Open Adoption

Posted by Gladney Center for Adoption on 3/16/21 8:45 AM

Prior to applying to adopt through Gladney, my husband, Courtney, and I researched open adoptions as much as we could. On top of the typical questions about the adoption process, we asked ourselves, “How exactly do we navigate an open adoption, and what if it all goes wrong?”

We had been parents for almost three years to our daughter, Avery. She is our little IVF miracle. Becoming parents again wasn’t what intimidated us. It was all the added layers that came with adopting a child. Parenting a child who is adopted is one layer. We added another layer when we chose open adoption, and we added an additional layer when we chose to adopt and parent a child of another race. We believe these layers are not obstacles or complications, but they do lay the footprints of a unique parenting journey.

I remember vividly the day I received a call from our caseworker that an expectant mother had chosen us and wanted to talk to me on the phone. A couple of days later, she and I spoke for hours. We had already created a Google voice number, but after talking to her on the phone, we decided to share our real phone number. We made arrangements to visit her and her family in Phoenix later that month. My husband, our daughter, Avery, and I flew out to Phoenix. A Gladney birth parent caseworker met all of us at Chuck E. Cheese for dinner to help make introductions and to ensure we all felt comfortable. The next day, we joined her and her family at a science museum and enjoyed playing with the kids and getting to know each other better. Before we ended our short trip to Phoenix, we decided to reveal our last name and email address. This was the first step in opening up the adoption.

When she texted me to say she was in labor, we threw our bags in the car and drove straight from San Antonio straight to Phoenix. At a McDonald’s for a pit stop, Avery told other children on the playground that her little sister had been born. There were some confused expressions! The next morning, we met our youngest daughter at the hospital. We took placement of Olivia when she was two days old and visited with her birth mother and her family a couple more times before we had permission to head back to Texas.

When Olivia was born, we opened up our adoption a little more by sharing our address. We continued to text and talk on the phone about Olivia. At this point, we didn’t need to send updates through Gladney because we were communicating directly. Through phone calls and texting, we continued to build our friendship. As Olivia neared her first birthday, her birth mother asked if she could come and visit. For the next few years, we would fly her out every other year for a visit. These visits occurred without Olivia’s biological siblings.

As Olivia approached 5 years old, we decided it was time to include her siblings in a visit, so we made the drive to Phoenix. As I’m writing this, Olivia and I have been looking back at photos and videos from that time and reliving some memories. I cannot fully explain the joy we all experienced watching all the siblings play together. For Olivia to see her own physical traits in her biological siblings and to share some of the same personality traits provides her answers that we never could have provided without an open adoption. On this visit, she also got to meet her new baby brother. Olivia proudly shares with her friends that she has two sisters and two brothers. She confidently shared she was adopted with her entire first grade class when she was “queen of the day.” We have continued visits with Olivia’s birth mother and her siblings at least every other year. Sometimes we go to Phoenix, and sometimes they come to San Antonio.

Without an open adoption and visits, Olivia wouldn’t have the opportunity to develop a relationship with her biological siblings. Some people have asked how I handle it if her birth mother crosses a relationship boundary or how I feel when Olivia and her birth mother are interacting. I view our relationship with her birth mother as a relationship with any family member. Sometimes boundaries are crossed, and there are disagreements, just like in any family. The important thing to remember is that this is not about us. We are navigating this journey and relationship for the benefit of Olivia. I can confidently say I’ve never felt threatened by her birth mother’s presence in our lives. Olivia knows I am her Mom, but she also knows she is loved by her birth mother and that her birth mother made a loving decision by choosing us to be Olivia’s parents. We do not correspond with Olivia’s birth father but will welcome some type of relationship when he is ready. For now, we are happy to be able to remind Olivia of who she gets her great sense of humor from and why she is so good at puzzles.

Every story is different, and I hope by sharing our story, we provide yet another perspective for a family wanting to adopt or currently parenting a child who has been adopted. Wherever you are in your journey, I hope I provided some insight by sharing our experiences.

Read More

Topics: Adoption Stories, Transracial Adoption, Development, Open Adoption

Myles {Taiwan} Joins Virtual Superkids

Posted by Superkids Team on 3/15/21 10:40 AM

Myles joined our most recent virtual Superkids trip and we are very excited to announce that we have much more information to share with you! Don't forget to tune in for our Facebook live presentation of Myles on Tuesday, March 16! 

