A reminder to keep your open adoption promises.


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.



Tyson’s Big Date With His Birth Mom

We recently spent a month on vacation back east where Mr. R and I are both from.

That’s right, a month. It was glorious and just long enough for us to almost get to do everything we wanted to do.

At the top of the list was spending as much time as we could with Tyson’s birth family.

We had an all-day visit at their home with lots of his extended family, great food and wonderful conversation. They are seriously such a rad family that we are dang lucky to be part of.

It was a perfect day!

Tyson found his air hockey soulmate in his birth grandpa. So much intensity, trash talking ...and just a little bit of cheating. ;) #ukranianroots #openadoption #adoption
Tyson did some trash talking with his birth grandpa. He played with the family dogs and showed us all their tricks. All the boys rocked out on the drums. (One of Tyson’s favorite things to do at their house.)

Tyson and his Nicole. #lovebirds #openadoption #adoption @nicoleanne357
And he got in lots of snuggled with his birth mom–sharing secrets and good looks.


However, the event that I was most excited about during our visit was Tyson’s date with his birth mom.

She came to my parents’ house and picked him up. As soon as she rang the doorbell, he ran to her and gave her a huge hug. Then, for possibly the first time in his life, got his shoes and coat on without being asked. He was totally thrilled. 

Although annoyed that I made him stop and take a few photos, he was giddy about their special day. He even got her a poinsettia.

Look who is going on a date with his birthmom tonight. So darling! #Adoption #openadoption

Off they went on an adventure together. An evening of bonding and making memories, sharing a bond that he can only share with her and her with him. I respect that and I honor it. I love it, actually. She is also his mother.

Aside from planning the time and day for him, I wasn’t involved in their date.

I stayed home and didn’t think twice about it.

This is the wish that I have for all my children–that I can be a bridge during their early years in cultivating a relationship with their birth families (by making the effort to stay in lots of contact, keeping promises, etc.) so that when they are older (is 5 considered older? LOL) that they can have their own relationship that does not involve me but is supported by my husband and me.

Not only do I feel like it is my responsibility, I also feel it is my privilege.

Because I love my children so dearly, I dearly love their first families as well.

Tyson showing off the Build-a-Bear he made for his birth mama ...with a light saber of course. Hanging out with her and her awesome family today. @nicoleanne357 #adoption #openadoption
He came home and told me all about it–McDonald’s, even a little Chuck E. Cheese and Build-a-Bear. (This is turning into one of their traditions, I think! Tyson has quite the collection with little recorded messages from his birth mom and she the same from him. Above is the bear he made for her. With a light saber, of course.) He was glowing.

Open adoption, friends. I love it. 

Love this girl to the moon and back. Beautiful, brave and easy-going with a fierce ability to love unconditionally. She is also the #birthmom of my oldest son and an extraordinary example to me. #blessed #adoption #openadoption


Calling My Birthmom

Gavin can often be found wandering around our house having conversations with his birth mother on a phone he made in school or the play phone from the play kitchen.

It’s too much cute for me to handle.

In fact, one day I was encouraging him to put his phone down and come to the table for dinner (we have a strict no-phone rule at our table that includes fake phones as well). He looked at me with all the sass of a 17 year old and proclaimed, “Mom, I am talking to my BIRTH MOM!”

I about died laughing while I said, “Well, tell her I said hello and come to dinner. We can call her for real after you finish eating.”

And we did.

That kid. He is hilarious.


Long live open adoption!