Children of my own.

Mar 20, 2014

Children of my own.

Every time someone separates children who were adopted and children who are biologically related to the parents using the above phrase, it makes me cringe a little.

“She has 1 of her own and 2 adopted kids.”

“Are you going to try to have children of your own?”

“They decided to adopt after they couldn’t have children of their own.”

I understand that people don’t always know the correct terminology or know what positive adoption language is. That’s why blogs like mine exist. It’s why support groups exist on a local and national level.

Education is powerful and it can be done lovingly.

You belong. |

Let’s take, for example, when someone says that they want to adopt but first they want to have children “of their own.”

I feel a sadness for the child that this person may adopt and that he may feel from his adoptive parents he wasn’t ”their own.” Why? Because words are powerful.

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” <—-Lies. 

While I feel strongly that children are not possessions or trophies to be collected but rather on loan during their mortal journey from a loving Father in Heaven …I can’t help but think that every child deserves to feel like they belong to and with someone. Connected.

As I’ve read accounts of and talked with individuals who were adopted, many express the feeling of not fitting in or belonging. Even Superman felt this way! Their stories have had a profound influence on my parenting. (Behold the power of telling your story, friends!)

Their stories are part of the reason that we feel so passionately about open adoption and why I want my children to have a relationship with their biological families that does not go through me. It’s part of the reason my kids know their stories already–even the harder parts of their stories. It’s part of the reason my husband and I continue to study and learn and be involved in the adoption community.

We seek for ways to help these kids feel like they belong while giving them the freedom to feel how they need to feel and validating that. (If that even makes sense. My husband is especially good at this. I think it’s one of the perks of being a therapist.)

They belong to their Father in Heaven.

They belong to their first families.

They belong to their biological cultures.

They belong to our family.

They belong to their adoptive family’s heritage.

They belong to the adoption community.

They belong to the multiracial community.

They belong to our neighborhood and church communities.

They belong to their schools, to their sports teams, to their friends.

They belong to their choices, their faith, their passions, their talents.

They belong in their own skin.

They are important. They are loved. They are heard and seen.

I love to tell my children the sacred experiences I had when their birth mothers asked us to be their mom and dad. I let them know the joy and intense emotion that filled their birth mother’s heart and soul when she looked into their little face. They were always wanted.  

I tell them about when I held them for the first time. I tell them how my spirit recognized their spirit and my body welled up with peace and warmth. I tell them how I still feel it. I tell them how honored I feel to be their mama.

My whole world is wrapped up in my husband and my children. They are the loves of my life. I just cannot imagine how a biological child could feel more “my own” then these boys do and are. They are my people.

“I belong with you. You belong with me. You’re my sweetheart.”

I guess for me “belonging” is more of a feeling than a biological thing.



Our birth moms sent us together.

Mar 18, 2014

The deepest conversations I have with my kids often take place while we are going something else. 

In the car just last week, we discussed the atonement and redemption on our way to pick up the date night babysitter.

A few days ago, I was doing the dishes and Gavin pulled up a chair and sat at the counter by me.

“Hey Mom, I know how Tyson and me and Jack became brothers.”

“You do? Tell me.”

“Our birth moms sent us together in our family. All our birth moms.”

Brother Quotes |

Isn’t he precious?

I love hearing how my kids think about our family’s story. I love that they know their siblings’ stories. I love that they are able to see the connections that brought us all together.

So grateful that I have a job that allows me to be home with my little people and be here for these conversations.


Your Infertility Is Safe Here

Feb 7, 2014

Recently, someone told me they were worried they may be experiencing infertility. 

“You’ve been the biggest support without even knowing it,” they told me. As someone who tries to be sensitive to infertility, I found this to be such a nice compliment.

Of course I had my suspicions and recognized the signs but I didn’t say a word. Want to know why? Because your infertility is safe here.

You are safe here.

How to Support Infertile Friend |

In my home, I will never ask you if you are pregnant.

In fact, I will never even ask you when/if you are planning on having children. Or coyly mention with a wink, “So…when are you going to make me an aunt?”

You’ll never hear me wonder how long you’ve ‘been trying.’

And once you do tell me that you’ve been struggling with starting a family, you won’t hear me belittle you by asking you if you are ‘doing it right.’ I will never tell you that you haven’t tried long enough. Even though infertility is defined as trying for a year, I recognize the heartache and know it is real even after 4 or 5 months.

The worry is real.

The wondering is heavy.

The what-ifs are consuming.

When I know your heart is hurting in this way, I’ll never mention what a good mother you would be …even if it is so true. I won’t tell you how cute your kids are going to be. I won’t try to guess which features you will pass along and which your husband will.

I certainly won’t tell you that I will be your surrogate or tell you that you can have one of my children like some people do …because those people are some kind of crazy.

I will not ask you how many children you want to have or which gender you are hoping for. I won’t ask if you are going to ‘try for a girl’ since you have so many boys …because I realize you are not God.

I won’t ask you if ‘you’re done’ because you don’t need to reveal such a tender topic to me.

I won’t question it if you never offer to hold my baby. I won’t call you out on it. I won’t force you to.

My feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t show up to a family baby shower or choose to only send a gift. We can bond in another way that doesn’t involve so much baby talk. I totally get that.

I will not say, “Are you going to have another one?” Or worse, “When are you going to have another one?”

Any sentence that starts with “At least you…” and then talks about family building will not come from my lips unless it is dripping with sarcasm.

I won’t try to fix your infertility. Or offer advice. I can’t explain it away. I hope you always know that you can come to us if you have questions or would like recommendations, but I won’t ever pry. I’ve been where you are before and it’s no bueno. 

The reason I won’t say those things is not because I don’t care. I do care. I care enough to let you come to me. With a disease that robs you of your power and your timing, it’s the least I can do to show you love. Let me empower you with your own story, your own timing, your own words.

Your infertility is safe here.

Your pain is safe here.

You’re safe here.



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