"I was still not clear if the adoption was the way to go," says Ardena about placing (or giving up baby) for adoption, "until I saw Susie and Paul's Parent Profile that Lynne from Adoption Connection gave me. Once I read about them and saw their pictures, I knew it was the right thing to do."
Every adoption is different and some birthmothers want very little contact before their baby is born while others want a lot. Ardena created an open adoption relationship, and when she first met the adoptive family, she says, "They instantly felt like family."
"Susie and Paul helped me out through every step," says Ardena. "Susie went to my doctor appointments and was my birthing coach. It was so amazing to share that with her."
In an open adoption, the adoptive family takes the baby home from the hospital after s/he is released, usually around the same time the birthmother is released from the hospital.
Before Ardena gave birth, she and the adoptive family talked about what would happen at the hospital—during and after the birth—and about plans for future contact.
"Sierra is very loved… we all feel that for Sierra to grow up knowing her birthmother will be healthy for her, as well as an enriching, loving relationship for us."
Ardena says, "I never felt pressure working with Adoption Connection. I always felt they would support my decisions.”
"Jackson loves to tell Ardena all his latest 'knock-knock' jokes," says Susie, "and he loves that she is a skateboarder like he is!"
"Bringing Ardena into our lives and hearts has been an incredible, organic journey."
"People ask me if it is hard to see Sierra now with her new family, and it's almost the opposite,” says Ardena, “It feels so good to see her, and how happy she has made everyone. I can see now that Sierra has so much more than what I could have given her myself. I feel blessed to be a part in something that incredible.”
"We say lose the fear, open your hearts, and live with grace and gratitude. Not only will everything work out, but your life will be enriched in ways you've never imagined."