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Open Adoption:
Double the Love

  • Linda R. Sexton

Excerpt from The Branches We Cherish: Uncharted Territory

“There is no greater trust than a birth parent choosing you to raise their child.”

~David, Adoptive Father

I never intended to become a pathfinder in open adoption. When we married, David and I knew that we might not be able to have children. Yet, during the marriage preparation meeting, when the pastor asked us if we wanted to keep the part about the procreation of children in our vows, we said without hesitation—yes! But procreation was not meant to be for us.

I was thirty-two by the time I met the man I had been looking for. He was intelligent, stable, funny, and kind, and I knew I was going to marry him by our second date. But as life happens, my work transferred me from Houston to Dallas just as our relationship was going strong.

In those days, a fairly new airline was making a name for itself in the Texas market—Southwest. They sold coupon books with nineteen-dollar one-way tickets between Houston and Dallas with flights scheduled every thirty minutes. So, when the work week was done, either David or I headed to the airport and literally hopped on the next flight. How easy was that! It was even more economical to fly than drive. Those were fun, magical days full of airport kisses. To this day, our airport greeting kisses remain our special treat. We were both engineers for the same company, and once our wedding plans were set, the company transferred me back to Houston.

Married life was wonderful. We commuted to work together, and we were both enjoying our careers. In short order, we were ready to start our family. After some tries and failures, we naturally looked to adoption. It was an easy decision because we figured there were plenty of unplanned pregnancies, and if those babies needed a home, we wanted to help.

We soon learned that while the decision to adopt was easy, the actual process was not. To our dismay, many adoption agencies disqualified us, even though we were two professionals with stable jobs, good members of the community, and longtime churchgoers. So, what was the problem?

Our age.

By this time, I was thirty-six, and David was forty-three. The traditional adoption agencies said we were unfit to adopt because we were too old! We were devastated. But after interviewing seven adoption agencies, we learned that if we were willing to do an open adoption instead of closed or semi-open, we might qualify. A leading agency doing open adoptions at that time was Providence Place (formerly Methodist Mission Home) in San Antonio, Texas, a three-hour drive from our Houston residence. So, off we went for the first of many visits to the agency.

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