Families Become Lifelong Friends Through Open Adoption
Healthy families celebrate their blessings and support one another during life’s challenges. That’s why LSS is dedicated to providing services to families to make sure everyone is healthy, safe and accepted.
For Beth and Scott Boyens, starting their family took a long time. They spent seven years trying before their oldest child, Anna, entered the world. And when the couple encountered even more difficulty trying for their second, they went looking for medical help.
“We tried to get pregnant again and had a miscarriage,” Beth said. “So we went to fertility treatment and tried IUI, and finally the doctor said, ‘You’re never gonna get pregnant.’ We thought, ‘OK, maybe we’re just meant to have an only child.'”
It was a realization they grew comfortable with until Scott garnered a fresh perspective on birth order during a seminar.
“They said the worst possible combination is for two oldest siblings to be raising an only, which was exactly our situation,” Beth said, laughing. “We figured, gosh, we’ve got to have some more kids or else we’re gonna totally ruin the one we have.”
The decision to adopt came quickly. The couple went to LSS Adoption Services to learn more and get started on the process.
“We spent a couple of days in Chamberlain with some other families just learning about adoption — particularly open adoption — and got to hear from other adoptive families about how they had navigated the process,” Beth said. “It was a nice community to connect with other potential adoptive parents coming at it from all different kinds of circumstances.”
The Boyenses made trips to several sessions where they enjoyed learning and making friends with people in the same stage of life. But with years of trying and waiting already behind them, a baby couldn’t come soon enough.
‘It was the biggest decision of my life’
While the Boyenses waited for their opportunity, Megan Gronewoller, a nursing student in Minnesota, received some unexpected news.
“While I was still in college, I ended up getting pregnant,” Megan recalled.
Not only was the news surprising, things became even more disorienting when Megan learned that she was carrying not one child, but two.
“I went through this moment of ‘Oh my gosh, I’m having two babies.’ And it felt like my own life hadn’t even begun,” Megan explained. “But I wanted them to have this good life, and I hoped and prayed that they would be healthy. That’s really all that was on my mind.”
Megan and her parents had several good but difficult conversations. Through LSS Pregnancy Counseling Services, Megan was able to move forward. She felt confident that open adoption was the right choice, and with the help of her parents and birth parent counselor, she started looking at potential families for her two babies.
“It was the biggest decision of my life. How would I know if I was making the right choice? What if they never let me see them?” Megan said, still recalling the feelings so vividly. “You have a lot of ‘what ifs,’ but really, you just have to trust the process.”
Megan’s birth parent counselor supported her in walking through family portfolios. Together, they narrowed the list to two possible sets of parents, which Megan remembers was exciting but nerve-wracking.
‘When I shook her hand, it just felt right’
“We finally got the call,” Beth said. “‘We have a birth mother who is interested in meeting you, and she has twins,’ they told us.”
Despite an initial reservation about adopting multiples, the couple knew they had to meet Megan.
“When I shook her hand, it just felt right,” Megan said.
“Megan is so lovely, and her parents are so lovely, and it was evident in that initial conversation,” she said. “There was just so much love in the room and so much respect — like mutual respect and support.”
The families talked for hours in Beth and Scott’s backyard. What followed were even more visits with extended family and friends, a trip to Megan’s hometown, and finally, a chance for Beth and Scott to meet the twins in cradle care. At that point, everything felt certain.
“Megan called me the next morning and said, ‘I want you to be our adoptive parents.’ And I went shopping immediately,” Beth said, laughing.
When it came time to finalize the adoption, both families met at LSS before heading to Beth and Scott’s. The twins, Ethan and Emma, officially became Boyenses. It was a difficult day but a beautiful moment.
“I’ll never forget when Megan walked away,” remembered Beth, providing Megan with a piece of the story she hadn’t known all these years. “Megan’s dad turned around, and Scott and I and Anna, and the two babies, were standing on our front step, and he said, ‘That’s a beautiful family.’ At that moment, I knew things were going to be OK.”
Things were going to be OK for the Boyenses, albeit even more exciting than they anticipated.
“A week later I found out I was pregnant,” Beth laughed.
Sharing the Love
The Boyenses grew from one child to four in less than a year. It was a lot. But having an open adoption allowed Beth and Scott to share some of the twins’ important moments, including baptisms, sports games and graduations, alongside Megan. From the start, they worked together to find a healthy rhythm for both families.
“It was a little bit of a dance at first. Now, we don’t think twice about it,” Beth said. “I think Ethan and Emma have always had the assurance that the woman who gave birth to them loved them and cared about them enough to carefully place them in a family and remain a part of their lives. And there’s never been any doubt for them that Megan loves them, and that she is one of their biggest fans and supporters.”
Ethan and Emma are now in college. Megan is married to Luke, who has been a huge support throughout the journey, and together they have two children — twins, if you can believe it.
“Please trust in the process. Believe in the process,” Megan urged. “There will be breathing space but try not to disappear because they (the adoptive family) needs you just as much as you need them. If you feel sad or lonely, talk to the adoptive parents. There will be grief, but trust me, when you see the love that surrounds the child or the children, it will all be worth it.”
To learn more about adoption services and pregnancy counseling, contact LSS today.
LSS supports families at all stages with professionalism, service and care. Maybe you are looking to adopt a child. Maybe you just have questions. Regardless of where you are at in your process, we offer services for:
Families looking to adopt a child through domestic or international adoption.
Birth parents face difficult decisions regarding an unintended pregnancy.
Adopted individuals searching for information about their birth families.