My twins are eleven days old, and they’re so beautiful I can barely look at them. I’m wildly, deeply in love with them, feeling all the feelings I felt when my older two daughters were born. In spite of these feelings (and, paradoxically, because of them), my husband and I chose not to raise these girls ourselves, instead placing them with an adoptive family. The “why” of that decision is complicated and personal; I may address it later. Right now I just want to talk about what this adoption means in my life.
I spent a lot of time scared and confused, trying to decide if adoption was the best choice for us. Most people in my life were very understanding and supportive of the process, but there were a few people on either side of the issue who had very strong opinions and made the whole thing much more difficult. I finally approached my husband and said “Alright, if we can find the perfect family to adopt these babies — and I mean PERFECT — then we’ll know adoption is the right choice. Otherwise we keep them”. He couldn’t argue that logic.
We thought of qualities we wanted in adoptive parents, and came up with four main requirements: a) we preferred a same-sex couple, b) very open-minded, particularly in the area of religion, c) quirky/weird personalities (hopefully a bit geeky), and d) they needed to be interested in Attachment Parenting, or something similar. And there was a more vague fifth requirement: they needed to feel “right.” We were doubtful that we’d be able to fill all those requirements, particularly in Texas.
We jumped into the search, using an agency that specialized in open adoptions. They sent us info on about five couples; they all seemed very nice, but none jumped out at us. The second time we met with the representative from the agency, however, she brought more profiles. One caught our immediate attention. The front cover of their little “All About Us” booklet had a picture of two gorgeous, happy ladies. The first picture of them, upon opening the book, was a silly chopstick-walrus-tooth picture. My husband and I scoured the book, then read and re-read the blog that was mentioned in the booklet. Everything we read seemed to fit with our requirements, and we found ourselves with a creeping certainty that we’d found the right couple.
When we told the agency that we were interested in (code names!) Juliet and Lima, they set up a phone interview. We spoke for about an hour. After that phone call my husband and I were certain that we’d found our twins’ Mommies. They really did fit all of our requirements to a T, and added one more: they were interested in a *very* open adoption. Not content with the agency’s minimum of x number of pictures a year and a pre-agreed-upon number of visits, they felt it was important for the twins to really and truly know us and for us to know them. We were very excited by this thought, even though we didn’t know yet exactly what it would look like.
Flash forward a few months and you find me here, ecstatic about how our open adoption is unfolding. We got together several times before the babies came, and spent a lot of time learning about each other. We discovered that we genuinely liked each other, and could easily have been friends even if we had met under other circumstances. We talked about how often we’d visit (super often) and how best to feed the babies (me pumping as much as I can, plus supplementing with other donor milk). We showed them ultrasound pictures, they showed us the gorgeous nursery they were building. I had a crash course in Juliet’s and Lima’s history and personalities, and every time I saw them I was more convinced of the amazing parents they would be.
Eleven days ago, when the twins came, Juliet and Lima (along with my husband and my doula) were by my side. They helped advocate for my quality of care, and happily followed my doula’s instructions to help me stay comfortable. After the birth, the four of us (and my other two daughters) spent our time in the hospital bonding with each other and with the babies. We slowly, organically, transferred “possession” of the twins from me to them, and in the process formed a brand-new, unique family unit.
There are a few questions that I always find myself asking other parents -- whether or not the answer is something that's interesting, let alone... Read more
The girls went home from the hospital eight days ago, and we’ve been to their house to visit twice (and again tomorrow). We probably would have been there more often, but they live an hour away. I’m almost unable to describe how gratifying it is to watch Juliet and Lima bond with the babies, and grow into the parents they were meant to be. This is not to say there is no sadness for us, it’s almost impossible to view this as a loss. We know, in no uncertain terms, that we will always be a part of each other’s lives.
This is not how all, or even most, open adoptions go. Each one is completely unique to the adoption “triad” (birth family – baby – adoptive family), and is adapted to each person’s comfort levels. Some birth mothers prefer to have the two days post-birth as their alone time with the baby, without the adoptive parents present. Some adoptive parents prefer to have more time alone with the baby before the birth family visits, so that they have time to grow in their knowledge that the baby is really theirs. Some triads chose much more minimal contact… but that just wasn’t us.
