I was adopted as a baby into a loving family. My parents were unable to have children, but wanted them badly. They decided to adopt and so they put their names on the waiting list. They were selected personally by my birthmother, who was only about 17 at the time. They brought me home from the hospital a few hours after my birth, and I became their first child. From the mountains of pictures, hours of videotape, and the baby calendar my mom used to write every detail about me - from when I yawned to when I took my first steps - I know they were so proud, so grateful, and overcome with joy. I had a happy childhood, and knew that I was loved, treasured, and cared for.
Our house was always filled with music, and I was encouraged to learn the piano and to sing. We all played sports, and hockey and soccer were a huge part of my life growing up. I have had the privilege to receive art lessons, ballet lessons, and to go on many family vacations. My parents were both well-educated, and wanted us to have the opportunity to receive a good education. I was blessed with many siblings, and all of the children were adopted. We would eventually become a family of 9, and there was never a shortage of someone to talk to or someone to play with.
Adoption was a very open subject in our house, and all of us had had an open adoption. We were all aware of the fact that we were adopted from such a young age that I can't even recall the time when I was told of it. I never thought I was different, but I did think it was special. We actually celebrated the days we were officially adopted by getting to choose a cake. We were always encouraged to ask any questions we had, and our parents would tell us all they knew. There were also many books on adoption in the house. We said a prayer for all our birthmothers at family prayer time, and many of our birthmothers left us letters, sent pictures, or gifts at Christmas. Some of us had the opportunity to meet our birthmothers, including myself. I had waited a very very long time for that moment, as had she. She had gone on to go to school and to have a family and three children of her own. But of course, she had always wondered about me, and I had always wondered about her. We made the decision to meet when I was older, and we were both ready. How could I express my gratitude to her? She had given me the greatest possible gift - love, a family, and the chance to really live. She had made the decision to give her baby the chance to become a child, a wife, and a mother. With tears in my eyes, I told her how grateful I was to her for choosing adoption for me, for the family I have, and for my life. If not for her, I would not be here today and I will be forever grateful.
My birthmother's courageous and selfless act has taught me the value of life, and the power that one decision can make. She could never have imagined all the lives that she would touch in such a positive way. I am certain that, through adoption, there is hope for women who are unable to care for a baby and are faced with an unplanned pregnancy! Adoption is a loving, selfless choice that gives a waiting and hopeful couple a chance to love and care for the child they have been waiting for. Adoption gives a baby the chance to grow up to be somebody, and for the birthmother to be able to continue down her path in life knowing she has done the best possible and most loving thing for her little one.
Over my sixty years walking this planet I have held to two strong beliefs, the first "God is in control" and second "Everything happens for a reason". I didn’t find out I was adopted until I was 14 years old. I think my reaction was not a normal reaction. I’m sure I always knew deep down that I was different than both my parents but I also had total peace that I was where I was supposed to be. My Mom had sacrificed twenty years of her adult life looking after a sick mother until she couldn’t do it anymore and was surprised to find love and marriage too late to have the children that both her and Dad wanted so badly. Not that many miles away a young woman of 21 years old found herself pregnant for the second time with no husband or family to support her so she could give a home to her child. She gave birth to me so my parents could have a child. Everything that she would have wanted for me they gave me. I have only good feelings toward my birth mother. I am grateful that she chose to carry me to term and gave me the greatest gift of all: life. My parents who adopted me were hardworking and clean living people. They gave me a stable home, love and good values. I am grateful to them and I love them. When they both passed away, I looked for my birth mother but she too had passed away. I met my half brother and sister and my grandmother. Only my sister is still living and we keep in contact and visit when we can. Many times through my life I have thought about adoption and I believe that placing your child for adoption is the most unselfish and loving act a woman can do. So to my birth mother I say a profound thank you.
My birth mother was 17 when I was born. She did not return to high school but went to private school before going to a maternity home. As she was Catholic, I was adopted by a Catholic family and was always told by my parents that I was adopted. My parents adopted my sister a year later. F four years after that they had 2 boys of their own and later another daughter.
I attended high school and university in the town where I was raised. I asked my parents for my adoption order as I learned from the children's aid that it possibly listed my birth mother's maiden name. They gave it to me and with it I was able to look at records in an archives for my birth mother’s Parish and the maternity home. I had been an avid genealogist and had begun tracing my family history and knew that the ecords would be sealed. I waited until a novice nun was on duty at the archives (the older archivist explained that the records were sealed on a previous visit; she knew they held the baptismal records of the mothers placing their babies for adoption), found my name and my mother's name: M.
I reasoned that being Catholic she would have attended the same high school as I did. I knew where she came from because of the non-identifying information I had been given by the Catholic children's aid. A social worker had told me about the court order name change document my parents might have and asked me if I, as an adoptee, would speak with prospective parents. I went to the high school and, as I had been on the yearbook committee, knew where the old yearbooks were kept. I found my birthmother's year and grade but really no leads. I was hoping I might see someone from the Catholic community I knew but nothing was familiar until I saw who the principal was when I was born—my former parish priest . I knew he was presently at a nearby parish so I paid him a visit and asked if he knew I was adopted. He said no. I explained I knew my birth mother's name and a few other details and asked if he recalled my mother. He said he had not known her, but recalled her family and even knew their address.
I was married by this time and my wife and I were expecting our first child. I wrote my [biological] grandparents a letter asking if they would consider telling my birthmother I wished to see her. They replied and asked to meet with me at a local restaurant. My wife and I wentand while they were very glad to meet me they explained that my birth mother had married and had two sons of her own, now in their teens and they did not want me to try to find her. I reluctantly agreed.
December came and with it my birthday. We had a son of our own and it moved me to write a letter telling my grandparents that they should allow M to make the decision to meet me. It made an impression on my grandmother and, when her daughter was visiting her, she told her 'that boy' had found them and wanted to meet her. She drove home and called me that night. I asked where she was, expecting her to be living in Vancouver or the states, but was surprised to find she lived just five minutes away from where my wife and I had just moved. I had in fact seen her when a friend and I provided a concert fundraiser for his school. By coincidence it was the same school M's two sons had been attending.
I've kept in touch with her family over the years. M learned I had a very happy childhood, growing up in the countryside. She has seen our family grow to four children over the last 26 years. I told my [adoptive] parents I had made contact with my birth mother. My two mothers have never met and not expressed any desire to do so, yet they both have told me the respect they have for each other. Mtold me she was thankful I was raised in a good home. As for my mother, she let me know she will be forever thankful that M chose adoption for me.