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Karen Capson

With matching petite features and blond wavy hair, Karen Capson and her daughter Madison bear a striking resemblance – one that’s often noted by strangers. The beautiful irony is that Madison was adopted as an infant. Still, it is the greatest compliment the 40-year-old Highland Village mom says she could ever get, because it’s a reminder that even though Madison doesn’t share her genetic material, she was created for this family. “Her birth family and our family share the belief that God created her knowing that she needed us as parents,” Karen says. “Even though I didn’t carry her in my womb, I was always meant to be her mom.”
 
Karen married her husband Greg 16 years ago, and to outsiders, they seemed to have a perfect life. While he was transitioning from a career in professional hockey, she was busy with her career as a special education teacher, but there was a missing piece. “In my mind, I felt very entitled to have children,” she says. “The pride in me felt like we had created a good marriage and worked hard to have good jobs, but we didn’t have the next step in the storybook.” While everyone around them was adding to their family with seeming ease, the Capsons remained childless. After years of failed infertility treatments and heartbreaking miscarriages, they were at an impasse.
 
Throughout the long process of giving each fertility strategy a chance to work, Greg was always open to the idea of adoption, but Karen was completely opposed. Her heart began to open to the idea when a co-worker shared her adoption story, and once she began to explore the option, she embraced it with open arms. “I realized that I was OK with the not being pregnant part,” she says. “I just wanted the mom part, and adoption was the way to that goal for me.”
 
Madison Faith, who they call Madi, joined their family through an open domestic adoption eight years ago. When the adoption was finalized in 2006, the new family celebrated with a party – now an annual event – that they call “Madi Gras.” With balloons and masks, that first celebration welcomed Madi into the family with an openness that keeps the adoption story front and center and reminds the entire family of the unique way they were joined. “We just wanted to create a way to remember how our family was created and give thanks to God for giving her to us,” Karen says.
 
To chronicle the Madi Gras events, Karen began to craft a storybook. “It started out as a keepsake just for her, but it became so much more,” she says. The storybook evolved into the children’s book This I Know for Sure, a guide for parents to lead their children in meaningful conversations about adoption. As young readers follow Madi’s story, they’re able to discuss tender questions about their own identity and come away with a new understanding of the role of adoption in their family. Journaling pages allow them to record their thoughts. “So many children’s stories deal with adoption through abstract elements,” Karen says, “and I wanted a story that would be a more realistic way to guide kids to understand adoption.”
 
With such a positive adoption experience, Karen is eager to inspire others. She offers this advice to women facing infertility: “If you are at the point where you just can’t face one more shot or procedure, find out about adoption, even if you feel completely closed off to the idea,” she says. “I was completely against adoption, but I would recommend to just take one tiny step toward learning more.” While Karen is a champion for adoption both in her book as well as her own life, there is no place where the joy is more obvious than when she interacts with her daughter. “She was the missing piece of the puzzle that fit perfectly and completely filled the void in my heart.”

Published January 2014