Read More

Topics: Superkids, Taiwan Adoption, Waiting Children, Waiting Child

Marcus {Taiwan} Joins Virtual Superkids

Posted by Superkids Team on 3/10/21 7:30 AM

Marcus joined our most recent virtual Superkids trip and we are very excited to announce that we have much more information to share with you! We will also be sharing more about him tomorrow during a Facebook Live stream – so be sure to tune in!

Read More

Topics: Superkids, Taiwan Adoption, Waiting Children, Waiting Child

Ace & Avery {Taiwan} Part of Virtual Superkids Trip

Posted by Superkids Team on 3/8/21 8:55 AM

Ace and Avery joined our most recent virtual Superkids trip and we are very excited to announce that we have much more information to share with you! It is expected that Avery and Ace will be adopted together.  Please keep reading to learn more about this amazing sibling group! We will also be share more about the siblings tomorrow during a Facebook Live stream – be sure to tune in!

Read More

Topics: Superkids, Taiwan Adoption, Waiting Children, Waiting Child

2021 Superkids Wish List

Posted by Superkids Team on 3/5/21 9:07 AM

We love our Superkids trips and have several virtual trips planned in the upcoming months!  As always, we have an Amazon wish list that will help to provide some fun gifts for the children who participate. With your generous donations, our Superkids are becoming superheroes.  Every item purchased is a huge help!  Keep scrolling to see our Superkids enjoying your previous donations.

Read More

Topics: Superkids, Waiting Children, Waiting Child

The Word 'Happy' Describes Joseph {Taiwan}

Posted by Superkids Team on 3/3/21 8:00 AM

Joseph just celebrated his 10th birthday, and we hope he can celebrate with his new family next year! Joseph is described as a gentle and lively young boy. He is curious about new things and is willing to explore. He is highly cooperative and happy to share with others. Joseph loves physical activity and would do best in an active family.

Read More

Topics: Superkids, Taiwan Adoption, Waiting Children, Waiting Child

Advocate for James {Taiwan} For His Birthday

Posted by Superkids Team on 3/1/21 6:00 AM

James is about to celebrate his 3rd birthday and has the cutest smile and the sweetest little giggle! His relations with others are close and he is not afraid of strangers.

Read More

Topics: Superkids, Taiwan Adoption, Waiting Children, Waiting Child

Gladney's I.D.E.A. Corps

Posted by Heather Beasley on 2/25/21 9:00 AM

My name is Heather Beasley, and I lead our Human Resources efforts at the Gladney Center for Adoption. My 15 years at Gladney have flown by, and I can truly say I have enjoyed every minute. Gladney is unlike any other place I have worked. Our staff are so passionate and driven toward the work they do, and that is not something you see often in the field of human resources. I have had the privilege of working on several initiatives here at Gladney, such as becoming a Blue Zone Approved Workplace, planning and implementing the Disney Institute's quality standards into the foundation of Gladney culture, being named one of the best places to work in Fort Worth, and now, helping to facilitate the efforts of Gladney's I.D.E.A. Corps.

Read More

Topics: Insider, Gladney Leadership, Transracial Adoption

Say "Hi!" to Ange {Taiwan}

Posted by Superkids Team on 2/24/21 3:15 AM

Meet Ange! Ange is an adorable 5 1/2-year-old girl who loves affection from others and likes to laugh. She is a lively young girl and is not shy around strangers. 

Read More

Topics: Superkids, Taiwan Adoption, Waiting Children, Waiting Child

Introducing Mathis {Taiwan}!!

Posted by Superkids Team on 2/23/21 7:30 PM

Mathis is a 4 ½ year old boy that is not afraid of strangers and likes interacting with others. Mathis began attending preschool in September of 2020. When he first entered school, he would cry for his nanny however he has now adapted well and gradually become accustomed to his new school routine. When it comes to sharing toys with others, he is quite protective of his own things.  He likes most when adults read him picture books and enjoys playing matching games.

Read More

Topics: Superkids, Taiwan Adoption, Waiting Children, Waiting Child

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all