I was the only child out of seven placed for adoption by my birth mother.
Labeled a ‘troubled woman’, my birth mother had two daughters before me and went on to have three more children after I was adopted.
When I first found out I was adopted, I was told that I had another sibling—my little brother. Growing up there was speculation that my birth mother had two children before I was born. Yet it wasn’t confirmed until I was reunited with my birth family. I grew up wondering why I wasn’t good enough. Why didn’t she keep me? That question, and the subsequent feelings, plagued me for over 20 years. I remember standing in front of the mirror, crying and screaming. Repeating the question “Why?” over and over again until I eventually cried myself to sleep on the bathroom floor.
The question “Why?” led me to believe I wasn’t good enough to have a family. Especially since the one family that should have loved me unconditionally abandoned me. My adoptive mother explained that my birth mother was unfit to care for me at the time. In my heart I always believed she placed me because she didn’t love me. How could a mother not get her life together to take care of a child she helped create? A child she carried in her womb? Why wasn’t my birth mother jumping in front of trains for me? Why wasn’t she struggling for me, going to the ends of the world and back? Why wasn’t she providing for me like every other parent was doing for their child? These thoughts ran through my head daily and none of it made sense.
My adoptive mother did anything and everything to show me what unconditional love was and what it meant to struggle for your children. My adoptive mother is the epitome of selflessness and has always put her children first. Even when it meant she had to go without. So how is it possible that my adoptive mother who isn’t even related to me by blood, has been able to do all of this for me? She is my mother.
Fast-forward to the present. I now have a strong relationship with God. In time I have come to realize that my birth mother’s rejection was in fact, God’s protection. Even though it hurts to know I was the only child out of seven placed for adoption, that event came to be seen as a blessing in disguise. As my biological sisters and I share stories about our experiences growing up, I thank God for my life. I got to grow up with a loving mother that would die for me. I was given a chance to use my life for a greater purpose set by God. Most importantly, I was safe and protected.
Today, I am thankful to know who my birth mother is. It’s reassuring to know that if I ever wanted to speak with her she is one call or text message away. I have peace with that. Simply knowing that she wants to be part of my life and that she cares has helped me on the road to healing. It was the unknown that caused so much heartache. It isn’t about wanting her to be my mom, because my adoptive mother is my mom. It’s about acknowledging the fact that she is my mother too. Which is why I believe in open adoption.
Adoption takes an entire family—adoptive and biological—to raise a child. The unknown can be a very dark place for adoptees. No child should have to wonder whether or not they are loved or where their birth mother is. As I put the pieces of my life together, I am thankful that I have two moms in my life and beautiful siblings to share it all with. I no longer spend my days wondering why I was the only child placed for adoption. Instead, I count my blessings because I know God has a purpose and a way of turning things around to restore peace.
In the end, it isn’t about being happy that I was placed for adoption. It’s about having the love that I deserved to have, a safe roof over my head, clothes on my back, and a mom that I know would do anything for me. That is what family and love is all about.