Embracing the Unexpected: How Adoption Intertwined Two Families
by Adrian CollinsEmbracing the Unexpected: How Adoption Intertwined Two Families
Marva and Robin never expected a forever bond to take place between their two families. They never anticipated a lasting friendship to be formed. When Marva and Robin began pursuing adoption for their families, they couldn’t have known that their paths would collide in a most beautiful and unexpected way. Once they met, they quickly realized that only a loving and caring God could have purposely joined their families together.
Marva and Robin are adoptive parents raising birth siblings. Two years ago, they were introduced at an annual Hope’s Promise Adoptive Families Picnic in Castle Rock Colorado, by a social worker who facilitated both of their adoptions. Not only did the siblings form a bond, but the adoptive parents began a life-long friendship.
Two Roads to Adoption
Married for sixteen years, Robin and her husband, Jason, always planned on having a family. After trying a variety of fertility treatments with no success, they decided to pursue adoption. They were soon chosen by a birth mom who made an adoption plan for her daughter, Jaydin. Robin and Jason were delighted to adopt Jaydin and decided to start the adoption process again with Hope’s Promise two years later. When they welcomed home their son, Alex, Robin felt her family was complete. “Little did we know there were more surprises coming,” Robin said. One of Hope’s Promise’s best practices is to keep birth siblings together whenever possible, so when Robin received a call that Jaydin’s birth mom was pregnant again and had decided to make an adoption plan, Robin had a decision to make. At the time of the call, Robin was recovering from a significant knee injury. “I felt we weren’t in a position to bring another child into our home.” Robin said, “It was extremely difficult to say no to adopting, but I felt that God had another plan for this child.”
After Robin decided they could not adopt this child, the caseworker contacted Marva and her husband, Dave, to adopt Jaydin’s half-brother, J.T.
Married for 22 years, Marva and her husband endured several years of infertility treatment before they decided to pursue adoption. “We couldn’t imagine getting to the end of our lives without being able to experience parenthood,” Marva said. “We wanted to hear a little one call us ‘mom’ and ‘dad’.” When their son, J.T., was placed into her arms, Marva marveled in motherhood. Little did she know, God had more in store for her family. Her adopted son would get to meet and know his siblings.
A Chance Meeting
When Marva and Robin learned they were adoptive parents to birth siblings, they were over joyed to meet one another at the Hope’s Promise picnic. The adoptive parents watched as Jaydin, age 7, and Alex, age 3 and J.T., age 1, interacted on the playground. Jaydin pushed J.T. on the baby swing. Alex played with Jaydin on the jungle gym. Robin and Marva were both fascinated by the similarities between siblings. “They connected immediately,” Marva said. After the picnic, the families made plans to meet again and help foster a relationship among siblings.
Shortly after the picnic, Robin adopted another birth sibling, Taylor, who captured the hearts of both families. “Being that this was a year later and I was in a much healthier place physically, we decided this was God’s little surprise to us.” Robin said.
Building a Relationship Between Siblings
Today, J.T., age 3, loves spending time with his sisters. Alex, age 5, and J.T. consider themselves brothers. Jaydin, age 9, is a proud big sister to everyone. Both Robin and Marva work together to foster the sibling relationships by providing opportunities to be together and honor the way in which God answered each of their prayers for a forever family. They’ve enjoyed a weekend trip at a cabin in Buena Vista. They celebrate birthdays together. They spend time with each other during holidays. They celebrate adoption days with one another. “It is our hope that our kids will have the foundation and support to carry them through life and to know they are not alone in their journeys,” Robin said. Marva echoes Robin’s sentiments. “We could never have imagined that our family would look the way it does today,” Marva said. “We are not just a family of three, but really a family of eight.” To help navigate open-adoption, the adoptive parents agreed to allow their kids to explore their adoption stories and ask questions at their own pace and on their own terms. In addition, Robin and Marva feel blessed to have the support of one another in their adoption journey. “We are very open and honest about what any of us are feeling or thinking and truly support one another as the various milestones and seasons arrive,” Marva said. Robin wholeheartedly agrees and says they take each day and questions as they come. “It strengthens me as an adoptive parent to have another adoptive mom and dad who are so close to the situation as we go through the journey together.” Robin said.
Advice to Adoptive Families
Be Open-Minded – God has a plan greater than what you could ever imagine for your family. A family has many definitions and we are not to be confined to the traditional view of what that may look like.
Be Brave – Step out in faith and allow for God to work in you and through you.
Be Ready to Answer Questions – Don’t wait until your adopted child begins asking questions but from the start, equip them with the language to ask them as they get older. Then, give age-appropriate answers when questions are asked. Make them feel comfortable discussing their adoption story.
Be Willing – Read adoption books. Celebrate adoption days. Talk openly about adoption, including the loss. Remember what is in the best interest of your child. We all have fears, but it’s important to put aside any adult issues.