"I have brown skin, brown eyes, brown hair and tall. My parents have blonde hair, blue eyes, white skin, and short. But yet these are my parents and this is my story, my adoption story.
On a Sunday night in December a phone rang, what was on the other end of that phone was a scared 19-year-old girl. Teresa had a 3 year old son, an abusive relationship and a daughter on the way. She knew she had 2 options, the first an abortion, and the second to give her little girl away to a life she knew she could provide. She decided that she would talk to her community college teacher, and if she didn’t have the answer she would make an appointment at Planned Parenthood.
Her teacher listened to her story and knew what she had to do, she had to find a home for that baby. After talking and praying to some people she heard of a couple, didn’t know them personally and only had a phone number. She gave the phone number to Teresa, and when someone answered she blurted out, “Do you want my baby?”
Sam and Bonnie couldn’t have kids and believed that that was their fate, to devote themselves to teaching and pastoring other peoples children and that’s how they would leave their legacy in this world. But when that phone rang, Bonnie felt the tug on her heart that this was her moment to become a mom. And after a couple days of prayer, counseling sessions and talking to their families they said yes.
On their 8th wedding anniversary, Bonnie came home from shopping for Sam to another phone call that said it was time. Waiting in the hospital hallways they paced until finally the doctor came out and took them to a room where I was waiting. I never saw my birthmother and to my knowledge she never saw me.
Growing up I was read those books “You are adopted and loved” and it was never a secret that I didn’t come from “mommy’s tummy.” Of course I didn’t fully understand it, I knew that I was different from them but I never got it until 1 morning before kindergarten when I was shown a picture of a woman that looked exactly like me. I didn’t understand why she wasn’t there, I didn’t understand why she was never coming to get me, all I had was 2 pictures and a letter that I was read.
As time went on I struggled a lot with my situation, I was never fully told the real story, all I knew was that my parents said yes to a phone call and that was it. When I turned 21 I decided it was time to find the answers out for myself. I called the lawyer that handled my case and he sent me everything he had. I sat in a room with my mentors and we read and cried. I learned that Teresa was being abused, was addicted to drugs and knew that she couldn’t support herself let alone a new baby. I learned that she loved me with every fiber of her being and she wasn’t given me away, she was giving me a life that she never had. It was at that moment my perspective changed, I no longer was stuck with these people that I thought were obligated to take me. I was loved by not only 1 family but another one out there somewhere.
Everyone has a family, everyone has a story and this was mine. It took a long hard road to accept mine but now I proudly can say these are my parents, this is my family and only God could have written this story."
Thank you, Ranee for sharing your perspective. Too often we only hear from the voice of the one doing the adopting and it is very important to hear from those who have been adopted. I appreciate your honesty in telling your story.
Much can be gained from hearing, valuing and seeking to understand what it feels like to not know who or where a birth family is and how isolating it can be to look different from an adopted family. Adopted families need to hear these realities and work to be better at giving their adopted kids a safe place to talk about these concerns.
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