Adoption is always about two stories colliding. The adoptive family and their story which, most of the time, is a process of licensing, certification and training that prepares them for adoption. As well, some families endure many months of fundraising and red tape with international governments in order to be approved as an adoptive family. For many of them, this process comes on the heels of painful years of infertility or medical issues. All in all, this can be an extremely deep and sometimes painful story.
The second story is that of the biological family. I have never been on this side of the equation, but I know it’s no less difficult. Their story is that of choices and counsel, grieving and loss. 9 months of preparation for the hardest choice of a lifetime; a selfless choice and the depth associated with it.
Rewind almost 33 years. My parents had been married for 5 years and had been unsuccessful at getting pregnant so far. They were frustrated and after several surgeries for both of them, they turned to adoption. The began the process with an adoption agency and then waited. And waited. And waited more. Then came a phone call. A little boy, born in Austin, available for adoption and the caseworker believed he was a great match for my parents. My parents, drove to Austin, met with a judge and came home with a new baby boy. Finally, their long-awaited desire to be parents had become a reality.
In January 1980, my birthmother found out she was pregnant. 20 years old, working a temp job and no plans to marry, much less raise a child at that point in her life. She made a selfless choice to place me for adoption. As she tells the story, I was born, she held me for a moment and then gave me to a nurse. She left the hospital a few days later and began her journey with this new chapter of her story. Loss, grief, doubt, coping, all part of a difficult season for her.
In one swift moment, a story with great pain collides with a story of great joy. One person, making the most selfless decision; that decision provides a way for another’s deepest desire come true. As these stories collide, you have the beginning of my story. This beginning of this story will turn into a desire for my wife and me to carry on the story. To become adoptive parents and add more chapters.
Many more to come…
To see other posts in the series, go to An Adoption Journey