Monday, October 15, 2012

Guest Blogger, Laura

Our dear friend Laura takes the blogging reigns today. . .
After six years in the Army, my husband Dave decided to go back to school and the two of us moved to lovely Durham, North Carolina.  We didn't know anyone in Durham but we ran into Holly and Heather our first week there as we were cruising their neighborhood for FOR SALE signs.  It was one of those brief moments that changes things.  They are now Aunt Heather and Aunt Holly to our kids, Kiera (3 years) and Luke (1 year), and a very special part of our family.  I get gushy when I talk about them.

Our first summer in Durham, Dave was away for an internship.  I was pregnant at the time and Heather and Holly were wonderful to me.  They helped me with house stuff, fed me (often delicious home-cooked meals by Heather) and supported me.  My pregnancy was quite easy overall but on one afternoon I felt horrible and actually quite scared by the sudden sharp pains.  I talked on the phone with my husband in Houston, my mom (who lived several hours away) and then to a nurse.  Then I vividly remember talking with Heather and Holly and feeling immediately comforted by having them nearby.

A while ago, I saw an online post in which a new mom wrote how excited she was when her tiny baby had a healthy bowel movement.  She noted with humor that only she and her own mother could possibly take such an interest in the smelly contents of a diaper.  In my case, Heather and Holly would have been dancing around the diaper pail right along with me and my mom. 

Kiera has slept in Holly's arms.  She's been calmed many a time by Heather singing There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly when she was getting squirmy in her car seat.  Heather and Holly were the first non-family members who watched Kiera while we went out.  We've mellowed a bit with our second child, but with our first this was huge trust.  Humongous. 

Heather and Holly are incredibly giving, loving, down-to-earth, classy people who bring out the best in those around them and in each other.  I'm so excited for them to be able to open up their loving home to a sweet child.  I can't wait for every inch of their fridge to become plastered with a child's beautiful craft projects (conceived by Heather) and to watch Holly share her love of basketball with a little one.  And I'm excited for them to experience-- as parents-- a whole new side of the vibrant Durham community to which they are already such an asset!

Heather holding Kiera & Holly holding Ella

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Live Music!

There is nothing quite like experiencing music live.  Feeling the beats, the swell of instruments, the singers voice.  Feeling the emotion behind the lyrics.  Having a shared emotional experience with strangers. Watching talented people do what they do best.  It's addicting and exhilarating and something we will always expose our child too.

From concerts on the lawn downtown at the American Tobacco District, to concerts in the woods each year at The Festival for the Eno, to one of the dozens of other live music venues just minutes from home, our future kid will know the thrill of being in front of a band.

This past Summer, Heather travelled to Tennessee for Bonnaroo, a music festival spanning several days.  She camped outside with 90,000 other folks all seeking the thrill that comes with being present for some incredible art.

Here is a clip from one of the highlights for her:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


There will be dancing.  There will be lots of dancing.  One of Heather's favorite types of music is reggae/ska, and she can't help but dance when it plays.  Our future child will likely dance before he/she can walk.  We can't wait.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

So Far Away, Yet So Close

I'm not sure why it's taken us so long, but we've finally gotten into Skype.  Today we skyped with our dear friend Laura, who moved to Texas a couple of years ago.  The kids got to see and talk to "Aunt Holly and Aunt Heather", and we couldn't be happier seeing their smiles playing in the backyard.  So although we can't travel there as often as we'd like, it felt like we had just visited.  If only Skype had a button for hugs...

This was also a great reminder of what a powerful tool technology could be in our adoption process.  The Independent Adoption Center has offices in North Carolina, California, Texas, Indiana, Georgia, and New York.  However, they can facilitate adoptions in 49 states.  So...we could match with a birthfamily from almost anywhere in the country! 

We look forward to the time when we are contacted by a family looking to place their child in an open adoption.  And with technology like Skype, we can get to know them, and them us, in a more personal way whether they are across town, across the country, or anywhere in between.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Music Tuesday!

Our lives are full of music.  We listen at home, in the car & when Heather is cooking.  We go to concerts, bars, festivals and outdoor venues to experience music live.  We are so excited to share the music we love with our future child.

