Since welcoming Harbor home, we’ve received a lot of questions, and I’m answering a few today.
Are Harbor & Nolan biological siblings?
Nope. I know they look at a lot alike (spicy & gorgeous) but they have two separate, beautiful birth mamas.
What avenue did you go through to adopt?
We adopted Nolan through the help of a nonprofit ministry here in Tulsa called Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. When we got the call about Harbor, we brought her birth mom to CPO so that they could facilitate that adoption as well. I can’t say enough great things about CPO and the way that they minister to and love on women and babies in the Tulsa area. It’s a ministry we’ve been blessed to be a part of and spend lots of time involved with. If you’re local and looking for a place to volunteer, you’d be blessed by your time spent at CPO.
How are your kiddos adjusting to their new sister?
They are phenomenal. Cade (5) is constantly telling me, “if she cries at night mom, just come get me.” He loves to hold her, sing to her, wear her in the Ergo carrier, and say over and over again that she’s just so cute. Story (3) sings to her when she’s fussy in the car and purposely tries to work the word “sister” into as many conversations as she possibly can. She is so ecstatic. I didn’t expect that Nolan (12 months) would know what was going on (he and Harbor are 10 months apart) but he has surprised me with how much he catches on to. He will pull up and peek into her bassinet and try to shove a binky in her face… scares me to death, but it is the sweetest thing. He also says “baby” which is hilarious because he’s kind of still a baby ; )
Can Harbor or Nolan’s birth moms come and take them back?
This is a question I get almost every day. There is a huge lack of education and misinformation around adoption. It kills me. The short answer: no. And they wouldn’t want to. They made a selfless choice to place their babies where they believed they would thrive, and they still maintain that it was the best choice they could have made (both have told me this more than once). They are so happy to see them growing up in a family that is stable and able to provide them with every opportunity they dream for them to have.
As far as the legalities go: no. Within a few days of placement, biological parental rights are terminated before a judge. At that point we are their guardians until all the follow-up visits are complete (our home study provider comes to our house three times over the course of 6 months to ensure the babies are thriving) and then we finalize before a judge and they receive their new last name and birth certificates. Adoption is not babysitting. It is legal, and it is forever and ever. They are ours as if they were born to us, and for someone to take them would be kidnapping. I hope as more people come to understand this, they will be less afraid of adopting.
What books would you recommend for someone considering adopting?
These two books completely wrecked my heart and I can’t recommend them enough:
Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker
A few others I love:
The Well-Connected Child by Karyn B. Purvis
The Bible. It says so much about Jesus’ heart for adoption and how we are all adopted into His family… The Bible, man. It’s a good one.
For kids (whether they’re a part of an adoptive family or not, these are awesome):
God Found Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren
A Mother For Choco by Keiko Kazsa
How often do you see your children’s birth moms?
Every open adoption looks different, and each of ours does. Noley’s birth mom no longer lives in state, so we haven’t seen her in a few months but we stay in touch regularly via text & social media. She called me on the phone a few weeks ago and I think I answered the phone “Oh I’m so excited to hear your voice!” : ) We try to see Harbor’s birth mom once a week and we love our time with her. I understand that open adoption can be intimidating from the outside, but when you’re in it, it’s really not at all. If anything is ever unhealthy, you can absolutely make the decision to say “this will not work for us right now.” But for the most part, open adoption is an awesome opportunity to expand your family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents!) and be a shining light for Jesus.
There are lots of other questions that we get regularly so I may do another Q&A post soon!
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