Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Open Adoption, Open Heart Blog Tour

The world of adoption has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. No longer do biological parents have to say goodbye to their child forever. They now have more options when deciding the type of adoption to pursue, such as open adoption. Open adoption creates the opportunity for a special relationship between biological parents, the adoptive parents, and the child

Open Adoption,Open Heart is an inspiring and true story, which takes the reader deeper into the feelings and emotions experienced by adoptive parents. As you read this incredible story, you will experience the joys, difficulties, and amazing victories facing adoptive couples. Russell and his wife, Jammie, invite you to share in their inspiring and heartwarming journey.

Interview with Russell

1. CB: For those who have not yet read Open Adoption, Open Heart, can you share briefly what led you to decide to adopt?

RE: My wife and I have always thought adoption was a beautiful thing, but I seriously doubt we would have chosen to adopt if we could have our own. We can't. It's not something we "resorted" to, though. No no no. I'd say it's more like something we had to realize God was directing us to go a different direction. All children come from God, some just take a different path to get where they end up. Like my friend always says, "adoption isn't our plan B, it's the plan that was meant to be."

2.CB: How do you believe that open adoption has affected your lives vs. traditional (closed) adoption? In other words, do you feel your life would be significantly different had you gone with a closed adoption?

RE: Very different, yes. First of all, for those who don't know what an "open" adoption is, it just means that there is contact between the biological family and the adoptive family. We still talk with our children's birth parents all the time and share stories, photos, visit each other, etc.

There were a lot of difficult things to work out when developing our relationship with the birth families. It's not natural for us as humans to want to share the concept of parenthood and the natural thing is to say "mine! You can't have it!" and that goes for both sides. Neither of us wanted that, though. Both sides wanted a good strong relationship because we feel its best for our children to know and have the opportunity to love their biological roots.

Open Adoption, Open Heart is our journey through developing those bonds and overcoming those jealousy issues. Not everyone will experience things the same way we did, which is why I wrote it the way I did. It's not a "how to" book on adoption, nor is it a "this is what you will feel" book. It's simply meant to take people on the crazy ride we went on so they can think inside themselves, "How would I feel if I were in their shoes."

3. CB: Has there ever been a fear that having an open adoption might mean the biological parents rescinding their offer to have you adopt the baby?

RE: Ooooooooooh yes. It's all through the book. Not so much because we had an open relationship and they got to see their child, but more because we were in contact so much that we could see how much they were hurting by the separation. With a closed adoption, the biological parents still hurt just the same, it's just that the adoptive parents don't see it like we did. Being on the receiving end of what is paining someone else brings a lot of guilt, but we were all in it together. We worked to build each other up, not drive each other apart.

4. CB: Give us a brief "day in the life" of the Elkins family.

RE: I'm usually the first one up. I own a small business called Elkins Dental Lab (making veneers, gold crowns, etc.). Different times of the year are busier than others, so times of the year like right now I spend more time writing than I do during the busy seasons (like January-March). The kids wake my wife up and the day gets going. My wife is a stay at home mother and she does a fantastic job with our two little ones. She also does photography on the side. My band usually performs on the weekends. My wife's volleyball team plays on Tuesday nights. Needless to say, we don't get bored in our home.

5. CB: What advice would you give those who are considering adoption?

RE: Adoptions are not like they used to be. You don't fill out papers, write a check, and wait for a baby. You need to decide for yourselves what level of openness you want and don't let anyone else tell you to do it more open or more closed than you feel is right. Learn as much as you can. That's why I wrote my book, so people can experience an adoption before actually going through one so they're not going into it blindly. You owe it to your future child to learn as much about open adoption relationships BEFORE adopting, not after. Nothing is worse than promising things you don't understand.

6. Just for fun, some quick either/or questions (can be personal or familial, can include explanation or just have one word answer):

CB: Cats or dogs?

RE: Whenever I write, my two dogs are always at my feet. Cats make my eyes itchy and throat scratchy.

CB: Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?

RE: Vanilla all the way, especially cookie dough in vanilla. Mmmmm.

CB:Sunshine or rain?

RE: Grew up in Nevada where it's always sunny. I love that sun.

CB: Rain or snow?

RE: Snow in the mountains, rain on the valley.

CB: Minivan or SUV?

RE: My wife and I both drive sedans, but we wanna trade them in for a minivan and a pickup.

CB: Swings or slide for your kids ;o)

RE: That's like asking if I want to live without water or food. We can't go to the park without doing both.

CB: Inside or outside?

RE: The trampoline in the backyard was the best investment ever. Those kids love to bounce.

Thanks a million for your interview, Russell!

From the Author:

While my book's primary audience was thought to be those hoping to adopt, close to half of the books I've sold are simply people who want to read about our story and how adoption is different now than it used to be- and they have not adopted nor do they plan to adopt.

Russell Elkins was born on Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1977. Along with his five siblings, he and his military family moved around a lot, living in eight different houses by the time he left for college at age 17. Although his family movedaway from Fallon, Nevada, just a few months after he moved out, he still considers that little oasis in the desert to be his childhood hometown. He and his family now live in the Boise, Idaho area.

Russell has always been a family man at heart, looking forward to the day when he could be a husband and a father. It took him a little while, but eventually his eyes locked onto a beautiful blonde, and he has never looked away. Russell and Jammie were married in 2004. Years of struggling with infertility left Russell and Jammie with a decision to make and their lives changed dramatically when they decided to adopt.

Russell and Jammie have adopted two beautiful children, Ira and Hazel, and have embraced their role as parents through open adoption. Both are actively engaged in the adoption community by communicating through social media, taking part in discussion panels, and writing songs about adoption. Russell also writes a weekly post for Adoption.com and contributes regularly to Adoption Voices Magazine.

Purchase Open Adoption, Open Heart at

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash from Author Russell Elkins

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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