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Accidental Parenting
Accidental Parenting

Episode 20 · 1 year ago

S01E19: Open Adoption

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Aubrey interviews Jessica Lundin and Rachelle Liddle about their open adoption.

Well, thank you for being here today.Ladies, this is the first time there's been three women on this podgast. It'swomen heavy today I know we are making it stes exciting. So I have Rachelle mygood friend and then also her good friend Jessica, which were good friendsnow, obviously, obviously, as of the last few minutes so yeah, I like to start theseinterviews with an awkwardly personal question. It's just fun Fo me so my question: for You, each of yourichell you can atser. First is Um. What's the shortest amount of time thatyou have ever kept a New Year's resolution? Okay? Well, I have a really really badmemory, so rememberig e Sho, r keeping, but lately I have been doing themedlike for thimgs for the year, so I usually pick a physical health themeand a spiritual health theme and try tofollow it all year. So this year seemwas prayer and trying to learn how to do a pull up, both of which I'm stillworking on you haven't got the pull up. Yet I did this with Richelle. We werelike that's true. You had a injury or you'd have gotten it for sure. I forgotabout that. I did so I'm starting over. I had a risk issue, but it is resulved as of this week.Actually, Nice you're ready to start again so new year, new PULEP goal. Yes,I was actually surprised. I was in Idaho when I I was like I'm just goingto see. If I can do one yet and I was able to do what and I was so excitedbecause I also had never been able to do a bull up before and it was veryexciting. I can do too now toyou're so legent, but that's it too and then done one day I'll get there...

...all right. What about you Jessica, theshortest time you've ever kept a new year's resolution. I always want tostart one have a newyear's resolution and then I forget to do 'em just Idon't never even say that one well that keeps you from not followingthrough on them exactly so yeah. That's me I set them. I always set them, butlike days like two days and then I'Llwhatever, it is like. Oh I'm goingto go to the Gy, a D, then I just don't or I'm an eat, and then I just don'tI'm really terrible out that I so it's almost worse, Otud be better Tan, notset them and an not fail, no expectation right, yeah, exactlyokay, so I'm going to introduce youboll by making some assumptions. I know alittle bit about Rochelle. I really don't know that much about Jesca, sothiswill be interesting, I'll, be totally guessing about these things. SoRochelle will go with you first, I'm in to guess that you grew up in Colorado,PROVO PROVO UTAH! Yes, I should have guessed that right, Babyay! U Nice! IDidnot know that what about youjust I'm going Ta, guess that you grew up inCalifornia Oregon, but northwest girl, okay, Al Right. At least I got theright coast, Wa coast girl there, you okay first job, Rochelle, I'm going toguess your first job was wetttell's pretzels in the mall nope cashier at a grocery store, Oh er,for sor legit one. I would have heard of no a very small one: Okay, Nice!That's fun M in Provo! No Um actually by Ah Snow College. Oh okay, that's rlike by sint George Right, southern Utah, so by Manti, okay, I don't Thothis. Is that nears George? No, I don't know, I don't really know. No, it's notthe right. It's Jo e Propin a hundred miles- maybe I don't know Hav o look: Okay, Jessca, I'm in a Guass, yourfirst job bath and body works. Oh in...

...the mall, the ABERKRAMBI. They werelike right across the hall, probably from each other hewerall spriting stuff.I dididn't know that about you. Stephen was also an Avercrampi employ as that,your husband did. You mete at arberhraming no, but I heard rumorsabout the boy at averhamiand Fitch and I was like that's cool nice. That's a good job for a young person.It was really fun. T discounts, Oh yeah, so my my first jobs were not thatglamorous glamorcompared to potato factory, followed by Burger King.Actually, Dr, I ha I girl, yeah. I had a o grow, though I did M in high school.I had a job working for the Jefferson Star. It was like a journal e copyeditor for the newspaper in Rigby Idaho, so that was a pretty good job for ahigh school kid, but I would rather have been working atAberkrambi for sure or anywhere else, really. Probably. Okay. Let's see lastquestion, I'm going to say when you were in middle school richelle,your crush, you had to crush on Dugy houser. Please tell me: I'm right be amazingwrong, but literally every boy in my you had to crush ont every boy. Yes, Ithought about this and, like I think I had o crash on every on a person,everyone in my classes. That's funny. Did you ever watch team girl squadhomestar runner. They were like these online comlike little animated cartoons,strong bad and homesern, and he he does this little animated girl and at onepoint she says I have a crush on every boy ilevnyou. I have to send that to you, you'regoing to love that Tean girl squad shout out to Tinger School, OkayJessica. I think that your middle school crush was Taylor Laner Jacobfrom twilight, oh with the long hair like cutting his hair O. No, no, but itwould have been if you're Hatty, also...

