Friday, August 2, 2013

CONNECTING: with birthparents

Her Facebook status read:

                “I’m EQUIVALENT to a high school graduate!! That’s right, I beat the GED!  Wahoo!” 

As I read her post, I was overwhelmed, excited and so pleased for her.  I have known her through 13 years of struggles, trials and JOYS!  But it is the joys that diminish all the other moments and make the relationship worth every minute!  She has worked so hard to get to this point in her life and I am blessed to share this moment with her….because I always knew she could do it!  I LOVE THIS WOMAN!  

I love hearing about her journey!  I love knowing she will always be a part of my life and family. I loved telling her daughter she received her GED and seeing the smile on her face, as we talk about what that means. But most of all, I LOVE that because of her…some pretty precious little people call me “Momma.”  

She is the birthmother of my daughter, Mackenzie, and her half-brother, Gage.  She is my friend and I am so grateful that God joined our lives together.

Mackenzie and her birthmother

My name is Emily, and God has loaned me six beautiful angels!  Our oldest, Michael (23), was our nephew before he became our son.  Miranda (22) was crazy enough to adopt US as her parents 3 years ago.  Mackenzie (12) was a private domestic adoption.  Mason (10) and Zeke (5) were adopted through foster care.  Currently, we are in the process of adopting Gage (9) from a kinship foster placement.  With each child’s adoption we have been taken on a new road in our journey and on that road we usually gain more than one passenger.  I LOVE that!!  We not only gain this beautiful new life in our family, but we also have the privilege of welcoming birthparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, sometimes previous foster families and if we are fortunate enough…even more grandparents!

My children are each connected, in one way or another, to one or many members of their birth family.  I can honestly say that when our adoption journey began over 17 years ago, I had no idea my family would include such a diverse group of individuals.  While I LOVE explaining all the branches of our family tree, it is rather confusing and I would hate to lose you!  I will say we have an amazing bond with two of our kiddos' older brother, who lives with his biological father and step mom.  This young man is fourteen and would do anything for his little brother and sister.  I am still so overjoyed that his father brought him to the hospital when he was 2 and let him hold his baby sister in our hospital room.  

We are also blessed to have a “Pops.”  He is the great-grandfather of one of our sons.  He and his wife took our boy into their home when he was placed in foster care at 2. He is such a strong, caring man and he loves ALL of our children…as his grandchildren!  

We have had the opportunity to see birth mothers have more children and experience the pure JOY of motherhood.  We have had the opportunity to make memories with family members that thought they may never see this child again…I can’t imagine the feeling of loss…and don’t want to! 

Mackenzie and her two biological half-brothers

I came upon this verse, as I was preparing to write this blog, about connecting with birth families: “God sets the lonely in families.” ~Psalm 68:6

This is so true!  Isn’t it just amazing how He weaves all our journeys together?!  Praise the Lord!  Birth families are such an amazing connection to our childrens’ pasts and one more soul to love them through their future.  People always ask me, “How do you do it?”  My usual response is, “By God’s grace.”  

Building and forging a relationship with birth families is not always easy…and unfortunately, not always possible.  I am careful to keep some family members at arms-length, but if they are appropriate and have a genuine love for our child…why would I say no?!?  As an adoptive parent, you ALWAYS have the right to say no…you are their PARENT!  But if you are given an opportunity…or if God so directs your path…open your hearts to the possibility of loving these extended family members too!  I LOVE the JOY these individuals bring to my life and my child’s!  This is how we are finding the JOY in our JOURNEY!!                                        

My name is Emily.  I spend about 10 months out of the year being the secretary at my childrens' elementary school.  I love my job, coworkers, and environment!  I love taking my children to work with me and being there when they have finished a hard day at school.  I was recently invited to be on the Orphan Care Ministry Team at our church and I love where God is leading me!!



  1. I always enjoy hearing positive stories like this. There is such a need in Oklahoma for foster parents, perhaps one day my husband and I will pursue this journey.


  2. I love hearing your positive stories. I pray one day when our daughters meet their birth mothers that it too is positive.

    BTW - I nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogger Award! I know it may not be something that really fits to share on your blog, but I do love reading the stories on here and wanted to award it to you, even if you can't continue it. Check it out at -