There is little coincidence that National Adoption Awareness Month is recognized during the same month we celebrate a day of giving thanks. As we bring awareness to adoption in the United States this month, we wanted to reflect on the ways in which adoption has blessed the lives of all involved and share with you words of gratitude from those who have experienced their own adoption journeys.
Words from Adrian Collins, a Birth Mother:
When I was a junior in college, I sobbed as a set of skinny pink lines appeared on a pregnancy test. I’d always dreamed of being a mom one day. Just not yet. I had no way of providing the kind of life I felt my baby deserved. In the end, I made the heart-wrenching decision to establish an adoption plan. At the hospital, I held my newborn close as time dwindled away. When the adoptive couple arrived, and I had to say goodbye, I whispered into my daughter’s ear, “I will always love you.”
When I walked out of the hospital without my daughter, I was devastated. I didn’t know how my heart would heal after enduring brokenness. And I certainly never thought I’d be thankful for any part of my circumstance. Being an integral part of the adoption community was never a dream of mine. Yet, here I am today, twenty-three years as a birth mom, and I can honestly say, “I’m thankful.”
Being a birth mom has taught me compassion and a heart of understanding for those who’ve walked in similar shoes. When I look into another birth mom’s eyes, I see pain, yes, but also hope, incredible love and strength. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of walking alongside other birth moms, listening to their stories, and leaning on one another for support. I adore being part of a community of caring, courageous, and brave women who continue to love their children unconditionally. Being a birth mom has taught me about sacrifice and not taking motherhood for granted. Being a birth mom has taught me to let go of perfection. Being a birth mom has taught me to tear down the walls of secrecy and shame. Being a birth mom has taught me to hold my head high and make peace with my past. To birth moms everywhere: You are forever loved, worthy, and cherished just as you are.
Words from Kira McShelley, an adoptee:
“Growing up in a closed adoption, I have always had a level of gratitude for both my birth parents as well as my adoptive parents. Being that I have always known I was adopted and my (adoptive) parents not knowing anything about my biological family, I was always thinking of the why’s and reason’s I was placed, which was very humbling for me. I chose to make the story great but with realism. Simply, I’d tell myself my (birth) mom was too young to parent and chose to place me with a couple ready to parent. My true beginnings were recently discovered within the last year and a half, and although the stories that I made up for 34 years were not entirely accurate, I was able to face reunification with grace and thankfulness.
I am thankful that my (adoptive) parents left the doors of communication wide open for both my sister and I. We were never silenced or ashamed of how our family came together. We were encouraged to ask questions and feel our true feelings surrounding being adopted.
I am thankful to have always had their blessings if/when reunification happened.
I am thankful that my biological parents, siblings, and extended families all have welcomed me with open arms no matter the circumstance, for grievances to have mended and arms left wide open between parties.
I am thankful how my (adopted) father has handled this complexity so well, being the only living parent since the passing of my (adoptive) mom when I was 16 years young.
I am thankful that my adoptee’s voice is being heard but also being taken seriously. It’s one thing to hear, but it’s another thing to listen actively.
I am forever thankful that my small immediate family of 3 has quadrupled, if not more, in the last year.
I am forever thankful for my adoption.”
Words from Kortni Miller, an adoptive mom:
“It’s amazing how a tiny hand wrapped around your finger in an empty hospital room and a face that holds no gene of yours– looking up at you for the first time–can just go ahead and sign you up for always and forever.
My most surreal and blissful moment of becoming a mom happened because of a beautiful woman who laid her baby in my arms and trusted me to give him the life she wanted for him. From the day he grew in my heart to the end of forever, no dream of mine will ever top dreaming of him. No hope of mine will ever come close to the hope he brought me. And eleven years later, he is still my wildest dream come true.
Words are not big enough to express my deepest, fiercest, gratitude, and admiration for the woman who made me a mother. She gave him life, and I am teaching him how to live it. She is connecting my son to a past I cannot give, and I am giving them a future she could not provide, and together, we are motherhood.
She endured her greatest loss in order to deliver me my greatest joy. She gave him life and loved him first, and even though the stretch marks from his pregnancy might not be found on my skin, she made sure they were etched all across my heart before he was ever born. I will spend the rest of my life looking into eyes that hold no gene of mine and be reminded of the love and bravery and heartbreak it took for her to let him go.
I am grateful every day for the gift she gave me and the love adoption brought into our lives.”
At A Guardian Angel Adoptions, we are grateful for the privilege of witnessing thousands of families being woven together and forever connected by the love they share for a child. Adoption comes with a wide range of complex feelings for everyone involved. We hope as you begin to piece together the tapestry of your adoption journey, you will be able to see the threads of beauty, love, and gratitude being weaved into your story.