Let me preface that I do not have kids yet, with a congenital heart problem and a pacemaker, that is not so conveniently placed in my belly, me carrying a baby makes it difficult for us. My husband and I have a plan though and we hope to have a family in the future; so until than I’m the lurking friend that watches all of my friends with their kids with amazement and adornment.
When I go to visit friends with kids I thoroughly enjoy staring at the new baby, cuddling the new baby and (in the most non creepy way, I swear) smelling the new baby. I also enjoy encouraging my friends almost 2 year old to go into a cupboard and get the pans out, entertained by the mischief he’s getting into. Honestly, I probably put more time in watching the child or watching how the child and the parents interact more than I actually put in the time of talking to my friends, …wait, does that make me a bad friend? It’s not that I don’t like talking to my friends, it’s just that obviously I enjoy their kids company a lot, but lately I’ve also had so much love in sitting back and observing the whole process of a mothers and fathers interactions with their child, that I sometimes forget that I’m also there to have adult conversations with my friends. Maybe that’s what they call baby fever, or maybe it’s just another level of my crazy love for people watching, or at this point a crazy, weird love for baby and kid watching.
Last month I had the amazing opportunity of going to California with 6 of my best girlfriends, girlfriends that I have been friends with almost half my life. We are a unique bunch and when we’re all together I swear people would think that we are family depending on the time of day (or night for that matter) it is. This group has quiet girls and loud girls, big personalities and laid back girls but we all bring something special to our dynamic table of bondage. What’s most special is that we all try to support each other, support comes in various ways in friendships and sometimes when the opportunities arrive, support means going on trips; like trips to California to visit our best friend’s kids that she placed for adoption 7 years ago. It was a week in California our, #adultspringbreak.
7 years ago Kelly placed her twins for adoption. We have met these adorable twins before in our home town, but never have seen them in their own home, in California. The day we got to their ranch we sat in the living room with Eva and Sean’s mom. We made small talk and as she got to know us and talked to Kelly I could tell how comfortable and how close she and Kelly are. She asked Kelly about her family, about her sister’s upcoming wedding, about her boyfriend; and everything else that friends catch up on; you could tell that their interaction was a true and genuine friendship. She told Kelly about the kids, about how they were doing and also told Kelly about how the kids were excited to see her.
When the kids arrived home from school Sean, 7 years old came running up the drive way through the front door, still with his backpack on jumping into Kelly’s arms;
as they embraced all 6 of us girls were in full on tears. It was something so small and touching but a memory of an unconditional overpowering, love that will never be erased from my mind.
After a day of interacting, watching and observing this amazingly close family, I realized a few things; one, that selflessness and faith really go hand in hand. But, I also realized that adoption, and in my case of observing, an open adoption is truly one of the most beautiful things to see and to watch. If nobody has ever been a part of, or witnessed an open adoption it is truly one of the most selfless, faith filled and amazing things I have ever seen. I can’t speak for Kelly or Michelle (the adoptee mom) but as an outsider looking in, the 2 biggest things that were shone over and over was their own selflessness and love they showed for the kids. I don’t know all of the emotions that Kelly and Michelle experienced going through the adoption process and I can only assume that the adoption decision I’m sure did not come easy for Kelly. But after having this family open their hearts and home to us and meeting the adoptee parents and their family (5 other adopted children) I was amazed by the selflessness and faith of this unique family dynamic. When we asked Michelle, if she was ever scared if mothers and fathers would back out of putting their child up for adoption, her response was profound, “of course” she said, “but you can’t let fear take over your life”. I’m sure I’ve heard this concept before but have never seen it in such light. They are both 100% faith filled and right in that response. You cannot let fear control your life, if Michelle and her husband were too scared every time they went to adopt their 7 kids they would never have one of the most amazing, big and loving families I have ever seen. And if Kelly was too scared of the outcome of either decision to keep the kids or to put them up for adoption, she may not have ever let her faith lead her into the decision that I believe God, whole heartedly helped her make.
So many times we let fear take over, our life, our decisions and what we decide to do with our life. If we could just take a step back; look at the situation we are in and really question ourselves as to why we’re hesitating to do something; I would bet 9 out of 10 times it would be because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of failing, of being let down, of letting someone down, and afraid of what people will think. If we all took the faith that some have in making life altering and life changing decisions and let go of our fear; I bet our lives would be driven by more faith and less fear.
I never really knew about the adoption process, I think until it happens to you or until a friend or family opens up about it you don’t know all that it takes. I was so inspired to see it and I am forever grateful for my friend and for her extended family that they opened their home and their hearts as they welcomed us into their world. To all the people that show courage and that open up your hearts and show us the most intimate parts of your life; thank you; you are the people that continue to change and touch hearts and inspire others.
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