Posts tagged #Adoption blog

Intersect Project :: Adoption & The Pro-Life Cause

The Intersect Project

I've been doing quite a bit of guest posting here lately and am trying to make sure I also document them here for my blog subscribers to go check out! Here's a little teaser of my piece for The Intersect Project on Adoption and the Pro-Life Cause. Read below for the teaser or go ahead and CLICK HERE to view the whole article...

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Our family stands out.

We can’t go to a grocery store without someone stopping and asking us questions about each of our children. For starters, we have identical twin daughters with bright blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. Like typical four year olds, they are feisty and sweet with a touch of sass. The amount of commentary we receive on them alone is enough to write a whole other blogpost, but to add to the excitement we also have a son who doesn’t look anything like us at all.

You see, our son joined our family through the blessing of adoption. He is a beautiful, strong black boy. He is smart and kind and loves to laugh loudly at his sisters. Put that combo together in a grocery store and we’re magnets for conversation starters. Some people stare. Some people are kind. But our diverse family draws attention in a homogenous world in which we tend to surround ourselves with people who think, look and act like us.

One day while standing in the checkout line, a well-intended fellow believer approached our family and commended us on the pro-life stance we took by adopting. I smiled and said, “Yes, we are pro-life, but our son’s birth mom is the true hero; she’s the one who should be commended for her pro-life choice. We really are the lucky beneficiaries of her brave love.”

She shifted uncomfortably and replied, “Well she got herself into that mess and I just can’t imagine anyone giving up a child so beautiful. He’s so lucky to have you, but I guess you’re right. At least she didn’t abort him.”

Cringing at the insensitivity of a conversation that I have had more times than I’d like to admit, I graciously tried to excuse myself and left the store heart-broken for the state of the pro-life agenda in our churches.

You see, pro-life is more complex than simply being against abortion and for saving babies. We’ve pigeonholed the conversation in an effort to fight for the right to life. And while we should fight against abortion with all our might, I believe Scripture calls us to so much more. Yes we fight for life, but we fight for all life.

In Scripture, we are called to care for the orphan and the widow (James 1:27). We are also called to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8). But most importantly, we are given the greatest commandment to be our guide: “Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22: 27-29).

So what does this mean in a world where we’ve narrowed the narrative on pro-life stances? How can the church talk about adoption using a holistically pro-life approach?

To read the rest go check out www.intersectproject.org and check out some of their other articles while you're at it!

Posted on April 29, 2017 and filed under Adoption.

Hearts, Questions, & Adoption

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Isn’t that lil boy up there just presh? Oh wait, you can’t tell? Because he has a heart over his face? Well, you’ll have to take my word for it. He’s pretty stinkin’ cute and I can’t wait to share his handsome face with you. 

Over the past few weeks since we brought Jude home, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about adoption and why we put a heart over his face when we post pictures. And I get it! There are all these different rules and regulations for adoption and foster care. And every situation and every state is different. Not to mention there’s open adoption, closed, semi-open, domestic, and international. Then there’s adoption facilitated through an agency and then there’s independent adoptions. Some adoptions have legal risks, others do not. And I can’t even speak to foster care because it’s not the route we’ve taken for Jude. But it can be confusing when you see a family adopt and are unfamiliar with all the in’s and out’s of orphan prevention and care. 

So today I wanted to answer a few of the questions we’ve received, but before I do so I want to say this... we are SO so SO so SOOOO stinkin' thankful for all of the kind words and support y'all have given us during this process. From the Adoption Auction, to bringing Jude home and y'all putting up with my over-instagramming (#sorrynotsorry)... THANK YOU for celebrating with us. You people are our tribe - and we cannot imagine doing this WITHOUT YOU. So thank you!

Now onto your questions... 

Our most popular question first: What’s with the heart? 

The short and uncomplicated answer is this: We place a heart over Jude’s face to protect his online identity. Although yes, he is “officially” ours, our adoption isn’t finalized yet. The more complicated answer is this: Jude is a “legal risk” baby. Don’t freak out. This doesn’t mean he’s going to be taken away from us. It just means there are some loose ends that need to be tied up and it could take a bit of time. There are a billion reasons why a situation like this could occur, but I can't spell out those reasons online today, because… well he’s a legal risk baby so parts of his story need to be kept quiet until that risk is resolved. If you’re one of our friends and we see you on the regular, feel free to ask us more about legal risk in person! But let me assure you, Ben and I aren't losing sleep over this... so don't fret. We'll let you know when the coast is clear (aka... apologize in advance for our over-gramming again). 

What’s an open adoption? 

An open adoption is simply an adoption where the birth parent/s and adoptive parent/s know who each other are and have each other’s contact information. For us, this means we have contact with our son’s birth mother and we just simply ADORE her and think she’s one of the bravest people to have ever walked this earth. How an open adoption is played out is up to the adoptive parents and birth parent/s. Sometimes birth parents and adoptive parents see each other, others don’t. Some talk weekly, others talk monthly or yearly.  We are still in the process of working out what ours looks like, but for those of you who have asked, yes, we talk with Jude’s birth mother and we love her a lot. And for the record… we are 100% pro-open adoption if a birth mother is open to it.   

What’s his name and did you get to pick it?

That precious boy’s name is Jude Michael Salmon & yes, we chose his name. Jude is short for Judah, which means praise; we are praying his life will be one that always gives praise to His maker. Michael is his maternal grandfather's name, who is a pastor who has faithfully proclaimed Jesus for his entire adult life. And from his paternal side, Salmon is his father’s last name. An added plus is that his initials are JMS which are his paternal grandfather’s initials, who is one of the kindest, most patient and generous men I know. We wanted him to know from the beginning that he is so deeply loved and we wanted his familial heritage to be displayed in his name. 

