The word “adoption” first entered my head when I was a junior in high school. I was on a mission trip in Washington D.C. doing a VBS in a neighborhood full of crime and underprivileged children. I left a piece of my heart with the children there and after that experience I knew I wanted to adopt one of my future children. I wanted to adopt and give a little baby a better life.
Fast forward 10 years…
I was on a walk with my brand new boyfriend, who was telling me that if this relationship went anywhere we wouldn’t be able to have our own children. That relationship did go somewhere, and after 4 years of marriage, we decided it was time to call an adoption agency and get on a list to adopt a baby from Oklahoma.
We were scared. Because of the agency we used, open adoption was the only option. And we didn’t understand what that was. We didn’t have even close to enough money in savings to cover the expenses. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into or how much the entire process would bless our lives. We went through mountains of paperwork. We organized countless fundraisers. We wrote down every detail of our lives, from our favorite movie to how we treated our mothers when we were teenagers (yikes!) in our adoption profile.
On October 13th, our profile went active for birth parents to view. Six months later, on April 15th, at 4:15 in the afternoon, we got “The Call.” Our profile had been picked by a set of birth parents and we were going to have a little boy in May. On May 15th, exactly one month later, our son was born.
Throughout our adoption experience, I have learned several things that I think are worth sharing:
- People are scared of adoption. They think they can’t afford it. They think that open adoptions are scary; that if they invite their baby’s birth mom to a birthday party the birth mom will take that baby away in her huge purse. These are thoughts that actually went through my head. I’m here to tell you that those are myths.
- People want to help. We could not afford adoption. We couldn’t even come close to affording adoption. But – your friends, your church, your families – they want to help. They will plan your fundraisers. They will do photo shoots for you for free. They will donate half their house to your ginormous garage sale. They will do everything in their power to help you get your baby. Less than 1/8 of our total adoption cost came from our personal bank account; everything else was donated. PEOPLE WANT TO HELP.
- We learned what Open Adoption means. It means doing so many visits per year with our son’s birth parents. It means not hiding from our son that he is adopted, and that when we show him pictures of his birth mom and dad he knows exactly who they are. We love our son’s birth parents and the relationship that is slowly growing between us. He has half-brothers that already adore him. An open adoption sounds scary, and yes, there is a period of time right after the baby is born that they can change their mind. During that time, you won’t want to eat, sleep, or do anything but look at your sweet baby and pray that they get to be yours forever.
- Adoption is not about “saving” an underprivileged baby. This is perhaps the biggest lesson we learned. I think many people view adoption as a way to save a baby, and in a way, that is true. You can probably provide a better living environment for them. However, we don’t believe that we saved our son from an underprivileged life. His birth parents asked us into their family and now this little baby has so many people to love him. When they asked us to be his parents, they filled in a hole in our lives that we were unsure would ever get filled. He is absolutely the perfect fit into our little family.
Have you considered adoption? Is adoption a part of your family’s story? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!
Hi! My name is Mackenzie Keck. I’m originally from Boulder, Colorado, but I came to Oklahoma for college, met my husband, and he convinced me to stay! We have been married for 5 happy years and recently adopted a little boy who is the light of our lives. I love coffee, Netflix, Target, and the Chicago Cubs, Bulls, and Bears.