Occasionally, I look up from the old oak table and see them–a handful of family photos displayed in beautiful frames along the built-in shelves surrounding the dining room window.

With the sun beaming in, I look back down at my children. They’re scraping the remaining spaghetti noodles off their plates with a glob of garlic bread.

I smile.

Not only is it entertaining to watch toddlers eat spaghetti noodles with bread in lieu of silverware, these every day moments around the dining room table are gentle reminders that our family is built around so much love. And the photos that surround us reflect the bittersweet beauty of open adoption.

Memories with our daughters’ birth families have been frozen in hundreds of snapshots, forever holding a place in our hearts and in our home.

That’s why we include their birth families in our family photos in the first place.

It’s not easy making these photos happen. Time and distance have impacted our ability to visit as often as we’d like. But when we do get a chance to squeeze them and watch our children interact with their birth families, a camera is close by.

Our daughters’ birth families will always be a wonderful extension of our own. And because the times we spend together are fleeting, we choose to capture and preserve them through photographs and proudly display them throughout our home.