A reminder to keep your open adoption promises.

Oct 1, 2013


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Ken Garff Honda of Orem. I was compensated for it, but the opinions expressed are all my own. I love these guys so much. In fact, just mention my blog and it will get you $500 off any car purchase (new, used, trade in, lease, etc.) at Ken Garff Honda of Orem.


I just got back from the post office.

I mailed a little update package of photos, letters and drawings to each of my kids’ birth moms. It’s one of my favorite things to do. With life getting busier and busier as the kids get older, I have to get creative on where and when I put these packages together.

My latest workspace is in the minivan over the center console between the front seats. Turns out it’s the perfect place to hand-write a letter, label some photos and put together a little craft during football and t-ball practices.

Open adoption

Yes, life with little ones is busy, but we should seriously reexamine our schedules if we are too busy to keep our open adoption promises–even if it’s taking a few minutes to text some photos, make a little video or send an update email.

My challenge to all you adoptive parents out there is to take a minute or two and send an update of some kind today! It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be there.




  1. Sure, it doesn’t have to be perfect because the wonderful gift you received wasn’t perfect….just a life that can never be recaptured; moments of growing up that will never be known; the firsts that were all missed because of “someone” giving a human gift because they heard and believed that giving the child was the “right” and “loving thing” to do – give away a treasure that can never be replaced. Yes, it would be nice for the first mom/dad to receive your expressions of gratitude for being allowed to raise their child for them. Doesn’t all this sound convoluted and distorted? Having a child who has a biological family out there, who isn’t allowed to be a part of that family anymore….that sounds so strange. I don’t get this kind of adoption at all.

    • You don’t understand open adoption?

    • And this may offer more clarity on why I say it doesn’t have to be perfect: http://www.therhouse.com/regrets/

      Thankfully, we’ve been reunited. :)

      As for your other comments, I don’t think I mentioned anything in this post as to why my children were placed for adoption. I try not to speak for my kids’ birth parents in that regard. Their reasons are their own.

      And my update packages aren’t expressions of gratitude although that is always mentioned. Those packages (in addition to weekly texts and pictures and access to all my social media channels) are updates on their child that they no doubt are missing everyday. Do photos make up for what they are missing? No way. But, it’s something that we talked about at length before placement and I hope I can always be found keeping my promises to these birth parents who entrusted me with a literal piece of themselves.

      But, it’s not for everyone. Not everyone “gets it”. It’s not my place to try and change your mind but I can offer you a glimpse into what our open adoptions look like.

      Thanks for your comment. It was thought provoking. :)

    • Hello Linda. It seems that you are not what you portray your website to be, Christian. Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Just a little reminder to what you are stating.

      Not all adoptions are horrible, not all are negative. Every one of her birth mom’s (and any birth mom) has their own reasoning behind placing their child for adoption or not. Who are you to say that this should be a last resort? Have you not thought that these women have not mentioned to their family that this was the case? That maybe the parents were too old or did not have the means to take care of the child? Or how about the fact that they wanted their child raised by TWO LOVING PARENTS in a HOME with a FAMILY like the R’s? I didn’t think so.

      I am all for casting your opinions in some situations, but this one is a no. You can ask ANY birth mother OR adoptive parent and the relationships that Lindsey and Josh have with their birth families is nothing but PHENOMENAL. From aunts to uncles, to grandparents and siblings. Even the “anti adoption” world wishes that they had Lindsey as an adoptive mother.. cause you know what Linda – SHE GET’S IT!

      I think you are amazing Lindsey. I know your birth mothers are so very thankful for an amazing mother and father for those three boys. You are an inspiration.

