Connecting Through Grief – An Adoption Story of Siblings #UNITE Link-up


Remember meeting Lisa? Lisa shared the story of her first adoption here. After adopting her little girl, she went on and adopted another. The following is the story of her family’s second adoption.

Adoption Story, Child #2, by Lisa

Our oldest daughter was about 18 months old when I got the wild idea that I was ready to try the
process again.

We had been told that it could take 2 years or even longer to adopt, and I didn’t
want our children to have a big gap between them. My husband agreed to begin the process
again thinking it would be at least a year before we welcomed another baby home.

We decided on independent adoption again, using the same adoption attorney and social
worker as we did the first time around. This time, the home study was quicker and easier as we
just had to update it.

Plus, we were experienced now. We now realized the social worker wanted to approve us and wasn’t looking for us to fail.

Once again, we completed the home study in December, but this time it was 2006. We againfile0001145002032
received many hope-filled calls while we waited. One birth mom had twins in Florida. One was
32 years old.

But, none of these were the situation the Lord had for us.

Eventually, our attorney contacted us to tell us about a birth mom who was interested in our profile. She had narrowed it down to two families and wanted to meet us both.

We went to meet with her and her family and were instantly at ease. We really liked the whole
family. How could we actually feel comfortable in such a situation? Because the Lord had
brought us together.

There was something about the other family she met with that was drawing her to them. And, we were told that although she did like us, she had decided on the other family.

This was disappointment down to the core. Disappointed but yet still drawn to this birth mom
and her unborn baby.

A couple of weeks passed when we unexpectedly received a call from the birth mom’s adoption
counselor. She informed us that the other family had decided they wanted to adopt a girl
because they already had two boys. So, although we were runner’s up, we were now the top
choice as the other family was out of the running.

This particular birth mom was expecting a boy and we were open to either a boy or a girl.

A couple of more months passed, and it was nearing the birth mom’s due date. We were able to
get together with her and her family a couple of times and our relationship grew closer. Finally
the day came when the birth mom’s adoption counselor called us to tell us the baby was here!
Even while on the phone with her, I began getting our stuff together to head to the hospital.

“Wait!” she said, “There is something I need to tell you about the baby.” She kind of hemmed and
hawed a bit and then finally spewed out, “It’s a girl!”

“What? A girl.”

I was speechless. The ultrasound clearly said male but the baby was now out of the womb and was definitely a girl!

A flood of emotions rushed over me. “You mean that other family could have had their girl? But,
we get her? We were the 2nd choice but yet here we are…blessed with another girl!”

Photo Credit: Lisa Ostriem
Photo Credit: Lisa Ostriem

We were overjoyed. Abby was perfect. Another perfect baby. Full-term and beautiful. She was
calm, slept well, and ate well.

Down the road we have discovered some sensory and learning difficulties. The Lord is refining
me as her mom and teacher to see her wonderful uniqueness, her precious heart, and her love
of fun.

One of the reasons I was overjoyed by the discovery that she was in fact a girl was
because of my own sister.

My sister and I had a rocky relationship growing up. Ours was one full of competition, envy,
bitterness, and anger.

But, when our parents divorced when I was 12 and she was 15, we were drawn to each other in a way that no one else could compare.

Our parents were hurting and were not yet able to truly be there for us. But, we found that we had each other. God had given us the gift of sisterhood. This gift has only become stronger in our adult life.

Our 12 year old is really beginning to go through the grieving process of adoption. She is experiencing the loss in a deep way. We have had several heart to heart talks about the pain and also the healing and hope that is coming.

The other day as we were processing some adoption pain together, she looked at me with big eyes and asked, “Is Abby going to feel this deep pain, too?”

“I can’t say for sure, baby girl. She might.”

With pleading eyes she said to me, “Oh, I don’t want her to have to go through this, too. No, I
don’t want her to feel this pain, too.”532558806.436825

“But, what better way to use your pain for good? We can work through this pain together, relating to each other like no one else can.”

Sisters. Theirs is a rocky, at times even unsafe relationship right now. But, the healing. Oh, the
healing that is coming. The bond the Lord is bringing. The connection through grief.

Sisters, thank God for sisters.

And, thank God for choosing me to parent these jewels.

Thanks Lisa!

So appreciate you touching on the grief adoptee’s can feel. Don’t you just love how open Lisa is to discuss adoption with her kids, permitting the hard feelings and questions and yet, redirecting that pain to its intended position, knowing….

All pain, regardless of its origin, has the miracle-working gift behind it to release others held captives.

We can let pain destroy; ourselves and others…or use pain to build up, grow strength and encourage. It’s our choice!

If you want to read more from Lisa, you can find her blogging here, “Lisa Ostreim”. She is also on Pinterest, here, and Twitter, here.

If you missed any of our series on adoption, join us for the full list of stories here (More Personal Adoption Stories)

The stories include a dad’s story, one of a mom with 11 children, a story where the husband was reluctant to adopt, and so many more.

Looking forward to seeing you back here Wednesday for a story from a bio daughter who grew up with over 100 foster siblings. Her husband narrates their journey clearly and articulately.

(Linking with Tell His Story, Trekking)


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Jen Avellaneda

Jen is an adoptive, foster, & bio mom to trans-racial family. You can find her writing, overlooking her property, advocating for the orphan domestically and internationally, & making memories with her husband of 24 yrs.
Follow here
Adoption Stories: A Dad's Letter to His First Son
When Your Spouse Is Hesitant To Adopt

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  1. I love reading adoption stories, and this one was beautiful! God knew all along this girl was for them, even when everyone else thought it was a boy. His ways are wonderful.

    Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #TrekkingThru

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