National Adoption Month-Our Open Adoption Story

This article was written by Conceive Nebraska board member Stephanie Rief

Infertility treatments, miscarriage, foster care, failed adoption, open adoption. All of these things have been apart of my life that last 12 years.

I had always wanted to be a mother and when I finally met the man of my dreams we started trying a year after marriage. After a missed period and negative tests I went to see my doctor. Turns out I just had a cyst, but this lead us to talk to her about us trying to conceive. Lots of testing on both of us led to IUI with donor sperm. On our second treatment we got pregnant and we were over the moon. Unfortunately, this pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 7 weeks. It almost broke us, but we prevailed and tried every avenue we could after 3 more failed treatments.

Richard mentioned trying foster to adopt through the foster care system. I was terrified of falling in love with a child and having them ripped away from us. I finally said yes, and that was one of the best and hardest things we went through. Ben was placed with us right out of the hospital, he was everything we dreamed of. We fell fast and hard for him and had the pleasure of having him in our home for 5 months, before he went to live with his great aunt in another state. We about broke after he left, but his amazing aunt has kept us in his life since the day he left and we continue to see them once a year. Her shinning example of how biology doesn’t make a family has helped up see how great open adoption can be for everyone involved. God defiantly knew what HE had planned for us because 5 months after Ben left, we were told about this couple who were looking to place their baby boy due in December. Colton was born December 20th 2015, and our lives changed forever that day.

Open adoption is a beautiful thing for all involved, but it also has it’s challenges on both sides. You have to find the right balance between openness and boundaries. Colton sees his birth parents when they are ready for a visit. We tell him in toddler terms that he didn’t grow in mommy’s tummy and we keep him in contact with his half brother. Adoption is a roller coaster like anything else on this journey, but the beauty that comes out of it is worth every bump and turn.

Adoption isn’t just about bringing a baby home and fulfilling your dream. On the other end are two very strong people who made the hardest choice of their life, and they made it purely out of love and sacrifice for this child. They have lots of their own emotions that have to be dealt with. They need just as much love and understanding as the adoptive family gets. Adoptive parents get all this praise and glory, while the birth parents get criticized for that same choice. I am a huge supporter of open adoption and all that it entails and I hope that my story can help others as well.

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