Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Week with Katie--Noah's Adoption Story Part 2

I got to spend the week prior to Noah’s birth with Katie.  Her family was out of town, so I went to Utah to hang out.  I stayed at Ryan’s grandpa’s condo in Salt Lake, not too far from where Katie lives, and she and I did something fun together every day.  Ryan drove to Utah with me for the weekend, and on Saturday night, we took Katie and Drew on a “double date” to Hires Big H and then to play Kan Jam in the park.  So fun.

On Sunday, we made a cake.  I know that sounds random, but Katie loves to decorate birthday cakes; it’s something that she does for every member of her family, and she is really good at it.  This is something I would like to do for Noah, as a yearly reminder of his birth mom, so I asked her to teach me how.  We made a sports-themed birthday cake for our own Dr. Ryan and my soon-to-be-sister-in-law, Sara.  (Sara just got engaged to Ryan’s little brother, Cole, over the weekend—hooray!—we couldn’t be happier for them!)  The cake turned out amazing, thanks to Katie.  All I did was the green grass frosting on the cupcakes.  I’m afraid Noah’s cakes might be pretty pathetic (like Laney’s J), unless Katie comes every year to help me.  That night, we had a family dinner/birthday party with Ry’s brothers and their fiancés—it was fun for everyone to meet Katie.  I love that she wanted to meet the people who are going to be important in Noah’s life.

You know I love your awesome cakes, Laney, but they just don't compare to this one. :)

Ryan flew home on Sunday night, so Katie and I were on our own for “girl time” the rest of the week.  We got massages, went to The Melting Pot for dinner, stayed up way too late watching movies, (she had never seen Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, While You Were Sleeping, or A Beautiful Mind…so we watched all three!), went out to lunch with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, and went to dinner with her grandma.  We had fun shopping for some things for her hospital bag, including lots of snacks.  At one point, we were trying to decide between the Hazlenut or the French Vanilla Pirouette cookies (seriously to die for), and Katie said, “Well I want to be able to share them with my guests—and you’re going to want to eat some too, right?”  I nodded vigorously.  “Then I think we need both flavors!” she said, grinning and throwing them in the cart.  Girl after my own heart!!

The opportunity to spend a week bonding and preparing ourselves emotionally for the huge event we were about to share was priceless.  I will always treasure my memories of that week with Kate.  We had many good talks about life, the baby, our hopes for an open relationship after the adoption, and our futures.  We also talked a lot about baby names.  (Ryan and I narrowed it to about five options, and then we asked for Katie's and Drew's input--it was important to us that all four of us love the name.)  Katie and I also went on a tour of the labor-and-delivery wing of the hospital where she would be delivering and attended a support group of birth moms at the adoption agency.  It was just a perfect week, and I am so glad we got that time.

I know a lot of people are freaked out by open adoption, and I do think in some cases, open adoption could be difficult.  But in this case, it feels so right.  I don’t think there is a limit to love.  How can it harm Noah to know that he is loved by so many people?  From an outsider’s perspective, it might seem strange that Katie and I are so close, but let me assure you that there is nothing strange about it.  There is not awkwardness or jealousy or resentment or possessiveness between us.  Ryan and I probably wouldn’t be able to have this relationship with just any birth parents, but we feel so comfortable with Katie and Drew--and so truly blessed to have them in our lives.

To me, when it is feasible and a healthy situation, open adoption is ideal for everyone involved: Noah will know his birth mom and dad—he will never have to wonder if they loved him or what they are like—he will know their reasons for choosing adoption; Katie and Drew will hopefully feel peace in the decision they made to place Noah for adoption as they see that he is happy, loved, and thriving in our home; and we will continue to be blessed by their friendship and love for us and for Noah.

Just before Noah’s birth, a wise friend of mine wrote me a letter, and I’ve been thinking about what she said ever since:  “Your little boy, even though he hasn’t even been born yet, has managed to bring so many universes together…There are people who work their whole lives trying to bring others together and to teach them about being kind, considerate, and selfless to each other--and this little baby has already started!  As all of you figure out in the coming months and years how your relationships will grow and change, this little baby will keep on providing opportunities for everyone to learn more about love.” 

I couldn’t agree more, and I know that the time Katie and I spent together in the week prior to Noah’s birth strengthened our relationship in a way that made the moments after his birth truly perfect.  When I see this photo, all I see and feel is love:

As you can probably imagine, the last month hasn't been easy for Katie and Drew, as they've been missing Noah.  Katie recently posted a link to this song on her Facebook, and it brought tears to my eyes.  She is so brave.

Please keep Katie and Drew in your prayers.  We love them so very much.  


  1. Keeping Katie and Drew in our prayers!! Open adoption is AMAZING!!!

  2. I know I don't have the right words, but beautiful post as always! Your week sounded perfect. Those cakes were awesome! Katie is beautiful. Baby Noah is one lucky boy to have you all! Your adoption plan sounds perfect! I am so happy for you Rachel. You deserve all of this happiness!

  3. The song on Katie's facebook brings me to tears also. I can imagine that it's soooo hard to give a baby up for adoption. What love and sacrifice! My sister-in-law had an open adoption and it's been great for them. She has her adopted mom and then she has Momma Whitney who is her birth mom. They go do things together and have a relationship that they couldn't have had otherwise. We'll keep Katie and Drew in our prayers. Love you!

  4. Katie and drew are in our prayers here too. I can't even imagine how hard it is for them right now. I am sure they are finding so much peace in the fact that they picked such great parents for little Noah. I agree a kid can't have too many people loving him.

  5. I've got the Beatles 'All you Need is Love' song running through my head right now. Love love love!

    This is a beautiful open adoption. I love Katie and Drew and think about them so frequently even though I've never met them. I will continue to pray for them.

  6. Lovely post. I am glad that your relationships are so strong and comfortable, but I do think that open adoptions can be pretty uncomfortable when the birth parents aren't pulled together. Love you.

  7. Thanks for the wonderful posts! I love hearing about everything cuz I too love Noah a lot!! He is so darling, and reminds me of Max as a newborn just because he is such a stud. I'm so glad you got to have that great week together!

  8. I dont know you guys- I found your blog Through Amber and Lucas Taylor's blog. I am a birth mother of a beautiful 5 year old boy (turned 5 in december). I just wanted to say that your blog gave me sweet tears. I have a very open adoption which I am so blessed to have. I'm so glad that Katie and Drew (and Noah and you guys) are blessed to have an open adoption as well.
    Katie and Drew - if you read this please know that even though I don't know you, I love you and my heart aches for you. Know that there will be joy after the sorrow. I am now blessed with a husband and 2 children and they are my joy. Keep holding on. From the sounds of it, your son will love you guys for your love for him.


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