This past weekend we celebrated the 5th birthday of our resident fashionista - Alexis Jacqueline. Lexi is a girly-girl to the core. She is happiest when she is decked out in a fancy dress, bracelets, nail polish, lots of lip gloss, and of course her heels. You can frequently find her singing and dancing her heart out - but at some point she’ll probably crash in your lap, as she loves to cuddle. The first year of her life she was actually a fairly solemn baby who I don’t remember smiling much....but that didn’t last for long!
Lexi (almost 2)
Lexi’s birthday party was a true picture of the beauty of open adoption. Among attendance were my parents, my brother and his family, and Brandon and me, as well as Lexi’s birth mom, birth grandma, and birth uncle.
When my brother and sister-in-law started down the path of open adoption I admit I was incredibly skeptical. Having an open adoption looks different for every family - some might have a semi-open adoption where they exchange letters, pictures, and information, while others involve regular contact between the adoptive and biological families. My initial concerns with an open adoption were that it would only cause more confusion with the adoptive child - would it make them think less of my brother and sister-in-law as “real” parents? Would it be harder for the child to feel a part of our family?
I can tell you, my initial fears were SO far from the truth.
Lexi (1 month) in the arms of her "tummy mommy" at a family BBQ
Lexi clearly loves my brother and SIL and seems them as her parents, but she also clearly loves and has a beautiful relationship with her “tummy mommy.” And while her story is not mine to tell, Lexi’s birth mom is an incredible example of how making an adoption plan can open many doors for someone who isn’t ready or able to parent on their own. She is an amazing woman who I am so proud of and who we consider part of our extended family. I feel blessed to know her and to be able to talk to Lexi about her.
No child ever suffered from having too many people to love them.
Lexi (18 months)
Alexis brings so much joy to our family. And while I may think that her choice of strawberry birthday cake from a box was utterly disgusting, I can’t imagine life without her. Even more so, I can’t wait to watch her grow into the beautiful young woman I know she will become - considering all the family she has in her life to encourage her along the way.