In honor of my birthday today, I decided to post my adopt story.
I was born on Homestead Air Force Base just outside Miami, Florida. My mom couldn’t have any more children after some complications from my sister’s birth, but she and my father wanted more. My mom’s obstetrician knew my parents were considering adoption and he happened to be the doctor that delivered me.
I don’t know much about my birth parents. My birth mother didn’t want to meet my parents and she didn’t provide much information in the adopting paperwork. The nurses said my birth father was there when I was born, but that’s really all I know about him. I don’t even know their names.
After I was born, my mom’s obstetrician, who knew my parents wanted more children, called my parents to let them know there was a healthy baby girl he delivered that was up for adoption. My parents immediately contacted a lawyer and the adoption was set in motion. They visited me in the hospital while I was in the nursery and the nurses had to work to keep them separate from my birth mother who also continued to visit me. She was adamant about not wanted to meet the people who adopted me.
My parents were able to take me home from the hospital, but for the first 6 months we had to live in West Palm Beach with my grandmother while the adoption was being finalized. My family was under the constant scrutiny of social services and my birth mother could change her mind at any time and take me back during that first year. My family lived in constant fear of losing me. My 5-year-old sister figured out the conversion of the U.S. dollar to the Canadian dollar and packed a suit case so we could run away to Canada in the event someone came to take me away. My mom was terrified that if I got sick, social services would think she wasn’t taking good enough care of me. When I was a couple of months old I came down with a nasty respiratory infection that turned into pneumonia. My mom sat with me in the shower, under the hot water, breathing in the steam for the entire night. She was terrified to take me to the doctor in case social services was alerted. Obviously babies get sick, no matter how attentive parents are, but my mom was overly sensitive to any scrutiny that may fall on her since it could result in me being taken away. She did end up taking me to the doctor, nothing happened, and I got better.
My birth mother never came back for me, and my family and I went on to live a normal life. I’ve always known I was adopted. I don’t have a memory of being told, because I think I was always told, from the very beginning, even before I could understand. It was always an open subject in my family. Plus, it was pretty obvious. My parents and sister have dark hair. My mom and sister are both around 5 feet tall. I was born with white-blonde ringlets, and outgrew my mom and sister by 5th grade. My sister used to tease me that my parents found me in the trash can and I used to tease her that they went shopping for me because they didn’t like her. My being adopted was never a taboo topic. We make jokes about it constantly. I’m always amused when people treat it as a touchy subject and are cautious to ask questions. We have always been open about it.
The interesting thing is that my mom and I are incredibly similar. My sister and dad are basically twins personality wise, and my mom and I are twins in the same way. I do however have very specific personality traits that no one else in my family has. I have to wonder if I got that from nature, and the rest is nurture.
Words cannot express how thankful I am to my birth mother. Aside from my parents, she gave me the most selfless gift a woman can give. She gave me a chance at a life better than the one she could provide me. She gave me life, visited me every day in the nursery, then walked away, knowing it was the best thing she could do for me. I cannot imagine having to make such a difficult choice. I honestly doubt I would be able to do it.
I know a lot of people who have met their birth parents and most have told me not to do it because of their disastrous experiences. If I do, I would never do it expecting a relationship. I know she has a life now, and the people in it may not even know I exist. I’d just love to be able to tell thank her.
I wish I knew who I looked like. I know that may seem silly, but it’s something I have always wanted to know. I’d like to know where I come from. They are simple things people take for granted every day.
While I am eternally grateful to my birth mother for giving me the chance at a better life, I’m even more thankful to my family for giving me that life. I grew up always surrounded by love. I couldn’t imagine a better childhood, a better mother, a better father, or a better big sister. I was given every opportunity in life. My parents have sacrificed so much for my sister and I to give us everything we needed and most of what we wanted. I have never had to take a step in life without the support of my family and I truly thank God every day for making them my family. I honestly believe I am one of the luckiest people in the world.