Thursday, September 8, 2011


As most of you know, Ty has multiple siblings (on both birth parent sides). Although we (including Ty) have met most of his siblings and our relationship is inclusive of both families, communication is predominantly with Rebekah. The sibling relationship is challenging because of the distance between all of us and although we love Ty's siblings very much, there is little to no correspondence with them because most of our conversations are with his parents.

I have connected, however, with one of Ty's older siblings and our relationship has really begun to blossom over the past several months. Last week I received a note that touched me so deeply, on multiple levels, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it:

Those words are humbling to read. I am thankful to be viewed so favorably, but the last few lines are throat cloggers. And ~sigh~ I'll admit it. I'm glad you're my brother's mother...Those are words of a struggling sibling still coming to terms with adoption.

It breaks my heart. Ben and I have said so many times that when we adopted Ty, we adopted a family. Not for the purposes of rescuing them or being some semblance of hero, but because they're a part of him and his story and his life. Reading this letter, challenged me to do more and love harder.

While all that has been mulling around in my head, I received disheartening news about another one of Ty's siblings. As a matter-of-fact, the news was so startling I came right home and snuggled Ty as close as I could for as long as he'd let me. 

My sweet, tender boy, said, "Mama sad?"
"Yes, sweetheart, Mama is sad."
"Mama need more snuggles?"

I could hardly speak at that point and told Ty how thankful I was to be a family.

The above pieces to my week made me realize how truly connected we are with Ty's family and that no matter what the cost, we have a responsibility to love on these kids at every opportunity. 

At two, Ty doesn't really get it. When I told him we were going to pray for his brother tonight, he responded with, "No, mama, Ty needs baby sister." (He insists that Jesus wants him to have a baby sister). I didn't press the issue and decided at this point it might just be better to stick with sibling names and drop the "brother/sister" part.

Just when I think I've got this open adoption thing down, God speaks to me and gives me further glimpses of his Truth. His reminders are so gentle, but convicting at the same time. The last several months have been very me-focused, as my attention was narrowed on finishing my degree. Now that it's done, I'm opening my heart again and praying for God to give me clarity of vision.

I don't know why God chose us for this...but I'm certain that he did. My hands are open, my feet are walking, and my heart is ready to love.


  1. Our friends are ministering to their adopted son's(he's 2) older sibling who just moved to our town to attend college. They picked her up and took her to church and then to a local theme park. Some in their family just don't "get it", why they would do such a thing...but I do, we have 2 open adoptions ourselves. It means a lot to have others who understand. :o)

  2. Wow. What a powerful and sincerely letter! I'm choking back tears!

    Our daughter doesn't yet have birth siblings, but it's something I think about for the future. Knowing that anyone in her birthfamily was hurting or in trouble would be enough heartache, but knowing it was a child and her sibling would be awful.

    So glad God linked your families together. Family is Gods design for our ultimate support system and through open adoption we've redefined and expanded our family!

  3. I sometimes think adoption is harder on the siblings than the parents because they didn't have any control over it and they don't always have the developmental understanding of why the decision was made. My son has four birth siblings with one on the way. My son is also two and doesn't realize it yet but he is connected to them, perhaps even more so than his birth parents.

  4. glad your writing again...praying you

  5. this post is beautiful. thank you for sharing.

  6. Wow, what a letter. This open adoption thing sure stretches our hearts and our minds, doesn't it? I think about this as well for Jackson - he has one birth sibling already and I know more will come from each of his birth parents as they move into their futures. And there is his sister, who is not biologically related to him, but is to us. Like I said, we are stretched in so many ways. But I love it - because we learn our capacity for love, acceptance and grace. So, so glad you are back again:).

  7. So glad to see you back, and that all is well! I know we joined on to reading your journey late, but your words area always so hopeful to me in the midst of this "waiting family" phase we are in right now. What a sweet note from Ty's sister- I think its amazing how there's one thing we want or feel called to, and its part of God's giant plan that is going to weaver together and encompass so many more things. More than we could ever have seen or planned, even with all of our thoughts and desires for the future. Praying for your journey as it continues...


  8. Ty is so sweet. He "gets" so many things. Love you all.

  9. My daughter has two birth siblings (that we know about), unfortunately we will never be able to contact or have a relationship with them. I just wish they could know how happy she is and that we will always pray for them.... God bless!

  10. What a beautiful note you received! Open adoption is amazing and beautiful, but heartbreaking and earth-shattering at the same time.

  11. I'm adopted and have 3 birth sisters that stayed with my birthmom. I'm the 2nd oldest out of the 4 of us. In talking via emails/chat with my birth siblings...they had a hard time since i was inbetween them that my birthmom gave me up and none of them. It is also hard in talking about how different our upbrinings have been. Thankfully God chose a place for me....and I was VERY blessed and sometimes feel badly for my birthsisters who one out of 3 finished highschool...all had teen pregnancies...none of them married, etc. Not that any of that is "bad" or anything like that...but I feel badly that I had a solid Christian home, finished highschool, went to college, got married and now have children. My adoptive parents divorced when I was 4 and both parents remarried..but still nothing compares to what my birthsisters went through...sometimes I feel guilty for being adopted and given a better chance.

  12. I dont know how I mised this post. It made me get tears in my eyes. Im so glad things are coming full circle.

    Much love,