12 Pictures of Open Adoption That Will Make Your Heart Sing

My wife Tara and I got the call on September 22, 2011 as we drove home from our match meeting with Chelsea, eight months pregnant and intending to make an adoption plan for her baby girl. “Chelsea wants to move forward with you both,” our social worker said, though it was her next words that truly floored us. “She told me the baby was bouncing and kicking during the meeting harder than ever before – she believes it’s a sign this is also what the baby wants.”

Eleven days later, we sat with Chelsea in the hospital as she cradled her sleeping one-day-old infant. We collaborated with her to name the baby Kaylin Beth. Overcome by joyful anguish, Tara and I fell in love with our new daughter, fully cognizant of the fact that our parenthood had arrived at the ultimate cost. As we left the hospital, none of us knew exactly what to expect or how the back-and-forth dynamics would play out. We’d agreed on an open adoption from the start, but this was new and frightening territory for all of us.

As it turned out, our relationship with Chelsea and her family quickly blossomed into a permanent bond of mutual love, respect, trust, and admiration—a relationship that has provided Kaylin love and support from all sides. Here are 12 highlights from our times together over the past six years.