What’s been the reaction to y’all adopting a child who doesn’t look like you?

I get it. I’m white. My husband is white. The twins are white. Jude is black, well technically he's more chocolate... but you get the idea. It can get tricky sometimes, but honestly, more than anything we are just overwhelmed with the loving support we have within our church and families. It’s easy to focus on the one dirty look or insensitive comment received, but it’s better to focus on the kind words of MANY. Plus we have had a lot of our black friends come along side of us and really help us out. We’re learning to ask better questions, to listen more, and how to graciously correct well intentioned people who say hurtful things. I’ll be writing more on this topic later, but for now the best way I can answer that question is just to say… We’re learning a lot, and I love having a family that looks a little more like heaven because Jude is in it. 

And this last one goes out to all the nosy folks in the grocery store/mall/gas station who don’t know me, read my blog, or know my name and YET they ask this ALL THE TIME: Are you done now that you have your boy? 

First off, can I just say this on behalf of all women who are growing their families through pregnancy, foster care, or adoption… Unless you’re a good friend, as in you drop by each other’s houses and sip coffee in sweats and talk about the intimacies of life on the regular, any question or comment regarding family planning is probably better left unsaid. Baby making and family growth can be a sensitive subject for some - ESPECIALLY if you just met them in the produce section and don’t know the person’s name. Lucky for the strangers at Target, I’m a pretty open book. So although I may or may not judge them in my head for their nosiness, I really don’t mind when they ask. I actually get a kick of saying a big ole “Nope, We sure aren’t!” and then watch their eyes buldge out of their heads and squirm their way out of this incredibly awkward conversation. It really is priceless. And since y'all aren't strangers, you're our people, I'll candidly answer your question about this any day! YES, we realize we have our hands full. But we love it, and until God gives us a peace about it, our home will always be open to the topic of adoption/foster care. There are just too many kiddos in the world who need a safe home for us to shut that door. 

I joke a lot about the nosy folks in grocery stores BC THEY ARE REAL and they’re the same ones who asked me incredibly weird and inappropriate questions about my pregnancy and the twins’ birth story (WHY MUST YOU KNOW WHETHER I HAD A C-SECTION OR DELIVERED THEM VAGINALLY... I think it's a great rule of thumb to never say the word vagina or any form of it in a conversation if you don't know the person's name... that's just my opinion though). Aside from that... the truth is, all joking aside, we welcome questions about our adoption! We love it when our friends and family take an interest in it and are curious! So keep 'em coming! There's no question off limits when asked respectfully.  So if anyone is thinking about adoption or has questions about it, you can leave them in the comment section and I'll reply back TODAY or feel free to shoot me a message HERE and I'll email you back within the week. We know it’s a foreign thing to some folks, and we’d love to share our story with you! Nothing is off limits... so ask away! 

Much Love,

Posted on April 28, 2016 and filed under Jude the Dude, Adoption.

Exciting News...

The news has been brewing for a while. Usually when I go through long spans of silence on the blog it means one of two things (1) there’s no time to write or (2) I have a secret. Well, this season happens to be a combination of the two.

We have exciting news. Very exciting news!

Remember that one time when we put our adoption on hold? Well after much prayer and many conversations with our family, pastors, and friends… we’ve lifted the hold and it’s official: We’re “paper pregnant!” To those of you who are scratching you're head going... WHAT IN THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN? In the adoption world that means that we're OFFICIALLY done with our home study (and THOUSANDS of pages of paperwork) and we've been approved by the great state of North Carolina and accepted by our adoption agency.  In other words, we are officially in the waiting stage to be matched with a baby or get a phone call to rush to the hospital for a last minute situation. 

We’re excited and overwhelmed with gratitude for the work the Lord has done to get us to this point! And we’re asking our friends and family to CELEBRATE with us and bathe this baby, their mama, and our family in prayer.

We don’t know a lot of details other than we’re waiting patiently (ok sometimes impatiently) on the Lord’s perfect timing. But here are some things we do know and would like to share…

  • It’s a domestic adoption, meaning it's a child from the USA. More specifically, the child will be from North Carolina.
  • We don’t know the ethnicity of the child, nor do we have a preference.
  • We are requesting to be matched with a male (because they tend to be the more difficult to place in North Carolina), BUT if a need arises for a girl, we’ll gladly welcome her into our family. In other words - we don't care! :) 
  • We’re not planning on doing a multitude of fundraising events, but if you’d like to donate you can go HERE (and feel free to share this link with friends)!
  • We chose an agency that is holistic in their approach to adoption. Our needs/preferences do not take precedence over the birth mother or child’s needs. All of us play a significant role in providing a thriving home for our child, and the birth mother’s role is one of the MOST important. Her choosing life is one of the bravest and hardest decisions and we so greatly admire her! Because of that, we wanted to make sure we chose an ethical agency that provided phenomenal care for the birth mother before, during, and after the birth of our child. We are honored to be partnering with an agency that takes a holistic approach towards the adoption process.

Ultimately, if you've spent much time with me or Ben, you'll know that we have felt called from day one to be advocates for adoption and have always prayed for the opportunity to grow our family through adoption. This is a joy and an honor for us! Now more than ever, we want our actions to stand behind our words. We are more than just pro-life with our lips; we want our family, our resources, our faith to all scream HOPE and stand in the gap on this issue.  We do not believe adoption is just a quick fix to a complex problem within our society, but we do believe it is a start and it's what we can do right now. And it thrills us to be able to do so. 

Thank you, in advance for celebrating with us. For loving us and loving our girls and our future children. We cannot tell you how MOVED we are by the love, prayers, and support we've felt over the past five years of our marriage. THANK YOU!

Much love,

Ben and Brittany 

Posted on September 24, 2015 and filed under Adoption, Family.