Adoption Stories

Adoption Stories

For adoption awareness month I wanted to share point of views from people on other sides of the triad. I can only share my side but I am constantly trying to learn from others so I can be the best mom for Wynnie. Here are a few adoptees and birth moms stories. I am blown away by the courage, strength, and love that all of these special women have. Enjoy…

Adoptee

At the end of the day, we all just want to be loved and heard. However, I think many adopted humans may need extra love and listening to.

For parents and loved ones of specially transracial adoptees… I would challenge you to stop often and ask yourself, “how might a transracial adoptee experience __________  (insert whatever) differently than I do?”. I believe this act of empathizing can positively change the way we hear and love transracial adoptees.

-Tara Shipp

Adoptee

Turning my feelings on adoption into words has been surprisingly very challenging for me. Adoption has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. Everything about our adoption was a miracle to me. I must say I wish we could be physically closer to our older sister, she grew up on Illinois and now lives in Georgia. But our adoption was open, so we have been blessed to know our older sister Allison, and my Grandma and Grandpa Starke our entire lives. This in itself has been an incredible gift to have such a relationship with them. The openness and truth that has always been shared is something that I believe has made our adoption such a wonderful experience. We know our story and we have a bond with our entire family. My sisters are my sisters, my grandparents are my grandparents. Biological or not, we are family!

The blessings of adoption has been bountiful. We were adopted by the most amazing family. We were raised in a good home filled with love. Out parents inspired and encouraged us to work hard and magnify our talents. I honestly could go on and on with the blessings that have come because of our parents and older sister Megan. But, the blessing that I am most grateful for is the gift of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We were put into a family that are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and because of this I grew up knowing that my Savior is real. I know that we have a prophet on the earth today that holds all the priesthood keys. I know that Joseph Smith restored the fullness of the gospel on the earth today. I know he saw our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove. I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that because of the sacred temple ordinances and blessings that come through priesthood power we can have eternal families. I know that my Savior Jesus Christ lives and that he bled from every pore for our sins, sorrows, and infirmities. He knows us each individually and desires that we will come unto Him.

Now, I know I just bore my testimony. And I think for many they may say, what does this have to do with adoption. Well, for me it is everything. If there is only one gift/blessing that I could hold onto in this life, it would be that. It would be my testimony. It would be my knowledge of these things. The gift of His Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ has blessed me with joy beyond what I could have had without it. I do not mean to down play at all the other gifts of adoption. My parents are truly amazing. They are so good. The community I grew up in has played such a big role in shaping me to be my best self. I have had great friends, opportunities, and life experiences that have come because of being adopted. Obviously one of the greatest gifts to me is having met my husband and having my own family. All these gifts have come because of our unique circumstances of getting adopted by the family that we did. Heavenly Father sees all of us. He loves all of us. And he blesses us in different ways. And for me, the greatest gift has been the gift of His Gospel.

-Kristen Nielson 

Adoptee

Where to start with my story? My mom who wasn’t able to have any more children past her first? My sweet biological grandma who sacrificed so much and gave my parents the opportunity and blessing of being able to be my parents? My biological mom who has struggled with so much and selflessly gave up a life of being a mom? Us, as in my twin and I? There are so many sides to an adoption story. All are filled with heartache and also so much joy. 

Ours began with our bio mom who battled many health problems, both physical and mental. She left home as a young woman and went across the country where she met my bio dad, who was an illegal alien from Mexico, and also much older than her. She got pregnant with my older sister, and soon after having her got pregnant again with my brother. When my brother was just a newborn my bio dad got angry and physically abused him. I’m sure this was a normal occurrence and something my bio mom dealt with a lot. Well, things were bad and she left with my sister and brother taking him to the hospital. My sister and brother were taken and placed into foster care, with the most amazing family! There my grandma was contacted, who hadn’t known where my bio mom was. She came and took custody over my sister, but my brother who had been critically injured, which he would soon pass away from, needed special care that our foster mom could provide. All during this my bio mom was pregnant again. When we, my twin and I were born we were taken straight to the same foster family. Our dear grandma came and with much heartache decided that at her age, it was best to place us for an open adoption. 

Our foster moms son was in our adopted grandmas school class at the time and came to class telling my grandma about these cute twins they had just gotten, which is how our mom found out about us. Our mom was able to have one child, but after that she could no longer get pregnant and suffered many early miscarriages. Once she heard about us, she knew prayers had been answered and that we were meant to be hers.