There is also a whole genre of music we have yet to fully explore; Kids Music!  While we have nothing against 'The Wheels on The Bus' and 'The Itsy Bitsy Spider' and we already know all of the words, the kids music created by 'adult' musicians gets us pretty geeked.

In celebration, we hereby dedicate our Tuesdays to music!

Kimya Dawson is a shared favorite of ours and we've seen her perform in a tiny bicycle shop, under an awning on a bitterly cold day and at an arts center.  We sing loudly to her albums on road trips and she always makes us giggle. We bought both of our neices a copy of her kids album Alphabutt that they still listen and laugh to.  We also bought one for our future kid.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Still Curious about Open Adoption?

For those of you who want to learn more about Open Adoption, here is a great web site with articles from different perspecives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does it help to share on social networks?
Social media helps us expand our network to friends of friends (of friends, of friends). The bigger our network gets, the more likely we are able to find someone who wants to place a child for adoption.

What is Open Adoption?
Open Adoption is a form of adoption in which the biological and adoptive families have access to  each other’s personal information and have an option of contact. In Open Adoption, the adoptive parents hold all the rights as the legal parents, yet the individuals of the biological and adoptive families may exercise the option to contact the family. This may be through letter and photos and/or  face-to-face visits between birth and adoptive families.

Where are you on social media?
We're blogging (, but we also have a Facebook page and Pinterest boards to help us get the word out. 
How does someone get in touch with you?
Through our I Heart Adoption site.

How does someone learn more about you?
We are Holly Guss and Heather Brown.  Heather is an outgoing, creative person who is always willing to try something new.  Holly is fiercely loyal and kind and can't wait to share the joys of reading, volunteering, and riding bikes with our child.  We're so excited to become Moms through open adoption!

We've put together a web site that will tell you a lot more about us on the Independent Adoption Center (IAC) web site.  In addition to that, you can check us out on Facebook and Pinterest.  Please feel free to like us or follow our boards to learn more about us!

Whre are you?
We live in Durham, NC, but that doesn't mean you have to.  We have heard many wonderful stories about open adoption families that live across country or up and down the coast.  The IAC is licensed to handle adoptions in all 50 states and has offices in North Carolina, California, Texas, Indiana, Georgia, New York,  and Florida.

NC is conveniently located in the middle of the East Coast.  We're about an 11 hour drive to Memphis, 10.5 drive to Indianapolis, 9 hour drive to NYC, 8 hour drive to Columbus, OH, 7 hour drive to Philadelphia, and 2.5 hour drive to Charlotte.  We're also about 3 hours away from the NC coast and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We make frequent trips to visit family in Georgia, Arizona, Florida, and New York and have friends and family across the country.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

About this blog

Holly & I are hoping to realize our dream of becoming parents through adoption. For most of you, the concept of adoption is the same one that has been practiced for generations; a birthmother decides she does not want to parent, the child is adopted at birth and both parties go their separate ways. We hope to become a family through open adoption, a different concept than traditional adoption with so many more benefits for everyone.

Open Adoption is, open. It's open to all of the wonderful things that come from honesty, understanding, respect and the fact that love does indeed make a family. Open Adoption is a way for us to grow our family, not just by adding a child to our lives, but by including and embracing the birthmother & her family in the rest of our lives going forward. Our future child will always know his/her whole story and how by the love of many, came to be ours.

Our agency is the Independent Adoption Center (IAC), a national nonprofit organization. In addition to hosting our adoption profile, the IAC does outreach to connect with potential birthmothers and offers supportive services to both adoptive and birth families, pre and post adoption. This blog and our various social networking pages are additional vehicles to share our information far and wide in the hopes that a birthmother considering placing her baby for adoption will see us and love what she sees.

So, go ahead and share us. Like us. Tweet away! It takes a village to raise a child. We know our 'virtual' village could actually help make us Moms! You can help share our Facebook page, Pinterest boards, this blog or our web site.  We're not tweeting, on YouTube, Instagram or too many other social media sites, but if you are, please share our messages there too!!