I have known that I was adopted for as long as I can remember. My parents never tried to hide it from me, which was a good thing, otherwise this story could have ended up super awkward! I was adopted at 3 months old and grew up with Pat and Harold as my parents. They tried unsuccessfully for many years to have children, so adoption seemed to be their only choice. But I am not an only child...I guess without the stress of trying to have a child, they were able to conceive my sister, Amanda. Growing up, I never really thought that much about my birth parents because I had a good life. I knew they must have had a good reason for giving me up, so I left it at that and never intended on looking for them.
|My parents, Harold and Pat|
Fast forward 20 years...One day my mom calls me and seems distressed, like she has something on her mind. She tells me that she received a letter from my birth father and that he and my birth mother were looking for me. He wanted to know if they had told me that I was adopted, and if so, would we be interested in meeting them. I was totally freaked out! It is such a strange feeling knowing that there is a part of your life that you know nothing about. I had to take a few days to process the information and decide what to do. If I met them, what would be next? Would I like them; would they like me? I finally decided I wanted to meet them. I needed to know where I came from and if I looked like them.
The first time I talked to my birth mother, Becky, was so strange. What do you say to this stranger who is your blood? We talked for hours, mostly just getting to know each other. Since adoption records are unsealed once the child turns 18, they were able to find me using a private investigator. At the time, Becky lived in Iowa, which was a world away from my home in North Carolina. It turned out that she and Ronnie ended up getting married (and later divorced) and had a daughter 2 years younger than me named Kimberly. She lives about 2 hours away from me in the same town as my birth father, Ronnie. We ended up setting a time to meet, at Cracker Barrel, in a town about half way between my house and Kimberly's house.
|Kimberly, me, and Becky|
I was very nervous the day we were supposed to meet, and I thought about backing out. It was a little awkward at first, but once we all got warmed up to each other, it went very well. I met Becky and her husband, Steve; Ronnie; and Kimberly during this first meeting. We took lots of pictures and I ended up staying the weekend with Becky and Kimberly to get to know them a little better.
I would later meet the rest of the family: both sets of grandparents, Becky's twin brothers, Ronnie's twin brothers, and his sister. I loved looking at pictures of my parents when they were younger and seeing how much I resemble them, because I did not have that growing up. Amanda looked like my Mom and Dad obviously, but I did not really look like either one of them.
It has now been about 16 years since I met my biological family, and I am so glad I did it. I know from watching the Montel Show, back in the day, that not all stories turn out like mine; I am a fortunate one. I am so glad I got to meet my grandparents, as 3 of them have gone on to be with the Lord over the last few years. We vacation every year with Ronnie and Kimberly and her family and my son is close with his cousins. Now that Becky has moved one state away, I am able to see her more often too.
I hope you enjoyed my story and that it inspired you. Adoption is a beautiful gift for both families, and I want to bring awareness to all the children waiting to be adopted here in the United States, as well as overseas.
Feel free to comment with any questions. I am so happy to answer them!