...very boy crazy, just every boy inschool, yes, but I got pretty exclusive with the boyname Ryan 'cause, ourlonkers we're close it'such proximity crash yep mine was Theo hextable. We had a huge crash on theohexable fromthe huxtables from the cosaby show Shiing, it was called the Huxablesnafrom the cosby show yeah he was Oh, he was just so cool and so good looking,but I don't think I don' remember having really crushes at school muchjust people on t V, so my assumptions were that you guys would have crusherson t V, but it was real people adcrest, yes, well, we did not have that incommon. Maybe I just didn't have as goodlooking boys in my middle shool. GST boys are very looking in middleschool. So Rochelle, my friend Um part of the reason that I have thesetwo. Ladies with me to de on the PACASS, is 'm Rochelle's oldest son. EmmettJessica is his birth mother, and so there it's an open adoption and we'regoing to talk about that today. I'm excited to ask you a some questionsabout it Rachell. My first question is just whendid you first start considering adoption? What was the process like foryou? So we've been trying to start her family for a while and we'd startedsome fertility treatments, an adoption started comingto my mind at the time our church, the CHURCHICjusus Christ of latterday Saints had an adoption program, and so I decided togo to an orientation Um. My husband and I went. We learned a lot about it there and itsounded great, but we were told that it took two to five years for a placement,and I was really turned off by that. I didn't want to wait that long, so Ikind of shut the door on it and we put it on hold for a while, but that waswhen I first started considering it was around. Then it was August o twothousand and eleven o August March, two...

...thousand and eleven okay Gotcha andthen so Jessica. When you H, you know how did it happen that you decided onadoption like word, that did you consider the other alternatives at allUm? I only ever considered parenting orplacing really. I knew that for me. Ineeded this baby in this world for whatever reason, so I think it was it'sjust natural to go parenting first and then with circumstances and stuffplacement just popped on my heart, but going back to them. We started datingin July of two thousand and eleven when they first so ating about yeah,yeah yeah. Well, it's crazy 'cause. We started Teke bout it in March and hadreally closed the door on it and went really heavy into Pertillatreatments. For my husband around July was like. We need to do adoption so and I actually was devastated 'cause.I was like. I can't wait that long swa we wi, we felt such an urgency. So itwas it's incredible. The story looking back at the timeline just aything yeah.So then, when you, I don't really know that much about the Church's program Umwhen you placed your baby for adoption, whatlike what's the process? So I've the first step, is going to elds familyservices and which IAD heard about growing up and stuff. So I knew thatwas safe and I'm also a member of the church. So it was easy for me to gothere and then from there you work with a caseworker and I happened to move toCalifornia. I was in Utah and then I moved to California, and so they justtransferred me over there. I worked with a caseworker N, my whole entirepregnancy and then like counseling, making sure I knew like whatall likewent into my decision and then and then are you able to choose thecouple? Oh I H that work. Yes, so you get these like P, you get this likelogin online, okay and you check out...

