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Two Women, One Daughter, One Great Event

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Lori ignores her two kids blogs from a NW Denver suburb. Weebles Wobblog chronicles her attempts to live mindfully; Drama 2B Mama recounts her infertility and adoption journeys; and All Thumbs Reviews gives sassy purchasing advice on everything from hair decor to refrigerators to wine — essentials for a Mile High Mama.

If I call her “my daughter’s other mother” it may seem different from what it is.

I met Crystal because we each had a problem. Mine had nooks with crannies, and hers had crannies with nooks. Our oddly- shaped problems fit together, and we became each other’s solution.

Seven years ago, I was experiencing the famine that is infertility; Crystal was dealing with the feast that is an unintended pregnancy, while living in an untenable situation.

In a way, we share a daughter.

It might seem normal for the story to have ended back where it began — with a tiny, squalling baby. One of us leaving the hospital with Tessa, and the other going home empty-armed. A winner and a loser.

But nothing about our situation has been “normal.” We have forged an unlikely friendship over the years as we continually create our open adoption. We do this for Tessa, but also for ourselves. While there is not really word to describe our relationship — sister is not accurate, friend is insufficient — we continue to define the previously undefined. I love my daughter’s birthmom. It’s that simple, yet there are layers of complexity.

I tell the full story of our triad at Drama 2B Mama (with the story of my son’s adoption, as well).

How did open adoption happen so effortlessly for us? We are often asked that question. We have examined our history to find the markers of success. We find that one word captures the nature of our relationship: open. We have an open-hearted open adoption.

Now we teach people some keys to having a successful open adoption. On the morning of August 2, Crystal and I are offering a 2-hour class for pre-adoptive parents at Colorado Free University. We talk about choosing an agency, from both the adoptive- and the birth-parent perspective. We cover ethics in adoption, and why they matter so much. We talk about the dos and don’ts of an adoption profile. We alert hopeful adoptive parents to the pitfalls that can happen in an open situation, as well as how to avoid them.

And we show what an open adoption can look like. We de-freakify it, if you will.

Registration is open through August 1, and the class is priced for singles ($24 or $33) and for couples ($39 or $69), with the lower tuition available to CFU members. The class takes place on CFU’s Lowry campus.

Anyone who has ever been told “just adopt” is encouraged to join us. And to open to the possibilities that await.

Lori Holden
Author: Lori Holden

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Comments
  • comment avatar Suzanne Bastien July 25, 2008

    What a wonderful story!
    Thank you for sharing, being adopted myself, I greatly disliked the “sympathy” looks I got growing up when people would find out.

    It’s wonderful that you are speaking and showing people it’s not a negative thing, even if other’s don’t understand!

  • comment avatar kari July 25, 2008

    Beautifully written, Lori! Thanks for helping make sense of it all; you and Crystal are an inspiration!

  • comment avatar Lori July 25, 2008

    Suzanne, it’s so helpful for me to hear from adult adoptees. Thanks for your comment.

    And Kari, ditto to you ;-).

    For anyone who wants to register, CFU is at http://freeu.com, and at (303) 399-0093.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 25, 2008

    “Mine had nooks with crannies, and hers had crannies with nooks. Our oddly- shaped problems fit together, and we became each other’s solution.”

    So beautifully put. And what a wonderful service you are offering!

  • comment avatar trs July 25, 2008

    Adopted babies are the best kind, I always say.

    I too am an adopted adult – and like Suzanne, I am still surprised at the number of adults who can’t wrap their heads around it.

    It came up in conversation with one date – who couldn’t stop going on and on about how my parents must be AMAZING (They are – but not because I’m adopted!) and what a HUGE thing that is! Dude, it’s just one of many ways to make a family. Chill out.

    Mine and my siblings (all from different birth parents) were closed adoptions back in the day. So many people ask in bewilderment – “Don’t you want to find your real parents?”
    Uh… I know my REAL parents.

    I believe whatever the adoption process – God uses it to place a child with it’s REAL parents. The people God intended me to be with even when I still a twinkle in God’s eye!

    Recently my nephew (10 years old) asked me questions about my and his dad’s childhood. I mentioned that we were adopted and his eyes got big. “You WERE? I thought you were a real kid.”
    So cute. He just had to put the whole situation in order in his mind. I helped by explaining that there are many ways to build a family. And every family is real.

    the same kid thought that just because I was a grown up, I must be married!!! Ha.

    sorry for the long post!

  • comment avatar KarenJ July 25, 2008

    I have a friend who has struggled with infertility and has been considering adoption. I will forward her this information!

  • comment avatar Kami July 25, 2008

    I love the special relationship the three of you have formed.

  • comment avatar excavator July 25, 2008

    Great post, Lori. It’s so impressive how you’ve taken your personal pain and transformed it into healing that touches so many. I’m sure the ripples spread far beyond what you and Crystal can ever imagine.

  • comment avatar Pamela Jeanne July 26, 2008

    I told you this in person, but I’ll tell you this online as well. You are such a wonderful person – a gem. I’m sure Crystal and Tessa share this assessment and so much more…

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  • comment avatar Marigold August 7, 2008

    http://www.sitstaygoodbloggy.blogspot.com

    I’m a birthmom in a “wide-open” adoption. I love reading posts about others who educate. Thrilled that you are a part of that!

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