Five-year-old Joachim and 2-year-old Jaspar are cherished young men. When the December holidays and birthdays roll around, the brothers get to celebrate with their parents … and their birth families.
Adopted at birth, Joachim and Jaspar are part of a growing trend in open adoptions: merged families where the birth parents and their extended families are often blended into the adoptive family.
“We wouldn’t have it any other way,” says the boys’ adoptive mom, Esther, who came with her husband, Adan, to Adoption Connection, six years ago for help in starting a family. “Adan and I are both from mixed heritages, and we wanted our sons to know their own backgrounds as well.
“We felt comfortable with Adoption Connection right away and knew that we wanted to work with the agency,” Esther continues. Their sons’ birthmothers felt the same way. “When I learned I was pregnant, I decided early on to place my baby with an adoptive family,” says Jasper’s birth mother, Jessica
“I settled on Adoption Connection because they respected my dignity and autonomy and were concerned with my needs. They don’t have an agenda, and they never put pressure on me.”
Vera, Joachim’s birth mother, echoes Jessica’s sentiments, adding that Esther and Adan are the perfect adoptive parents. “They’re so supportive—they’re always checking in to make sure I’m okay,” she says.
Although placing Joachim for adoption was tough, Vera believes it was the right decision. “My son is very happy,” she says, and “he’s learning French and Spanish, in addition to English!”
Jessica and Vera say that they cherish their relationships with their sons’ adoptive family. “My husband (who is also Jaspar’s birth father) and I have gotten really close to Esther and Adan, and we see them and the boys even more than we thought we would,” says Jessica. “We’ll stop in and have dinner with them, or we’ll get together for birthdays and holidays. This is exactly what I’d hoped for. I feel empowered by my decision. In a society that can project a lot of judgment and pressure onto women facing unplanned pregnancies, I feel like I’ve written my own story.”