...profiles. It's like a dating up, yeahkind of, but you put in every single requirement: Atokn Evr, like weirdstuff I was like. I don't even like I want thought, O burthmark ontheir left shoulder know like Wut. We Really SA yeah. So I picked ten people.They were one of them and, like I knew I loved her from like the first second,I saw her, which Soundi she looks so fun. She like T, looked so fun. Sheliked Pizza Aoi. That was one of your requirements must like pizza. Really Iwas like oh my gosh shese Ti at this greap pizza spot, but I was like okay,you can't make a life decision on pizza, you know so I called my dad and they were his number one pick. So didhe look through all the profiles of all the people and n? I told Hem to rankthem one to ten and and I had raped my people oatin andthey were one and then when he sent his lest back. It was damned- and I waslike this- is so weird hnot, a coincidence. Maybei, don't think hepicked Hem on pizza, no had nothing to with pizza for Ha. I guess and then Rochelle. What was the processlike for you? They contact you and were you SUPP, because it was quicker thanthe two to five years right. It was really fast. We felt a huge urgency andwe started to get everything together. Our paperwork, it's so much paperworkand we'd heard it took six months to finish paperwork to get certified andyou can't be on this dating website doc, Sho Ob, a site until you're fullycertified, and so we hustled we actually had a pool in our backyard andit takes longer. If you have a pool so e, we buried our pool. Oh Wy, like wejust felt this crazy urgency and we we were able to get certified in twomonths. So, what's crazy? Is We've been on for two weeks? Three weeks, maybe beforeJessica contacted us...

...so Aren' You? Is it justyou're, the onethat contacts them directly? Yeah, Oh okay, but the tricky part was. I wasonly like eleven weeks pregnant. I think you were nine. I don't N. I thinkI was not and eleven when we met. Oh okay, we met yeah, it's like realreal,really really reallearly. My caseworker was like. I don't really want to giveyou this information yet because you're, not even in the clear really like allof these things had happened and I was like I think I could handle it like. Ican do it and I saw them, and my heart was so sad because I knew that someonewas going to pick them and my caseworkers said: please do not contactany of these couples and I couldn't like I just felt an urgency like I haveto. I have to email them, so I jou's ignored the caseworker like I'm goingroad. I was like I'm I'm just going to like see. I'M GIN make my move here and then they decided like know how long did it Tak yeah? We werelike over the moon excited that we were contacted and het was like. Yes, yes,we're of course nervous, but we were so excited and we met Jessica a month the next month. I think we metyou and I just instantly loved her there's something about someonechoosing you to parent their child. It's incredible and yeah. I can't imaginethe trust it was like its just incredible. I just loved herfrom the minute I met her yeah, even the min she emailed me. I was like Ilove her just from the Email Li e. I want her life to be perfect and we both like pizza. Then we both like meeters weeverwhereters. Is there anyone who doesn't like neeters? We met at neeters in Provo itsthe special spot Um. So how did you decide on open adoptionlike? was there ever a question? Did...

...you consider not well when they went to the orgientationthat I talked about earlier in March, there were two adopted mothers who had adopted beforeand talked about the way their adoptions were both had open adoptions,which at the time it was new ish. Maybe acouple of years adoptions had been going more toward open and they talked about theirrelationships with their kids, birth mothers, and I just knew it was something I wanted Iwanted for me I wanted for I I was able to adopt. I wanted it forthe birth mother and I wanted it for my child and it was just I just imagined it that way, and that was theonly way I could imagine it and was your husband. He felt the same. He wasonbord and then what about UJESCA? Did you wa and open adoption from the beginning?No, no! On the very beginning, I wanted a closed adoption and it was reallyhard for me because I was so afraid I didn't know like 'cause. Adoption iskind like open. Adoption is kind of new and adoption has you know some likenegative light on it sometimes, and I just thought like this would probablybe easier for everybody and then the birthfather and them they were kindof all on this, like open adoption thing and she said to me like, wereally want you to be a part of this baby's life of our life, and I was likeYouus want me. You know, like I felt, like so lovedand even though I was kind of just at the bottom, I felt like they wanted me to be a part of theirlives and it was like I felt so wanted. You know h. How old were you? Can I askyou were pretty young? I was twenty alreay, so yeah yeah fresh twenty. Iwas a fresh Frush, twenty yeah ioereol...

