangement, at the time when I was choosing it, I just did what I thought was the best thing to do and it just made a lot of sense for me and my situation that I wanted in the end. To me what was most important was my daughter and what she wanted out of the arrangement and so that’s why I’ve kind of left it into a place where it is up to her whether or not she’ll meet me. I thought that was the best thing at least for me in the situation and in doing that it kind of freed me to pursue different things as far as traveling and meeting my husband who was from England.

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Had I a situation where I was regularly visiting with my daughter I don’t know if I would have ever left Kentucky to be able to kind of marry someone who lived in a different country and so the arrangement on the back of it, now looking back at it, it has worked out a lot better than I had ever imagined. So one day I do hope that she’ll want to meet me and if she does I really look forward to doing that and to developing a relationship with her, but that’s up to her whether or not she wants that.

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LEAH OUTTEN

The best part of our adoption arrangement is how open it is and how trusting we are and how we are just one big extended family. It’s really neat to see how we’ve all come together and everywhere from my grandparents to my aunts or cousins and her side of aunts and cousins, like we can just all get together for birthdays or Christmas or whatever the event is and we can just- like we’re just- we’re not blood related but we are just family. We keep up with each other like we’re family or really close friend and this is just really neat to see how it’s evolved over time and how we can just love on each other because we love her so much and we want to be- we’re a strong unit together for her.

MAKENA LEIGH PORTER

The best part of my adoption arrangement is I get to see my little Mason Scott whenever I want. When I’m having really hard days because all of the emotions I didn’t really feel when I was going through the pregnancy, I feel it now. I’d be like ‘’Hey, can you give me a video call real quick” and they call me and talk on the phone for hours and he’s so big, walking around and doing somersaults and the best part is making that relationship and growing together as one, as a family and it gets better over time because, I mean, there’s so much to learn about a person and it’s just amazing being able to see him grow up and the follow up and learning new things and doing sign language, it was amazing.

BAILEY CORRELL

That’s hard. I don’t know if all of it is a good answer but to break it down, each relationship that I’ve developed and that has developed is equally important. My relationship with Elizabeth is great and it’s a huge, huge blessing just to be able to be part of her life. As she’s getting older, we’re getting closer and I’m seeing her personality develop and she have a personality. She’s very independent and opinionated and kind of bossy. So my relationship with her is great. I get to really be part of her life. I get to spend time with her and see her grow. The best part of it frankly is just knowing that I get to love on her and tell her how special [no audio].

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There’s never going to be a moment where she wonders where she came from. She already know about the adoption. She tells anybody who will listen that I am her baby, that’s what she calls me, and she was in my tummy. She will happily tell anybody that. Of course, I’m delighted to hear how she claims me as hers and she knows who I am. So that in itself is one of my favorite aspects. That I had a chance to love this 4 year old and in return this 4 year old has loved me like no one else ever has. I get to watch her adoptive parents bond with her. I get to see them grow as parents where they were like parents to me growing up.

Getting to know her and watching her parents grow is phenomenal. Like I said, they were parents to me growing up. They were that second set of parents. Now I get to watch them become parent [no audio] and it’s great to see her loving them. I get to see the genetics that are mine. Some of the things she does, her personality, I see myself. Then her smile, her facial expressions, the way she expresses herself [no audio] I get to see her adoptive parents and then the relationship with her adoptive parents that I’ve developed. They have become such a source of support in my life. No matter what happens I can turn them to say and tell them what’s going on. No matter how bad it gets, how good it gets, they’re always there. When I found out that I’d been accepted into a doctoral program, the first thing I did was call my parents and my boyfriend and then called them and they were so excited. I was able to tell them, she’s still my motivation for this, she’s the reason I’m going into this profession and I’m so excited because I’m finally making progress. It was great that I can share all this milestones with them and they can share their struggles and milestones with Elizabeth and [no audio] and I get to see, like I just get this perfect window into her life and I get to love her and she loves me, her parents, we both love them as well. This is this great family I can’t imagine not being a part of.

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HEIDI RUSSO

The best part of our adoption arrangement throughout all of these years is the fact that Rick and Theresa were open to whatever I felt comfortable with, whatever I needed to heal and to move through the grieving process post-placement. They were so open to any of my request, whatever I needed. Actually at that time you weren’t allowed to have each other’s address or know where each other was and they didn’t care about that. They said it was silly.

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Our letters and stuff would have to go through the adoption agency and actually Theresa slipped her address through and so then I slipped mine back through then we just started communicating outside the adoption agency. I think that part of the arrangement was probably the most comforting for me that they didn’t have this fear that I was going to come back and change my mind or any of the other misconceptions that are out there. They were really concerned about me and how this is going to work after placement for me and that I was okay too. Then I had a sense of feeling and belief that Colin was okay too and doing amazingly well. I think she went out of her way to make sure that I knew that. I’m so grateful for that. I think that was a huge part of healing for me.

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KELSEY QUESENBERRY

For me personally it is definitely the openness and the fact that I care just as much about Mike and Amanda as I do for Henry. They are really, really great people. They made me feel like I was a part of the family and I can’t express how awesome and how grateful I am to have them in my life. They are like super committed to an open adoption and always keeping me involved.

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They’re just warm and genuinely nice people. Sometimes I’m not the most genuinely nice person and it feels really good to have someone like that in your life. To know that they’re just taking such great care of Henry when I couldn’t is the best feeling even though sometimes it’s hard. There has never been a doubt in my mind about that and I think that’s probably the best feeling in the world because I know that there are people who go through years of wondering and feeling like to take it back and I feel really, really, really lucky to have such awesome people in my life.

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JANEL BROWN

The best part of my adoption arrangement is the little bit of openness we do have. If it was completely close I’d think it would have been a lot more difficult for me to find peace with the choices that I’ve made. The other best part is to know that they’ve lived where I lived. They lived in the same little town I lived in when they first adopted my daughter. Then they moved to Florida which is where I moved. Not too far from me. So I think that’s kind of cool that I have the knowledge of that because I do have some openness with the family.

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