As complicated and emotional as this entire process has been, I am left knowing one thing for certain: we didn’t “give up” our babies, we expanded our family.
Comments on My husband and I expanded our family by placing our twins for adoption
This is an amazing story and amazing outlook. It doesn’t matter why you placed them for adoption, you kinda covered it – you expanded your family in your own way.
I am an adoptive mother and I love the way that you stated it. 🙂
this makes me want to cry with happiness for everyone involved. Congratulations all around!
Can I be in touch with you to ask more questions and possibly get advice from you, concerning my own situation?
Of course!You can reach me at amity dot anderson at gmail dot com.
I personally know “Lima and Juliet” and use to work with Lima and couldn’t agree more that you have found the two most perfect and most deserving parents to raise those 2 beautiful babies!!! Your story is wonderful and so happy to see it on the POPULAR LIST IN PINTEREST!!
Wow… that’s awesome and kind of overwhelming 🙂
Wow, this is an amazing story! Your family must have such incredible courage and love to have made this choice. And how lucky that two offbeat households were able to find each other and expand their families together!
This story fills me with so much joy!!!!
lovely. i love exploding the definition of “family”.
I love your use of the word “exploding”, here… I feel like we manage this in so many ways! 🙂
Wow, what a truly amazing story. Thank you for sharing.
How beautiful that the stars aligned to create such a perfect situation for everyone involved! I wish the absolute best to all of you.
I love that you sought out a same sex couple and would like to hear more about why.
I’m not sure I have a simple answer to that question… I’ll have to think on it 🙂
I think this is one of the nicest things I have ever read. I feel better about the world for this. Congratulations on expanding your family!
WOW! So amazing. I wish 1000% of happiness for all of you!
As a same-sex soon-to-be parent myself, I found this to be a beautiful, uplifting story. Though my partner and I chose to go with insemination this time around, adoption is almost definitely in our future. Thank you for this beautiful glimpse into your experience.
what a beautiful family. all the best! i am inspired.
I heart this very much.
This is such a beautiful story. Your family is beautiful. Thank you for sharing!!
Thank you so much. Our daughter came to us through an open adoption, and we too love her birthparents as people. This is the sort of story that I think needs to be more spoken about, as it’s honest and realistic, and a feasible alternative to the old idea of closed adoptions and broken hearts.
I agree that we need to speak up – people need to hear that there are so many more options than we have been traditionally taught to believe. We need to tell our stories, whatever they are!
I am loving the fact that your babies will be completely surrounded by love, no matter which way they turn. They will love their mommies, and know (and experience) the love that their bio parents have for them. How fortunate you were to have found the perfect adoptive parents!
Your story is very beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.
Yay! I’ve told you this in person, but I’ll say it again here. You’re an amazing mother and a wonderful friend. Thank you so much for sharing this story with Offbeatmama. You’re such a rockstar!
Thanks for encouraging me to submit this! You’re kind of my rockstar inspiration. 🙂
Mind-bendingly awesome. Thanks for sharing!
This is completely inspiring for me because it’s something I’d definitely consider.
Also, I’m completely squeeing about how the adoptive mommies wore pink to match the babies. XD
I LOVE LOVE LOVE This!!!!! What an awesome story and a great way to share with your girls “what makes a family” can be many things!
Thank you for posting this… I was having a hard time trying to figure how to deal with the fact that my foster kids may be going home soon… We have a great relationship with their parents but i was concerned that I couldn’t do it. But you have given me hope for being able to see it as growing family not as a total loss thank you
I’m glad I was able to help, even if just a little. Every situation is different, but I feel like it’s important to redefine relationships to fit what’s best for all of you, as opposed to what society thinks it should be! My thoughts are with you as you approach such a huge transition.
This will definitely be one of those stories I will be wanting to see a follow up on in six months or, even better, a year.
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