...one year old, O worl. I think Iremember saying we have to go on vacations together. This can't beclosed. Sheand. I was wait. Do you know me like I'm her that trouble with? Actually I don'tknow if you waare you sure so Jesca you married Emmett'sbirthfather and how long after the adoption did that happen, and it wastwo and a half yeah, but it was a big deal big process. I think like wereally wait our pros and cons because it feltlike like. Why would we do this? You know, but after talking to them, I feellike we always we counsel them on everything here, N, Inrochel and Um. I don't know they just made us feel socomfortable with it and like we found love after replacement. Youknow after we left the hospitals kind of Wen, our like love story started andfor the next two and a half years we just I don't know we had to betogether. I always fel like Ne, brought them together and connected them in away that they needed each other and connected so much ID to like throuon it. So were you a part of emet's life fromthe beginning, even when you and he were dating or or has that sort of evolved, no fom?The very start I mean like so when I was pregnant, I had decided. I wantedan open adoption. I don't really remember when it was, but at some point,during the pregnancy yeah you were on board, I yeah she was like Eoay, I andoactually. I think it was after we found out. He was a boy and I just likecouldn't you know like this is a real peryeah,it's a real person, and then you see their face and like all these things-and it was like- oh my gosh, you know he looks like me or he looks like thisor whatever, and I then I had to be with him but M and then to know thatthey were so open to it and wanted you...

...to be such a big part of his life. I'msure that had a huge impact if they, if that hadn't been the case, then maybemaybe it wouldn't have those. You know those feelings wouldn't have developedas much and you would have felt like. Okay, this is fin. I can close the doorthat knowing they wanted you to be a part of his life, I can see how thatwould really make a difference, and I think, like meeting so early on, weformed this like bond in this friendship and like we we've always had it likeit's. Never I mean, like you, know, there's hard times or whatever, but Idon't know always fell a part of their family or yeah that weird well part lot, probablyRochelle and Eran's personalities I feel like they're, very open, exceptingfriendly to like, as far as I know, everyone to everyone right when we goto have a gamenight you're like I want to invite everyone ne a D. I want everyone to be able tocome. Let's do it at the park. You'relike such an inclusive, lovingperson. That way, you know, wouldn't you say yeah. I guess that is definitely whenyou say do like to omit everybody yeah, that's true, but I've just been amazedwith Juscaus family. I I feel like Um, particularly her grandma, her dad's momshe's, like adopted all my children as her grandchildren and big extendedfamily. Yes- and I just I really feel like you can't have enough peopleloving you or loving your children and having them rooting them on and beingso on their side, and it's been amazing having Justcan Stevhen or in thebeginning, because nobody really cares about all the milestones like they do.I know that I can text her anything that Emma does and she's just asexcited as I am, and there's something really special about that. You know Ialways know she's listening and she generally cares and that's incredibleto have that support. For me, that would be really nice. What's itlike just like daily daily life like...

...what is at call each of you. Well, hecalls me mom and he calls Jesica Jessica Steven Steven and does he referto you as his birthmom like he knows hour aismonth me yeah, but not theyjust calles you by your name yet yeah. I know you had told me a story aboutlike that. He was how old, when he realized that not everyone has Ranparents. We had a little kindergarten play group, so I picked up him and hisfriends to bring to my house after school and they were talking about howand it only has sisters and his friend only had sisters, but their otherfriend had a brother and only one sister and La and Enit goes well. Idon't just have sisters. I have a birth brother and they're like what's a birthbrother, and I think that W's, when he realized- Oh, like you, don't havebirth brothers like I think he assumed, like everyone, has birthday a others andthen also sisters and Yeah Gotcha Yeah Eni, he realized yeah, Oh not,everybody was adopted, go figure what a bummer for them. I have allthese fun parents exactly he's going to brag out it to everybody. Well andJaneaways. Ask C who are my birth parents and I was Lyou: Don't have birthparents, but just 'cause and steen they're your birth friends Yoshe hasbirthfriends that works. One really cool thing about Emmett the other daywe were able to go to school, and I I was like superanxious, because I didn'twant to put him in like a weird situation. Iy, you know we never. Wedon't really have a lot of time in the day that have these like longconversations about is, is okay, you know, and so seven N. I went back andforth. Like you know, we don't want to make this weird for him, but we want tobe a part of his big things and well just leave like the ball in his court.Leave it up to him and he did like he introduced him as his birth dad, and Ithought that that goes o like Aridon...