  2. I know what ours has been like. Life experience has proven that adoption was told to be one thing and fully ended up another. Pictures, brief 2 hour visits once a year, and NO contact in between….nothing right and loving about that. Unfortunately, my story is more prevalent than the pretty one you are expressing. And unless all biological family members were dead, unwilling(or all unfit) those children need to know who they are by remaining in the biological family regardless of whether or not the parents raise them. It’s just too complicated otherwise. Adoptive parents need to recognize they are NOT the only set of parents/mom/dad in child/ren’s lives when they adopt. Adoption is for children in foster care who have no home, not for the biological mother who is told the adoptive family can give their child a better life (whether financial, stable, etc). Circumstances and life change. They can never get the child or the child’s life back and most biological family members mourn for a lifetime. So your gratitude is necessary although I could tell by the response given, there is far more entitlement (because of being there for all their firsts: wiping noses, holding them when they cry) than grateful…so sad. Everyday needs to be celebration of how your family was created with gratitude for a lifetime of the sacrifice made by the mom/dad who created the life you were given. Just so you know….there is a lot more to the other side of adoption than most adoptive parents want to hear or believe. Ours was a “wonderful” initial set up too. Glad to know this is thought provoking. I would hope it gives a glimpse into the raw side of biological families that your biological mom/dad doesn’t dare express because, after all, they gave up a life that most adoptive couples can’t create in the first place. How on earth could anyone give up a child!!

    • I agree with some of your points and respectfully disagree with others. Everyone’s journey and situation is different. And this blog is about ours.

      Again, thanks for your comment.

  3. Lindsey, you are right. Every situation is different and we shouldn’t assume we know or understand their reasons. We have an open adoption, but we are in the beginning stages. Our daughter is 9 months old. We regularly send pictures and updates. Her birthfather does not want to be a part of her life and her birthmother seems to be getting more distant. However, we always make an effort to show she always has a place in our family and our daughter’s life.

    • I love that you are regularly sending updates to your daughters birthmother! I just want to encourage you to keep sending those updates even if she pulls away. You are still very early into the adoption, which means she is still processing that grief. When my chld was 6-9 months, I too pulled away for a little while. I was going through the different stages of grief and I just needed some time alone to process things. Keeping up with the updates even when she doesn’t have the heart to respond will let her know she is always welcome in your family’s life :)

      • It’s rare that I hear back from any of them, but it sure is fun to send them. :) This is the arrangement that we’ve been doing for over 6 years and we’ve loved it!

  4. wow.. reading these comments has made me sad and angry. My son’s birthmom doesn’t want to see him. My son’s birthmom chose her new boyfriend over him. She did realize that the new boyfriend would only treat him poorly and I give her great credit for realizing that. She realized that her older two sons would suffer if she kept her third. I cry for the beautiful moments she misses and the chances she misses to see him smile at her and hug her.

    Have you thought about why women place their children… the situations in which they find themselves that make them realize that throwing a child into the mix will not give a child what it deserves. Adoptive families are not better, they are just different. Until you walk in the shoes of each mother who places, don’t question why she made her choice. Who is anyone else to pass judgement on why a birthmom makes the choice she does? No one… AP or other birthmom gets to pass that judgement.

  5. what is sad to me is that some Aparents need reminding.
    its always been my hope and shattered dream that the Afamily would WANT to share, (if for no other reason than the love they have for the child), not have to be reminded to share. being reminded is like what you do with chores, and chores suck. i hate that maintaining contact with birthparents is a chore to many Aparents. i would think it is something fun exciting and anticipated from the Aparents, as well as the birthparents.
    gotta run, my unicorn is complaining, the skittles in the food trough are getting low…

    • I love this comment.

    • so true. it shouldn’t be looked at as obligation.. though it definitely is if promised.. but a privilege, joy, and honor. What parent.. BP or AP… doesn’t feel joy at sharing their children?

  6. My adoptive daughter wants contact with her birthparents but both have rejected her yet again. We opened our daughters adoption when she was two years old. Things were going good and then the birthmother got married and had a child and then she broke my daughters heart by saying a horrible thing to her. It has never been repaired. I have admired my daughter because after a lesson in Young Women’s about forgiveness she felt that she need to let her birthmother know that she was hurt but that she forgave her and there has never been a response. Our daughter opened her adoption with her birthfather. Again wonderful relationship to again only being rejected after he and his wife had a child. Again heartache for my child. I now as her mother feel horrible regret and guilt for helping her to open her adoptions. How do you get pass that when you did all that they (birthparents) wanted you to do as far as communication, gifts letters etc only to see your child have the realization that they weren’t wanted shoved right in their face again. They don’t offer that as a class in the adoption prep classes or when they are teaching you about how wonderful open adoptions are. Yes we are all human beings but we all have your own free agency not matter if it hurts the innocent.

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