Saturday, December 16, 2017

Our Scars Tell Our Stories: Bex's Adoption Story

I'm excited that I have another guest post for ya'll! My dear friend Bex is sharing her story of open adoption. She's a birthmom to her son, Kip. She placed him for adoption in 2008, less than a year before I got pregnant with Lily. I knew about her story and reached out to her when I needed a friend and someone who understood what I was going through. She was that friend to me, helping me through my pregnancy and through my wrestling with the choice of adoption or parenting. Her friendship has been incredibly precious to me in how we've helped each other process our experiences. Besides Lily's father, she was literally the first person to know about her. I know you'll be blessed to read what she's written. She could have shared so much and I hope you'll follow along with her adoption story on Instagram to read much more (link at the end of the post). I wanted to share stories of people touched in multiple ways by adoption, to share the beautiful and the hard, because after all, adoption is born out of loss. It's incredibly important to truly hear other people's stories and perspectives. It helps us learn to be empathetic and loving when we get outside of our own bubbles and recognize we have much to learn from the experience of others. I pray Bex's words will especially touch those considering placing their child for adoption themselves and those who've adopted a child or are considering adoption one.


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I was 18, from a "good home," and I "knew better." I had run from hurt straight into more. I found myself carrying the baby of someone I didn't have a healthy relationship with.

"How will I tell the people I love that I am pregnant? What will they say and think? What if something happens and I don't actually have to deal with this?" Irresponsible. Dirty. Not good enough. Shame sneaks in and pins me down. My belly grows and there are now stretch marks... evidence of my mistake. Who would want me with this story and these scars?


I moved to Colorado to be with a friend and her family who took me in and loved the mess I was. They supported me in looking into all my options. Adoption was presented and I balked at the idea. I could never give my baby to a family I didn't know and go on living life wondering about him. Through the course of the summer I became educated about the option of adoption. When I learned about open adoption I knew this was the only way I could move forward in making an adoption plan. Open adoption means the birth family and adoptive family share personal/identifying information and communicate directly, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything beyond that...it's really up to the particular triad as to how that is handled and plays out.

God brought a couple into my life that "happened" to be working with the same agency I was. We built a relationship and began to move forward with the adoption plan. We talked about what it would look like for us to choose open adoption. We knew it wouldn't be easy, but it would be healthy and best for all of us. There isn't a contract of guidelines stating how the open adoption will work, so this means there has to be an abundance of grace for each other.

My labor and delivery was not at all what I planned. After many hours of no progression, my son, Kipling, was born via cesarean. November 1, 2008, 9:25p, 7lb 8 oz, 21 in. The days following I was healing from major surgery, trying to be a mom, and dealing with emotional and mental stress. All too soon it was time for us to part; I signed final relinquishment paperwork while holding him...it was surreal. He went home to his new life and I left empty handed and broken-hearted.


I did not seek post placement counseling....I was told the grief I felt was normal and it would eventually subside. I was told so often that I was brave and strong, which I *heard* as "you are strong, strong people aren't sad about decisions they've made like this." Looking back I realize that is not what was meant, but this is how I applied those words.

Not terribly long ago I was attending a birth (I am a doula) and a nurse said to the client, "you do all this work and then you get to take your baby home!" I about lost it because all I could think was "I did this and I didn't get to take my baby home." This pushed me to get professional counseling. Through counseling I was able to continue processing my birth story. One of the biggest things that came out of this was learning to not bottle my emotions up, because they would just be a huge mess near Kip's birthday, visits, and holidays. It's a process...I didn't finish that season of counseling having it all together. I'm so thankful to my counselor for the hours she put into listening to my story, letting me feel all the feels with no judgement, teaching me healthy ways to process grief, and for affirming what is true!

Bex, her husband Ben, and Kip at their wedding

There have been seasons when I've struggled with how our open adoption relationship functions, and seasons when it is everything I could hope for it to be. But this is the joy of openness...there is a relationship to be had! I'm so thankful E and L have always been open to me. And with that there is great peace and joy in knowing my little boy is happy, healthy, and so very loved. This is the tension of adoption, it is beautiful and hard.

Earlier I mentioned the shame and guilt I felt after finding out I was pregnant. There are still days when I don't remember Who I am in and the shame sneaks back in. There are still days when I look down and cringe at my stretch marks. But there are days I am able to rest in God's healing. He goes before and comes behind giving each piece of my story a purpose, banishing shame, and giving me grace and forgiveness.


If you are considering placing your child for adoption, I want you to know I am here for you. Feel free to follow my adoption story on Instagram @bex_tummymommy

Here is a beautiful video from Kip's Entrustment Ceremony.

"We pray that you'll always know that the reason that you have two families is not because you were loved less, but because you were loved more."


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Bex and I in Denver, Colorado in 2015.


Here are our friendship bracelets with our tattoos for the little ones who brought us together in friendship. She was one of the first to know the name that is now forever on my wrist.


Bex and I with Kip at his 3rd birthday party in 2011. :)


You can read all the posts I've shared about Bex and Kip by clicking here.

This post left me:

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful story of redemption and love! Praise God that He put you, Bex, together with the special couple that adopted your son. May you always know God's love and His care for you and your child. Shame is a trick of the enemy! When that demonic thought tries to break through: Take that thought to Jesus and let Him send it to the pit where it belongs!! You are loved and adored by God! Thank you for telling your very dear story!

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