...richelle like they. He really like thinks of us. You know where thisfamily, it's o weird to him, and it's because of you guys and you got the best picture his faceis so proud when he's pointing at Stephen, this IERTH ather well Steven'sin the Marines the's the captain in the Marines and it's pretty cool, verypretty proud of that yeah P, stepen's, really cool. There's a lot of gasweitsyeah re loking on it. The uniform get all the sopoints them so um does emmitt. Consider all ofyour kids siblings. Do you feel like there's any difference in therelationship or not? Really, I think it's a little different. When the same day when we were at theschool, we had her. Two kids were there, and one of the boy said is that yourbrother and and it goes yes sort of so I guess it's just very slightdifference in a way, it's incredible that he has two biological siblings,almost three. It's amazing that he can have thisrelationship with them, and I mean I. I hope that they fill that connection andbond always yeah. Definitely I think, as being here now has made the bond.Like I mean for my kids, I theusust moved here not long orae, O yeah yeah,so we are close by and I think like for our kids, especially our son trace Um.He loves Emmett and he's just now, starting to figure out like Oh okay, so you know this whole baby, I'm pregnant,so whater you do. Can I Han t you in Februarys, I know, but the whole babytalk and, like? Oh, you know, he's verhe lived in my tummy l of thesethings and EMMT lived in my Tomso like he's like okay. So what does this mean?ROSI's, my sister, and this could be like a brother or sister. I kindo Haseto figure out like mat my brother as se. My friend Yeah is e Boll, so we're juststarting that conversation, but with m beings like he's so inclusive of thekids, and there is something special,...

...especially between the two boys. Ithere's something like really cool and special, and I think it's 'cause Emmais the leader of that and it goes back to them. You know I love that you give them so muchcredit. I mean Yes for sure Ra, but also you guys 'cause, you a lot therelationship you have with Emmett and how much love you can give. It's isyour choice still, regardless of how open they are to that right. So forsure, both of you, like it's a credit to you, both that you're able to makethis work so well and have this very unique situation, but feel so normal toyour kids and to you great, it's awesome when y Rashal was first tellingyou about it. I just was like this is the best story. I alould love it. It'sawsome. I really didn't I'm Kindo like init. That way like I felt, like alladoptions are like this, and it was a big opener toralize how unique andreally different our circumstances are and we're so fortunate. That's such a great relationship Um.Would you recommend open adoption to other families? Oh for Shrt, I wouldassume Ye. I An. I almost feel, like only I mean, have as open of anadoption. As you can. I mean in our circumstance it was where justkpickedus and a lot of times Um, maybe through the foster system, the birthparentsdon't get to choose to place their children for adoption. It might beagainst their wishes and maybe, in that circumstance it's harder to have anopen adoption, but still, I think, as open as you can maybe even just having an emal address,that they have that they can contact each other through or just some way ofcontacting because kids need that and you need t I I need Emmett to have thatand his life. If he had all these questions, I couldn't answer I. Itwould be so hard for me and so know as much as you can and give them all theinformation that you can and it's healthy and good and s nothing to beashamed of...

Yeahno for sure what about you Jeska,like no regrets going back, you wouldn't change. No, never, and I thinkfor birth mothers lot of t e times from other brt mother that I've talked toit's really healing you coan see your child like growing and living, and youknow being successful and you di you brought them here, you know and they,like, I don't know for me, it's been really hilling and I know for a lot ofother birth mothers. It's healing it can be hard. You know you know likeespecially now that I'm a you know, I'm parenting, two, three more children. You realize how much you miss, eventhough they try they've kept us like in the Lope like for the first year. I waslike, Oh, my goodness, Okay Lot's going on, but you still miss stuff, thelittle tiny things and you realize that when you parent- but it's still allworth it- and I feel like it's a very uniquesituation that you married Emmett's, birthfather right. I think that's veryrare like for the average case he you know, you probably would have marriedsomeone else, and so that too you know, I think, would heighten that for sureYeahyeah, but still full siblings, yeah. Technically they cherl yeahe Rit,exactly incredible yeah. Well, I'm so grateful you guys are willing to comeand chat about this today is is really fun to have you here. I kind of wish itwas video sorootyoasore like looking really cute your hairs sun, I'm likejust got back from the gym. I didn't really go to the gym, but I'm like ponytail 's, not a video of bit. Think Heyecoming! Oh we're going to play a game. I goys up for a little game. I knowRicelle's game, a a latter, Ame player, I'm a little competitive, Oh nic, Ilike it. We will get along just fine. Okay, this is a game called BLURTevercomplayed the game. BLURT, it's a board game called BLURT. I don't know,I think we found it like a yard sale. I had never heard of it a three thin, sothis is how to work. I'm in a ree there's two ways to play the game. Thefirst one is. I just read this little...

