Tuesday, June 24, 2008


It's that time of the year again... and everyone in the Knopf household can not wait! We leave on Saturday for a week at the beach! On Monday, Ben's birthfamily will join us at the beach house for our 6th annual Family Vacation! I know that they are as excited as we are about it!

We will spend long lazy days at the beach building sand castles & playing in the water, we will cook out in the evenings, go for long walks on the board walk, play board games, and of course charades... which has become a must every vacation... the girls get such a kick out of finding the girliest topics to get Big Dave to act out! We will make smores, & stay up too late catching up on life since last summers visit. We will laugh until our sides hurt and savor every second we all have together. The week will end all too soon with tearful goodbyes until next summer... another vacation, another beach... another time. We will pass that time with e-mails, pictures, and phone calls to stay in touch.

This is all normal to us... They are part of our family...we are part of theirs... our lives forever entangled through the miracle of Ben's adoption.

So I thought I would take a second to answer some of the many questions I am often asked about our choice to have a completely open adoption.

1. Was the adoption always open? Our adoption wasn't always "open" in the beginning we were as afraid of them as they were of us... we were afraid they would want him back, and they were afraid we wouldn't want him.

2.How did get in contact with eachother? Over 3 years time I wrote and sent pictures through our agency to pass to them. Through a very complicated series of events Renee and I were led to eachother by another birthmorther who also had a child with PWS who placed the baby for adoption... small, small world is all I can say.

3.How did you proceed after that initial contact? We started to e-mail eachother and a year later they flew east to meet us and see Ben for the first time in 3 years. I think we were all cautious that first year... not knowing if this was a good thing or if it would be a disaster. Obviously, it was a good thing and we had a great time getting to know them that first visit.

4. Isn't is weird or uncomfortable for all of you? It has never been weird or uncomfortable. We are most definitely Ben's Parents, Ben knows that and has never questioned it. For the first time a few months ago, he questioned whose tummy he grew in... see this post for the storyhttp://theknopfcrew.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-conversations-with-ben.html I answered him honestly and it made perfect sense to him. We have always been honest with him and all the kids in regard to adoption. Honesty is the best policy.

5. How do you make it work? I think that to have a completely open relationship, all parties have to be honest and mature about the situation, we have had many heart to heart conversations about our feelings, hopes and fears for the future. We are honest and open in all aspects. No hidden agendas, no secrets.

it's the only way that this kind of a relationship is possible.
6. What about the other kids? Our oldest son Ryan has traveled west and spent a weekend with Renee and Mike at their house to just visit and to snowboard! The other kids all love them as well. The best way I can explain it is that its kind or like an Aunt, Uncle and Cousins situation the way everyone gets along and the way we all pitch in while we are vacationing to do the cooking, cleaning, watching the kids etc.

That's about all I can think of for now... if you have any questions for us, please feel free to ask... until then... we will be at the beach!


4 princesses & then 1 prince said...

Hi there. Somehow my sister-in-law found your blog and forwarded me the link. You have a wonderful family. We first learned of PWS in the early 90's also, but we had to wait 4-5 years after my little brother was born to get his diagnosis. He will be 20 in August. To say that he is amazing is definitely an understatement, and mostly due to my mother's diligence and drive to give him a normal life. She died 4 1/2 yrs. ago but she was so proud of him and now we are trying to continue helping him on his journey. We are blessed to have him. He just graduated from High School amongst so many other things.

I would love to email you direct to see if you have any information on PWS you've found helpful. My email is kabeso@msn.com. I would love to hear from you.

Angie (Angelica Grace Designs) said...

Have a fantastic trip Vicki. What an awesome thing you do with Ben's birth parents. Amazing! He is so very blessed to have all of you.
Be safe, have a ball, and touch base once you return. I can't wait to see the photos.
Blessings, Angie Seaman

Erin said...

Hi Vicki,
My name is Erin and I am from Special Olympics Connecticut. Terry Davidson emailed me your webpage and I was inspired by it. I am doing a story on families that adopt children with disabilites and I would love to talk with you I would really appreciare it if you emailed me at erin.o'toole@uconn.edu when you get back from the beach! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi! My baby has PWS. She is four months old. Your family is a big help for me. We are from Canary Islands. My name is Lidia and I liked too much to email you direct.
My english not is very good, but I understand your post.
Thank you.