The adoption didn’t go smoothly. Our bio dad wanted custody over us and so began a lengthy court battle. On the deciding court date, where someone from his family was suppose to come claim us, nobody showed up, and my parents prayers were answered! We were finally adopted.

We’ve always known about being adopted. We’ve always known our story. It was important that we all had a good relationship with our grandma and sister. Living across country from them has been really the only hard thing, but we love each other and make the effort to visit and keep in touch. 

I know there has been times where my bio grandma questions if her choice was the best. Us being adopted meant that we wouldn’t grow up with our sister. It would be easier on us because we were twins and would have each other, but for my older sister, she would be a lone child in their household. I of course don’t regret being adopted, but I do wish we we could’ve grown up with our sister, or at least not be across country from each other. I’ve been blessed immeasurable and wouldn’t change being adopted for anything. I have the most amazing parents and family, and know it was all of Gods plan. 

I feel like I could go on and on talking about my love for adoption, my amazing family I was adopted into, the sacrifices of my biological family, my angelic foster mom, all the many blessings I’ve received in my life because of adoption. I will say this; everyone’s adoption story is unique. It is a sacred decision full of so much love, prayer, sacrifice, pain, and pure joy. Adoption is such a beautiful thing to be a part of. It’s prayers being answered, hearts being filled. The love shared is no different from those who are biologically conceived vs adopted. I know that Heavenly Fathers plan was for me to be adopted and I’m grateful for every part of it.️

– Julie Davis

Birth Mom

Everyone knows November is a month all about being thankful but, it also happens to be National Adoption Awareness Month. Adoption is a topic that tends to bring up a mixture of all kinds of emotions; happiness, sadness, grateful, completed, lost, frustration, grief etc… For me, I have felt them all at different times with heartbreak being a constant. I was asked by a sweet friend to share my side of emotions, The Birth Mom Side.

I have shared my story before and have always been open with talking about my adoption but the one thing I have always kept a part hidden is my own feelings, how I truly feel. I have never really talked about this because I have never wanted to hurt anyone involved with my adoption and I hope that expressing these feelings now will not cause hurt towards anyone. Let me start off by saying my adoption process and the adoptive family are amazing and I could never have asked for better. The word blessed doesn’t do justice in how lucky I got with finding them. It doesn’t mean everything has been easy for me though.

Open adoption is one of the most amazing things I have grown to be the most grateful for. The openness in my adoption is the one thing that has kept me going through it all. There are a lot of parts that feel broken to me, but that does not mean I am not healing. I am healing every single day and the biggest thing that can help anyone in a grieving situation is support. I have been so blessed to have supportive family, friends, co-workers and of course the most supportive adoptive family.

I never thought I would be in the situation to have adoption a part of my life but since it has become one of the biggest parts I can say it has changed my way of thinking about it so much and, it still is changing daily.

Everyone’s situation, everyone’s adoption, everyone’s circumstances are different, so I don’t think anyone can have the same thoughts, these are my thoughts regarding to my own personal situation which is probably different than many others, and that’s ok, one doesn’t have to be better or worse than the other.

Do I regret my decision, yes. Do I wish I could take it back, yes. Does that mean I made the wrong choice, No. I made this hard decision when I was at a different point in my life and now that my life is where I always imagined it being of course a part of me feels missing. That’s because one of the biggest parts of me is in fact missing, she is missing from my life every single day which can cause anyone to feel regret. If I could take it back now would I, absolutely. But, that still doesn’t’ change the fact that at the time I made the choice and it in fact was the right choice. I could spend every day wishing it was different but all that would do is make me fall into a state of depression which would not be healthy for me or my family.

I can’t speak for other birth moms, but I can speak for me and how I feel about my own adoption journey. There aren’t very many things I would change or even want to do differently but there are a few things I would recommend to adoptive families that have adopted previously, are currently in the process, or even one day thinking about it. My adoption is a “very” open adoption so, for those of you with a closed adoption most of this will not be relevant to you or your case.

If you have or are considering an open adoption, please make sure that however you begin the relationship with the birth family make it consistent. Do not have the relationship change once the child is placed in your arms. Do not have the relationship change after the first year. Do not have the relationship changed after 5 years and so on. Keep it the same. I do however understand life is always changing but, try to keep to the same things you have been doing. For me as the birth mom, some of those traditions and things are the only thing I have to hold on to with my child, and when those change or are taken away I feel lost and betrayed in a way because I was told a vision of how it would be while I was pregnant. When I think of how I was told it would be and have it that way at the beginning and then see it become differently it makes me sometimes feel like I was tricked into choosing adoption. Although I know in my heart that is not the case and my adoptive family would never want me to feel that way, I am only human and sometimes I am weak, and the negative takes over and I have a difficult time remembering that is not how I truly feel. So please, just keep it consistent. Keep those birth parents in your thoughts. Think of how important your child milestones are or things they accomplish are to you, they are equally important to the birth parents and just hearing about them could make their day. Now I understand the balance needs to be there and there is separation from your family to theirs that is why I say, make it consistent from day 1. Going from one extreme to the other can be difficult for the birth family.  

