Written by Alissa Kay

We consider ourselves to be lucky to have relationships with our kids’ families. Our kids are so loved by so many people. I know open adoption doesn’t always seem “normal”. If you’ve got questions for me, I’ll answer the best that I can. Honestly, I didn’t think we would be *this* open but after getting to know them there’s no way we couldn’t be open and share our lives with them. I truly consider us all to be one, big family.

I shared a little bit about Kara’s birth mom before. Before I even met Natalie, my heart was broken for her. Life was so unfair; to be so young and to know you were about to lose your mom and your baby. I couldn’t fathom such a loss.

After we brought Kara home, Marie’s health declined. We visited at Christmas time. In February, Natalie called. Marie had been placed in hospice. We went to visit and to say good-bye. It was emotionally draining, but I was so happy we were able to give Marie another chance to see Kara. And it meant the world to Natalie to have her mom and her daughter in the same room one last time; two of the people she loved most. It was my first time visiting someone in hospice, someone so close to dying. The pictures I have of our baby (so full of life) holding her dying grandma’s hands are priceless.

Meanwhile, my aunt was fighting her own battle against cancer. Her health was also declining, and since these two women lived only an hour away from each other we visited with my aunt while we were in the area. That weekend was so hard. We traveled 6 hours to say good-bye… I was sad for myself, sad for those fighting their war against cancer and sad for the loved ones who had to look on feeling so
helpless. But what we didn’t know is that was also the last weekend we’d see my father-in-law healthy…

My father-in-law called us in March. I cried and cried as he told me the devastating news. Pancreatic cancer. In April, we were there holding his hand as he took his last breaths.

I don’t know if Natalie will ever know how much she means to me. She was there when her mom passed and she shared special details with me. Never in a million years did I think I was strong enough to watch someone die, to hold them as they died. What was even harder than that was watching my husband watch his own dad pass away. If Natalie could do it, so could I. She gave me so much courage & strength.

Natalie actually chose us from our web profile… she looked at hundreds of families and she wanted us. After the year we both had, I have to believe that God was behind Natalie’s choice.

I’m not even sure why I shared this. It’s still hard to talk about. But it’s a good way to show that we ARE family. We came together because of our mutual love for Kara, but ultimately, we have grown together and choose to be family, for Kara’s sake and for the sake of each other.

We also consider Matt’s birth family to be family too! And we love them dearly as well, but luckily we didn’t have to go through tragedies at the same time. What’s really neat is that both (birth) families love both kids; it doesn’t matter which child they birthed and created with their DNA. Like I said before, we’re all one big family.

(Feature Photo)

Alissa Kay

Alissa was born and raised in the Midwest and currently calls Wisconsin home. She's happily married to her college sweetheart and she's living out her dreams of being a stay-at-home mom. Although, let's be real, she's hardly ever home. She's the mom to 3 kids who all came to her via adoption. A boy (8) and 2 girls (6 and almost 4!). The kids keep her plenty busy, but when she has free time she enjoys a night out with friends or curling up with a good book.