Brian, Ashley, and Lane Middleton
Alex with her family
“In 2014, I was pregnant with our first biological child, so we naturally thought this would be a GREAT time to begin our adoption journey - with teenagers from foster care no less. We went through training in the fall, I had our baby in December, and our home was approved and opened for adoption in January 2015. We did not get our first adoptive placement until August 2015, when our oldest, Grady, was still a baby. Clark was 14 when he moved in with us, and no, we did not have a clue what we were doing. A week and a half later, I found out I was pregnant by surprise. We were in shock. We were going to have 2 babies less than a year and a half apart in age. Plus, a teen who was showing more and more of his trauma every day. Two months later, we were getting excited about our baby girl that would be coming in April 2016 when I got a call from Clark's Adoption Specialist. I was informed that Clark’s biological mother had delivered another baby boy and abandoned him at the hospital. DHS was asking us to adopt him as well. For those of you keeping count, that's 1 teen with PTSD, RAD, and who knew what else at that point, an 11-month-old, a new baby due in a few months, a drug-exposed, withdrawing new-born, and a partridge in a pear tree. We were out of our minds but felt like God was calling us to say yes again and again.
Fast forward to 2017. We were still crazy, and still leaning on the Holy Spirit to get us through each day, and I had enough of feeling isolated, alone, misunderstood, and silenced by how difficult this was, how few resources there are out there looking at adoptive parents' hearts, and how few people were talking about the really hard stuff. I started “The Adoptive Mom Podcast” with one mission: to bring encouragement, solidarity, and truth to adoptive moms and their daily struggles. I am now in my 4th season and loving it! I have interviewed doctors, therapists, authors, counsellors, birth moms, support systems, dads, and of course, lots of adoptive moms sharing their wisdom and "me too’s”. This adoption thing is so hard but so worth it, and when we stand together, we are empowering ourselves and others to keep up the fight and keep saying yes.
My highs have definitely been being able to connect with other characters in the adoption world, as well as to find my own mission and, really self in all of this. My lows have been the hard stuff. We had to place our teen in a residential treatment centre for a season and we've had to deal with genetic conditions and the onslaught of issues caused by our younger adopted son's drug exposure, and much more. Learning to give grace and to grieve the easy life that we could have had if it weren't for our “yes” has been difficult, but again, the growth and seeing the lives of our children change is worth it all.” (Arkansas, AR, USA)