“The best gift I ever received was knowing that I was loved.”
AS A CHILD, I was adopted by a wonderful couple in Santa Ana, California, who were not able to have children on their own. My adoptive mother was Canadian, and I always enjoyed her amazing, fun-loving personality; while my adoptive father, a native of Sunderland, England, was a plumber who saw to it that I always felt supported and worked hard so that we could live as comfortably as possible. My younger brother, who was also adopted, made our family complete, I thought of myself as lucky since we never lacked for anything and were loved unconditionally.
Growing up, I was fortunate to meet other kids who were adopted which made it easy to have peers to talk to who I could relate with and lean on when times were tough. My group of friends became closer as time went on and we continued through high school together, embracing each other through many of life’s big moments. As we got older, many of my friends began wondering about their birth parents and started along the journey of trying to answer those nagging questions like “do they still think about me,” “Why did they decide on adoption,” and “I wonder what they are doing today?”
Those questions, along with the support of my friends, set me off on a journey of discovery for myself. After several years of searching, at 26-years-old, I finally got the first glimpse into who my birth Mom was, after looking into my adoption at the county courthouse records office with my father.
If for no other reason but my own curiosity, I had to learn more about her story and wanted her to know mine.
I was blessed to have been chosen by such a wonderful family, and I wanted her to know that I was happy. Despite losing my adoptive mom to cancer when I was only eight years old, I always felt blessed to be adopted. So, I decided to write my birth mom a letter. Telling her about my life, my friends, my forever family and how grateful I truly was. I didn’t hold any type of bitterness or resentment towards her for the decision that she made and I felt it was important for her to know at the end of the day, she made the right choice. As all these thoughts, emotions and thankfulness started flooding up to the front of my mind– I started to write.
Time went on and I was back to my normal routine. But one night at about 10pm the phone began to ring. I casually walked over to answer it, when to my surprise, “It was my birth mom!” I wrote the letter always knowing it was a possibility that we might reconnect but the reality of it somehow didn’t register until that moment. Years of wondering led me to this point and it was finally time to hear her side of the story.
She began by telling me how proud she was about how I turned out and how grateful she was that my adoptive family was so loving. She explained that she never stopped thinking about me, never forgot my birthday, and similarly longed to meet me as well–quietly hoping that I would find her and reach out one day. She also didn’t know “it’s a girl!” until she received my letter.
She told me about relations with a man that wasn’t her husband. After learning that she was pregnant with me, her immediate reaction was to cover up any sign of the one-night stand. A friend also was facing an unplanned pregnancy, and they both decided to drive to Mexico, just a 90-minute drive from her home in Orange County, to have illegal abortions. She had a family of her own, with four small boys, and although it might have been easier to simply get rid of the pregnancy and never look back, she knew in her heart that wasn’t the right decision. Although her friend sadly went through with her abortion, she opted to take her pregnancy to term and chose life, even though it was hard, and I couldn’t be more thankful to her for that.
Today, my biological mother and I are friends. I discovered a lot about myself through getting to know her and I truly treasure our relationship. I also discovered that a few of the mannerisms and eccentricities that I always thought were unique to me, actually came from her. I’ve always had a love for hummingbirds and found out that she paints hummingbirds as a hobby. I grasp the side of my neck when I’m thinking about something intently as she does, and we even have the same “healthy German calf muscles,” which my half-brothers have teased me about. We’ve continued our relationship and continue to learn new things about one another.
But maybe one of the best things I have learned through my experience of being adopted is that unconditional love transcends blood.
I am blessed in life to be loved unequivocally by both my adoptive family and my birth mother. I am a product of both of their gracious choices in life, and in the end, fundamentally,
Life’s About Choice
” … but maybe one of the best things I have learned through my experience of being adopted is that unconditional love transcends blood. “
For National Adoption Awareness Month, we are highlighting the stories of several amazing people who either made the choice to adopt or were chosen as adoptees. Learn what led others to make their decisions and how that choice made a positive impact in their lives and finally decide for yourself, who is really providing women with the best choices.