Sunday, November 28, 2010

open adoption three years later...

There is no doubt God had an amazing plan for our family long before we ever knew it.

It was exactly three years ago (on Thanksgiving weekend!) that we sat across the table from a 21 year old girl named Megan and her 2 yr. old son, Brayden, for the first time. As she sat down in her chair, I couldn't help but look down at her pregnant tummy and wonder, "Could THAT be my baby?" Quickly I shrugged off those thoughts. Just focus on loving this girl and this baby boy sitting in front of you, Amy. THAT'S who the Lord has placed in your life to love right now. Since Megan was the age of many of our college students, it wasn't hard to sit, listen to her heart, and love her.

She had just found out she was 4 1/2 months pregnant. First she had been told Caroline was a boy, but the week of Thanksgiving she found out the baby was a girl. The birthfather (same as Brayden's) was no longer in the picture and not even helping out with Brayden financially. She was desperately trying to figure out how she would make ends meet with a 2nd child. Though she knew realistically it couldn't happen, her heart was fighting her otherwise. As we listened to this beautiful girl talk, my heart broke for her. Like any mom, she wanted to keep her daughter and give her all the love she could.

(Adoption isn't a plan that a birthmom takes lightly. It is a painful, painful grieving process to realize and admit that you can't do it. I remember Megan having to remind herself through the pregnancy that her desires-- to keep the baby & love her-- were not as important as her baby's needs. That's quite a sacrificial love, if you ask me!)

As we said our goodbyes and drove away from that first meeting, I honestly thought that it would be the last time I would ever see Megan and Brayden. But hopefully our conversation was some kind of help to her, I remember thinking, whether she keeps the baby or places her for adoption with someone. Hopefully we were able to minister to her in her pain, even if we never see her again. As we recapped the conversation at the restaurant, we couldn't help dream of the "what if's" and so we guessed our "chances" of Megan's baby actually becoming our own in less than 4 months.

"I give it a 20% chance," Marc said.
"I give it 10%." (always the optomist that I am...) ha ha :)

Well, God already knew that was a 100%. Looking back, it is beautiful how he used that first meeting to unite our families together in love. And now three YEARS later, my heart still leaps with joy at God's gracious plan! That beautiful girl, Megan, and her son, Brayden, who were strangers three years ago are quite an important part of our extended family.

I know it is probably hard for most people to fathom the dynamic between an adoptive mom and a birthmom being one of mutual respect and joy, (usually the movies or the false stereotypes picture it as otherwise) but we truly rejoice at the times we are able to reunite again like yesterday and celebrate God's faithfulness and provision for us all!!

My sweet daughter knows her "Mommy Megan."
She knows she came out of Mommy Megan's tummy.
And she already knows that it was God's special plan for Megan to pick Mommy & Daddy to be her forever parents.

Open adoption is beautiful:

1. For Marc & I: We get to raise and love a precious child. (WE are the luckiest ones out of this deal!) We love knowing there's another mom out there that is just as proud and heartbroken along with us. She isn't in our "business" or wanting to steal our child away. Nope- she's eternally grateful and a wonderful cheerleader! And over the past year as medical questions have risen, it has been so helpful to be able to talk to Megan about family history stuff and we are both able to grieve this health process together. (it has also been another confirmation to us all of God's plan for placing Caroline in our family)

2. For Megan: She gets to watch her daughter grow up, knowing that she gave her the life she wanted her to have. She doesn't have to WONDER. She can just check the blog or call us anytime. She gets a relationship with her daughter, even if it is long-distance.

3. For Caroline: She gets love from ALL sides!! She doesn't have to WONDER where she came from, or go through an identity crisis surrounding her adoption. She just KNOWS.

Plus, she gets an extra Grandma out of the deal, too!!! :) (who wouldn't want that?)

Here are more pics from our fun day together:

We praise God for how he united our families together.

We love you and are so proud of you, Mommy Megan. We have a feeling you feel the same way... :)
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  1. I think of this often, and it really uplifts me. How cool is God? Far beyond our understanding indeed.

  2. We noticed that Brayden and Caroline look alike. Neat!
    Many thanks for the pictures.
    What a powerful reason for open adoption.

    Grandpa and Gramdma Barnett

  3. Caroline, thanks for sharing this beautiful time with nanny & papa. We love you all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Can't wait to see you at Christmas. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you. God Bless.

  4. I'm consistently amazed by the similarities in our story...If I were a blogger, I would only have to change a few details for this to be my post. And I'm amazed by God's goodness to us in granting us the priviledge to raise a child who is so well-loved! Blessings to all of you, and especially your sweet Megan! :-)

  5. "God already knew that was a 100%."

    How applicable to every area of life, yet so easy to forget.

    Thanks for the reminder.