Brave Love is an organization we have been blessed by through their video content and beautiful stories shedding light on a birth parents' loving decision. We use their videos when we speak about current adoption practices and positive language. Some of our adoptive families have purchased gifts from their shop and we are grateful for this pro-adoption movement. We spoke with Laura, their executive director, about being an agency partner. If you look at their map, North Dakota is not represented and we would love to be that beacon of hope for pregnant women who stumble across Brave Love looking for another option for their child. This partnership includes an annual fee of $600 and we would love to make that commitment, but we need your help. Would you consider coming alongside us in this partnership with Brave Love? Co-sponsors investing up to half the cost would really help make this commitment possible for our ministry. Donate now or contact us at 701-237-4473 if you have questions.
Our Journey to Parenthood blog segment reprinted with author's permission. The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of Christian Adoption Services.
To my 12 remaining embryos,
The day we learned there were 14 of you we instantly knew our story of hope wasn’t just for us. You have been frozen now for almost 3 years. Sometimes my infertility feels like a distant memory and other times the pain and anguish of an empty womb floods my heart like it was just yesterday. My body went through a lot just in hopes that God would give me one of you. So when the Doctor called to tell us there were 14 of you, we were in shock.
I have been thinking about you a lot lately.
I don’t really know if we will be going back for another round of IVF. Your siblings are triplets and it is kind of a lot right now. And if we decided to have another baby and had the opportunity to bring one of you into this world, it wouldn’t be for a few more years and we know we could only take one of you. I wish we could take all of you, but I know deep in my heart that God didn’t make you so I could keep all of you just for myself....
However, the truth is, as much as I call you mine, or even one day hers, you are God’s perfectly made little snowflakes. And I have to trust in what God told me in the very beginning: “You are hope, hope for many.” Deep in my heart I know that your Mama will love you like I love you. And even though it is hard for me to fully comprehend that right now, I know, one day, He will prepare my heart for her to be your Mom, but I will always be connected to you. I will be apart of you. I will always be loving you.
Your first Mom.
CAS conducts home studies for families in MN & ND pursuing embryo adoption. If you are interested in learning more about this process, please check out these other resources:
The plus side of this podcast is that the guests vary regarding the type of adoption journey they have had (domestic, international, foster-adopt..) and it is a good survey of the many different situations and challenges facing adoptive families, along with some stories from the adoptees personally. I would say the negative thing** for our CAS clients is that of all the episodes I've heard so far, the birth parents are not integrated into the conversation as much. Since many of the stories I have heard so far are not domestic infant adoption, conversations about openness and navigating the relationship with birth parents haven't been as prevalent. I'm hoping to hear more of these themes as I listen to more episodes. Even in the host's personal domestic infant stories, unfortunately the birth parent perspective is not well-represented. Since the audience is definitely adoptive families, I can get past some of my misgivings when I think of the encouragement this podcast can be for families in many different stages of the adoption journey. The host, April Fallon, is very faith-centered and intentional about approaching each story with grace and support. There is an awesome segment in their first episode (AJ's Adoption Story) about their personal adoptions that April and Noah discuss what God taught them through their first adoption....
"It reminds us of God's adoption for us...God changes you.
I recommend checking it out for yourself and I hope you find stories that you can relate to and receive encouragement from.
Office Manager @ CAS
**Post Update: I was pleasantly surprised to have a response from April Fallon, host of Adoption Now, within 24 hours of our post. She gave some suggestions of what stories to listen to with more focus on open adoption and birth parents. She also invited our families to share their stories as guests on her show, so if you are looking for ways to share positive adoption stories, get in touch with Adoption Now. I can't wait to give these a listen...
From April Fallon, Host of Adoption Now:
Lauren Stokes is an adoptee that was adopted in Denver 37 years ago into an open adoption. She is now a therapist and speaks on the value of knowing her birthparents and having a relationship with them while she was growing up. Corrine Christian is an adoptive mom of 5 kids (3 adopted). She shares about open adoption and how she takes the birthparents on trips, she just took a birthfather to Peru. She shares how much she loves open adoption and the healthy benefits her children experience through knowing their birth parents. She also holds birth parent retreats to help in their healing after placement. In Ashley Mitchell's story, she is a birthmother that shares what it was like to place her baby into adoption and how she has a relationship now through open adoption with her son. My husband and I have adopted 4 children and two of them have the same birth parents, we also have an open adoption. We have discussed having boundaries due to the birth parents drug addictions but the wonderful benefits of knowing our children's birth family. This week we will be interviewing Ashely again who is now writing curriculum for agencies on birthmother care. She is teaches adoptive families how to have healthy open relationships and how to interact with your birthmother. This is a topic it sounds like you are looking for and we hope you will check out some of these recent ADOPTION NOW podcasts! If you have a family that would like to tell their story, we would love to hear from them. Thank you so much taking the time to listen!
Working with expectant parents who want to make a life-affirming decision. Preparing couples to grow their family through domestic infant adoption.