Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


One of the most common questions I'm asked relates to birthmothers and openness in adoption so today I'm going to address some of these questions.

Different families use different names for the woman who gave birth to their child.  Birth mother.  Tummy mommy.  (I have a hard time seeing my 16 year old using this term)  Biological mother.  There are arguments on every side.  What adopted children call their their first mother is also open to discussion.  But whatever term is chosen, and whatever name is used, I think the most important consideration is to talk about this mother with honor and respect.

I don't think that the birthmother is to be feared and I do not feel threatened by the birth families of my children.  There may be horror stories of birth families causing trouble, just as there are horror stories of adoptive families making inexcusable choices, but this is not the norm.  I think this birth mother tells it best, "What I am trying to say is that the Birthmom Boogeyman is actually a fictional character who is the arch-nemesis of Birthmom's [sic] everywhere.  We have enough love and conviction for our child to physically and emotionally place them into the care of another, at the expense of our daily emotional torment.  At the very least we would have the sense to know our sacrifice must be protected.  The family unit around our child must be kept sacred and secure.  The last thing on our mind is heading for the border or competing for the role as 'Mom.'"

Within adoption, there are different degrees of openness.  The traditional method of adoption was completely closed with no contact between birthmother and child.  This is still an option and at times, the only option.  On the other end of the spectrum is open adoption where the adoptee and his/her family have some type of contact with the birth mother (and maybe more members of the birth family).  This can be yearly visits in a neutral location or even invitations to participate in many milestone events such as birthdays, holidays, and religious ceremonies.  While I don't know for certain, my guess is that most domestic adoptions today fall somewhere in the middle.

For us, we have chosen to leave this up to the birth mother and her family.  Whatever amount of openness they choose is fine with us.  We are not threatened at all to have the birth family in our lives, and actually see how this is helpful to the child.  For most of our children, this means that we have pictures of their birth mother and we send pictures and letters to the mothers on a regular basis.  For one of our children, we see relatives on a regular basis and this is very important for all of them.  And if each child wants to meet his or her birth mother at some point in the future, we are fine with that.  We will take into consideration the child's age, the mother's stage of life, and the child's emotional maturity.

We talk about each birth mother regularly.  We look at the pictures.  We share each story in an age appropriate way, with the plan that each child knows his or her whole adoption story by the time they are adolescents.  The birth families are honored and we pray for them on a regular basis.  Each one has made an amazing sacrifice and given her child the best gift, life.  We wish that there wasn't brokenness in this world that leads to such difficult choices and separation; it's not what God intended.  But because this is the world in which we live, we have been given this command, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  James 1:27
Silly baby loves to be on his tummy and always has his mouth open.

Moving right along, Victor was 2 lbs. 6.5 oz. yesterday.  He had another great day.  As one nurse said, "He's having more good days than bad days."  Praise God!

His flow is now weaned down to 4.0LPM and most of the day he was on 24% - 28%.

He is looking more and more like a real boy and less and less like some combination of E.T., a chicken, and a frog.

Pray against infection, against any issues with his eyes, and against forgetting to breathe!  Pray for everything to be developing and coming together for the day down the road when he can eat himself.  This will be major!

And please pray for Victor's birthmother.  Making an adoption plan for your child is never, ever easy but seeing her son so small and vulnerable, and without a family for a period of time was even more difficult for her.  I have also been praying that there is at least one Christian around her who will come alongside of her and give her God's love and hope.


  1. As an adopted child...thanks for explaining all of this in terms people can understand...sometimes it gets complicated when people ask - "you don't even KNOW your birthmom? WHY?!"

    Thanks for being willing to put all the pieces together into a very clearly stated way. I might laminate it and keep it handy when I get questions...hehehe

    Much love and prayers!

    1. As I'm sure you know, there are a lot of adoption related questions that need a laminated response. :) Most people are innocently curious and mean no harm so a little education and understanding on both sides can go a long way.