Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Adoption Story

Since Christmas is coming up and we tend to be more focused on family this time of the year, I want to share with you the story of my family.  When I mentioned that I was adopted in my first Thankful Thursday Post, several of you expressed an interest in my story, so I thought now would be a good time to share it with you.



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.

Ronnie's family
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!







6 comments:

  1. Oh wow! I loved reading this year! I've never known anyone who was adopted so it was so great to hear your side of the story!

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    1. Thank you for following me and reading my posts my sweet friend! I am so glad we have connected and I wish you lived closer!!!

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  2. That is kind of the coolest thing ever that they contacted you and it all went so well! I guess I would want to know why I was put up for adoption if it were me, but I guess it's usually the same answer..right? I've thought about adopting myself over the past couple of years just because I feel like we might end up waiting too long to have kids and want to be open for that option. Thank you for sharing this story, Mary!

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    1. Thank you for reading! I always figured they had a good reason and it was because they were really young, so their parents pretty much forced them into it. I did not want to go into all that detail since that part is not really my story. Adoption is wonderful option, although I think these days it is so much harder to get approved as I know from a couple of my friend's experiences. I am glad you are open to that because I have known people who were not. I am glad you enjoyed my story!

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story Mary. My Dad was adopted when he was born, and only found out the name of his birth mother 11 years ago (aged 49)...Now he's almost 60...we are on the search to find out who his biological father is. It will be nice to know who it is.

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    1. You are welcome, Charlene. I cannot imagine going through my life not knowing I was adopted, only to find out as an adult. It is still awkward sometimes at family events because some distant relatives and friends did not know about me.

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