I hope in the future my relationship with the adoptive family continues to grow and never leaves. I hope they will always know how much love I have for them. I hope their love for me never grows apart. I hope I have a relationship with my daughter when she is older, and I hope over everything she will always know how much I love her, how much I have always loved her, that the love of a Birth mom is stronger than any love out there.

Birth mom

Getting pregnant in high school was already so much for my teenage mind to take in. Worrying about not being able to cheer, getting fat, what other people would think—but then to add in that I was pregnant with twins! It was a lot. My mom was already doing everything she could to make sure I kept up with my friends, but then to add two more little people. I couldn’t do it.

I had a long time boyfriend that was the father, but as the pregnancy unfolded he became more and more absent. I knew adoption was the only choice. Once I decided on adoption this overwhelming spirit came over me, I knew I was having these babies for another family. They weren’t meant to be mine. I chose an amazing family, one that wasn’t near me, that had been married for over 10 years, the dad had a secure job, everything I was looking for. I met with them and all the stars aligned.

When I was 36 weeks pregnant I wrote letters to the girls telling them why I chose adoption, and how I chose their mom and dad. I also told them all the things we did together during the past 9 months. They loved the water, which was good because I was at the lake majority of my pregnancy!The girls are now 14. We met for the first time in 12 years in August. It was the most amazing feeling in the world. How they just walked in to my home and were part of my family, the connection we had was instant. Their mom is the most selfless woman I have ever met. She brought these 2 teenage girls to me in such a scary time for a mom—a time when girls resent their mothers for everything. She told me the girls need the love of 2 mothers during their teenage years. What an amazing woman, love I feel for her is more than I can explain. When we said our goodbyes after our first visit my soul felt empty. The same emptiness it felt 14 years prior. It wasn’t a feeling that lingered, one that just stayed for the day and then passed along. I was hoping our next visit wouldn’t be to far away, my children grew to love these girls in just a matter of days. Before we knew it they were back again, this time just them. During this visit my heart was full. What an amazing family I have. Adoption is such a blessing. Jim and Rona were so ready to complete their family 14 years ago, while I was not ready to begin mine.

-Ashlee Lambeth

Dear Wynnie,

I want you to know that we prayed for you. We prayed for your mom, for your family, for your life. We prayed that, if you couldn’t be with your biological family and you were sent to us, we would spend the rest of our lives showing you as much love as we possibly could. We pray everyday that one day you will be reunited with your first family and that that reunion will be sweet and full of answers. We also pray that you know that when life leads you back to them we will never feel bad or abandoned. We will ALWAYS be your parents and we will be there when life is ready to lead you back. We also pray that we can be a small part in that reunion. That one day I can hug the woman that gave me one of my greatest blessings. That I can tell her about the happiness you brought into our lives. I hope that one day I can tell her about your sass, your sweetness, and your loving and sensitive spirit. I hope that we can stand together as a strong family unit one day, intertwined in each other’s lives and recognizing Gods hand in YOUR life.

Wynn, I promise to remember that your side of the story is most important. That you were the only one in this complicated triad that didn’t get a choice in where you ended up. You are the one that is going to feel so much loss, and pain, and confusion. I will always remember that, although the day you were born was one of my happiest, it just might be a day for you that brings up sadness and questions for your first mom. I know that I have utterly no idea how you will handle being adopted, but please know that I will stand by you in sadness, anger, confusion, happiness, amazement, or however your story makes you feel. 

When all is said and done, I hope that you can look back and see the love amongst the heartache, the education amongst the confusion, the gain amongst the loss. I hope you grieve the life you lost and then celebrate the life you have. I hope you have phone calls and visits with your first mom and phone calls and visits with me. I hope you have relationships with your biological siblings and keep that strong relationship you have with Emry. I hope that you live a life of giving, and selflessness, and love because that my dear, that is who you are. 

Always remember, you are our rainbow after the storm, our sunshine after the long dark night, you are our Wynnie girl. 

Love, Mama

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