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Open Adoption:
Double the Love

  • Linda R. Sexton

A Trip of a Lifetime - My Daughter and her Birth Father

My young adult daughter, Sofie, went on an amazing trip to Machu Picchu with her birth father, Ricky. It was just the two of them for eleven glorious days, learning things about each other that only this type of adventure can provide.

For me, the real significance is not the adventure, it is the fact that this trip was even possible. It started with a promise twenty-three years ago at the hospital when Sofie’s birth mom placed her in my arms. On that day, my husband, David, and I made a promise to Sofie’s teen birth parents that she would always know that it was their immense love for her that led to their adoption decision. We promised that Sofie would always know them.

And so it was, as the days and years went on, even though they were no longer a couple, we stayed connected to each of Sofie’s birth parents. We visited with Ricky and his family at least annually and when Sofie turned fifteen, Ricky married and wanted Sofie to be a bridesmaid in his wedding. His wife, Lane, opened up her heart and welcomed Sofie into their lives. When Ricky and Lane started their family, it was a mutual decision that Sofie would get to know her young half-siblings and be “big sister Sofie.”

Upon Sofie’s college graduation, Lane suggested to Ricky that that he should take her on a special adventure. They chose Peru not only to see one of the seven wonders of the world, but also because of the Spanish language. Adopted children often long to connect to their cultural heritage. Ricky’s dad is Hispanic and Ricky went to Mexico as a young adult to learn about the culture and language. Sofie has always been drawn to the Hispanic culture, studied Spanish in high school, and wanted to perfect her language skill. Both of them told me that a highlight of the trip was practicing their Spanish together with the tour guides and locals. I love that Sofie was able to have this heritage experience with Ricky, as this is not something that we would have been able to give to her.

Sofie said that this was the first time that she and Ricky were together as two adults and could be unapologetically themselves. They will always remember the thrill of white-water rafting, hiking the magnificent Inca Trail and they will continue to laugh at how scared they were hanging on to dear life as the bus teetered and bumped along the rough roads and mountain slopes. But the lasting memory will be about connecting with each other. In the evenings before bedtime, without distractions, they were able to share dreams, aspirations and they were comfortable sharing vulnerabilities with each other. This is what they will remember most of all.

As I reflect on this trip, I recognize that the real heroes of this story are Lane and David. Ricky needed to use precious vacation time and Lane, a full-time working mom, would be the one taking care of the kids while Ricky was gone. And David has never wavered about the promise that Ricky would have a relationship with Sofie. David is Sofie’s dad and he is the one who saw her to the bus stop each morning, carried her forgotten homework to school and coached her soccer and basketball teams for years on end. He always stepped aside for Sofie to develop a relationship with Ricky. It takes many open hearts to make open adoption work. I will always be grateful to David and Lane for their selfless acts that made the idea of this incredible trip possible.



258 views11 comments

11 Comments


Guest
Sep 22, 2022

Thanks for sharing Linda. A truly touching story.....

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Guest
Sep 21, 2022

What an amazing and beautiful story Linda. Thank you for sharing. Tina Amin

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Guest
Sep 20, 2022

This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing

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Unknown member
Sep 20, 2022

I love how your family continues to normalize the open adoption experience. It is continued story of beauty and selfless, giving hearts. Truly a trip of a lifetime!

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Unknown member
Sep 20, 2022

Wise decisions demonstrated the fullest selflessness to assure that Belle could live a full and complete life - devoid of secrets.

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