...description and the answer is justgoing to be one word and you guys blurt it out right and then the other wayI'll explain in a minute 'cause. What we're going to do is we're going toroll this day and if it's odd, we'll play that way and if it's even I'llexplain the other way. So, let's see we get even so I replid th. I GNTO explainthe second way, so each of these has a certain amount of words and I'll tellyou the number of words and you're going to go back and for saying like Oh,I can get this in six words. Oh, I can do five until someone says: Okay, yougo ahead and try and then we'll see if you can get it and if you can't, thenthe other person gets a point right. So, let's see one that has a few words here.Well, do okay! How about this one UM, two, four!Six! Eight ten! Twelve thirteen words! So reshall you go first. How many wordsdo you think you need out of thirteen that I will guess yeah t I would giveyou that many words and you'll be able to guess the word that it's describing it's kind of trickywhere. I Hamer heardone before I want to say all thirteen, but I'm going to say eight! Okay, eight!Do you think you can do it in less than eight or are you going to say go for it?Oh, I guess the word you have to get it with just eight two, four, six: Eight M:What do you think I'm Gnnogo, lest than eight okay, seven she's Goingto pay forseven Yeaokay. L RIGHT! Do you want to trace six or o you want to let her try a try! Six: okay, sick! You want to gover last C to SI o seven. Okay Sorchelle, youhave six words. A sheltered place along a coast is six of thirteen, so acate very close. You want to hear therest of it that serves as a port for ships harbor, you would think cave until youget all the rest of the he beesh companers. Okay, that's really good! Here. Wo Goone okay, Thisso, I'm just going to say...

...it and you guys yell out yeah, whoeverbullerts it out. First gets the point: readig an insect that has hard glossyfront wing beat that ful nice richellthat was a good one. You gotthat one, but JESSA got the first one Yo couldn't get it anythieokay, let'ssee otter, even O, Otagan, okay, so Gointo blurt this one out, okay, to argue in trying to agree onsomething such a compomite ice. Oh it's that word, you don't hear thisword very often actually sor to the age haggell! Yes iagld! Ienot heard the word haggle in a while. What's the averent word like negotio agosiin Bu Ye to argue intrying to agree taggle like two to one e'll, see what we got her Reishi. Evenso, I'm going to give you the number of words for one of these. Oh she. Theseare hard. Okay, two four, six, eight ten, twelvefourteen fifteen words. You could go first, Jeska, how many out of fifteen.Do you need? Okay? Ten? What do you think crosial? Ithink I need ten. Also N Yesthatas really tricky get ready,one of the two bony growth on the head of what Thad of what exactly dont get the rest of the wronly throutsM, I'M G or now R. So it's the one of the two bonygrosts that you'd have to name on the head of a dear or related animal: Oh e Unicorn! They have a little horn. Iwas going to say sate raft...

...like two bumny Gros it', a GIRAFF THAhead o those ont know they're Goou Y, don't think ofan Antler as a bony growth, no asked Gribe at Ray. Okay, let's see Rochellehas three JESCA. You have one okay, so this one's going to be worth three:Whoever wins it winds. Okay, let's see five okay, so this is just a blurtready to just yell it out. I like thest, okay. Here we go a mineral that is acrystal form of carbon and is the hurdest of all known substances: Salt, the Carben Throug! You! You don't think if this is a mineralTitini, a minerol by crystal form of Carbon Damond, yes diamond, I Lonti enyou Shud, Kno, ATW, IA, allright, Jessica or Rochelle. You won killed her Knos when when, when an yougave me that weight Ell Donladies, I love this game.Actually, it's very fun. We play it with our kids, but we'll pull out theones where we're like. Oh they'll, know these, but we don't make 'em, guess thebony growth one they'd be like what I know is hat what you's talking about. They would get it with your gestures.Yes right, it'w like this, Oh auntlars, you can't see me putting my hands up onmy forehead. A well thanks are coming. This is really fun to chat right, soyou guys later.

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