For many years, I’ve searched for an outlet where I could bless and encourage others as they face the decision of whether or not to place their baby for adoption. I’ve spoken to staff members of several different adoption companies. Sharing pieces of my story, and explaining why I’d make be a good fit as the opportunity arose. I befriended a director, who kept me updated. But to no avail. Why have I pursued this so avidly? Put simply, if it weren’t for adoption, I wouldn’t be who I am today. There’s magic within the adoption triad. It changes hearts. Worlds. Lives. All for the better.
Granted, the adoption industry has turned a full 180 from when I was born in 1987. Closed adoptions don’t happen as frequently anymore, to the benefit of everyone involved. All the same, I know that there are still many adoptees and birth mothers seeking information about each other, so I’d like to share my adoption reunion story.
Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions expressed here are from the perspective of an uninformed younger version of me. That, and my story surrounds the life within a closed adoption agreement. My views have since changed, and I value the no-judgment policy and vision of Adoption Choices of New York.
She Chose Adoption
It all started on October 31st, 2002. I was reading assigned pages from my Abeka Biology book, where I was learning about abortion. The pictures and information stated made my stomach turn, so I tried to distract myself by journaling on my parents’ computer. In my young mind, I wondered how close I’d come to that. If my biological mother had ever considered it, instead of choosing adoption.
My mom came in a little while later, and asked what I was doing. Instead of explaining what I was typing, I decided to ask her about what I had read. If the methods were accurate. If the information was true. If there were people who actually chose this.
Sinking onto the edge of her bed, my mom took a slow, deep breath. “Oh boy.” A pained expression crossed her face. She started to say something, but then paused.
I could see her struggle to find the right words, and mentally scolded myself. Had I said something wrong?
Finally, she said, “Yes.”
I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach and looked down.
“But,” my mom said softly, “that was never going to happen to you.”
I looked back up at her.
She smiled. “Your birth mother never once thought about it.”
The Heart of a Mother
A mother’s intuition will never cease to amaze me. Our young minds wonder if our mothers somehow possess magic. Even as an adult, I’m not going to full discount that possibly. Mothers are wise, and are able to see things that we can’t. They have so much love for us, and always want what’s best. To always meet us in our moments of hurt, and provide comfort.
“Your birth mother was young,” Mom continued. “A teenager, I think. She wasn’t married. She couldn’t provide for you the way she wanted…”
This wasn’t the first time I’d heard about my adoption, yet the words that my mom imparted resonated. My biological mother had never considered abortion. That spoke volumes to me. It meant she had loved me. Enough to give me life. She chose to go through her unplanned pregnancy; to place her child for adoption, and make a plan. All because she loved me, and wanted to give me my best chance.
Adoption wasn’t a new concept for me. I had known all my life that I had been adopted. That I was three days old, and knew the hospital and city where I had been born. Yet, it wasn’t a topic I readily spoke of. Actually, it was something I tried hard to ignore. It made me feel different. Guilty. Ungrateful. Ashamed. Like I didn’t fit in or belong with my family. The list goes on. So, I pretended like it didn’t matter and threw rehearsed lines at those who said things that should never be said to an adoptee. All said, of course, with a polite, but plastic, smile.
Initiating a conversation with my mom about adoption, whether I meant to or not, was huge. That cold October night, I had no idea where our talk would lead when it first started. Deep down, yes, I had wanted to know how close I’d come to being aborted; but, on the surface, I was trying to distract my mom from reading my emotional freewrite on her computer.
Opening Pandora’s Box
Greek Mythology tells of the god Zeus, who created a curiosity entity named Pandora. After their wedding, Zeus gave Pandora a box and told her to never open it. But Pandora’s curiosity got the better of her, and she opened the box. Dark and horrible things — evil, greed, hatred, disease, pain, hunger, etc. — escaped and scattered across the earth. Pandora slammed the lid closed, trapping the last element inside: hope.
For the purpose of this “Adoption Reunion” series, I’m using the term to mean in a slightly different way, but with a similar meaning. Instead of a box that would release all bad things, it’s one that represents the fearful unknown. A box that, once opened, can never be taken back.
Adoption Reunion Story
Something changed in me that October evening in my mom’s room. A longing ignited. Hope soared. Things I had never consciously paid attention to before. Floating back to my room with a grin, I made a promise that I’d write my biological mother a letter if I ever got the chance. To thank her for choosing adoption. For loving me and giving me life.
I never once thought that it would actually happen. That I would, someday, come face-to-face with opening Pandora’s Box and be given the key.
To Be Continued…
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.