Life as an Adoptee
“Thank you doesn’t seem adequate to express my love for you and the decision you made for me twenty-two years ago”… These were the words I wrote as I finished my very first letter to my birth mom. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about my hero that sacrificed so much so that I could have more.
In 1988 my birth mom found out she was pregnant. She told her best friend and her boyfriend, my birth father. They talked about marriage but ultimately he felt that he didn’t want to be a father right then. This completely broke my birth mom’s heart. She spent time thinking about abortion or what life would look like if she decided to single parent. She decided that she would finish her semester of college and go to a boarding home in Oregon where she could go through the pregnancy in secret. She felt adoption was worth it for her baby, even if it broke her heart again.
In June my birth mom delivered a 6 pound 12 ounce healthy baby girl in Salem, Oregon. She held me for my first two days of life. We spent long periods of time looking directly into one another’s eyes. She later wrote, “It was these times that all the pain and embarrassment of an unplanned pregnancy and birth seemed worth it”. After our two days together she returned home to her family and I stayed with the boarding family. Ten days later, a social worker showed up at the door and took me on an airplane to Utah.
I grew up with two amazing parents and one older brother, who said he picked me in heaven to be his little sister. The moment I could understand adoption I knew my birth mom was my hero! I was curious about who my birth parents were. I wondered if they had my same big blue eyes and if they loved me as much as I loved them. Some nights I would ask my dad to tell me about my adoption then I would lie in bed and dream about the day I would thank my birth mom for giving me life, a life with my two loving parents. My parents were my best friends; my love for my birth parents never changed my love for my mom and dad. As I grow older I have started to understand that there is a place for everyone in the story of adoption. Also, I told everyone that I was adopted and loved knowing that I not only had a mom and a dad who loved me but I had a birth mom who loved me too! I felt that because I was adopted I was loved more than I could dream of!
In Junior High I opened my ‘baby box’ that my mom had saved for me. Within the box I found a little blue envelope labeled ‘Baby Girl’. This was her letter to me. In the letter she told me her story, why she placed me for adoption, her hopes to one day meet me and then expressed that deep felt love that I had always felt from her decision to place me. I have kept this letter close and read it many of times throughout my life.
At 18 I applied to several mutual consent registries, department of health and department of human services. I expressed my hope to find my birth mom to my parents and they were supportive. When I was 22 years old I finally received a letter back from a one of the services.
That summer I traveled to Oregon with a close friend to meet the boarding family that I lived with for my first 10 days of life. They accepted me with excitement and open arms. I shared with my boarding family that my hopes were to send my birth mom a letter of gratitude. The next day my boarding mom contacted my birth mom and asked if she would like to keep the adoption closed or if she would accept a letter from me. My birth mom was open to a letter and I sent the long awaited letter of gratitude. My void was filled, as I finally was able to thank my hero for her selfless sacrifice that changed me life.