When we wrote our pivotal moments in motherhood a few months ago, (see Nicole’s, Jenna’s and Emily’s) we talked about the possibility of Jenna sharing this story with you. The timing wasn’t right, but we didn’t know why. Then weeks later, Jenna came to us with an idea.
We had all seen a recent post by Kristen Howerton (we filmed her family a few months ago, here!) about adoption advocacy and how it is really only championed by those who are looking to adopt, or are in an adoptive family themselves. Even amongst ourselves we see the great divide of understanding and compassion. It is hard to explain or describe unless you have experienced it, but we are lucky to have a first and second hand experience within Small Fry. This is when Jenna urged us to move forward with a week devoting our little space of the Internet to those families who will share beautiful stories of adoption, painful stories of loss and longing messages of hope for children to join their family.
Our hope is that through this week adoption can be more of an open dialogue for all of us, adopted or not, fertile or infertile. Our hope is that there will be comments through the week of encouragement, and love, and that you will be inspired by these families’ stories.
Here is Jenna’s:
My birth mother was fifteen when she became pregnant with me. I don’t know much about her pregnancy except that she was scrutinized, ridiculed, and even spit on by my birth father as she walked pregnant through the halls of her school.
I can only imagine the kind of fear, pain, and loneliness she felt at such a young and tender age. She ultimately made the decision to place me up for adoption.
My parents were living overseas at the time and through an unfortunate series of events, I was lost in paper work and foster care for 5 ½ months till my parents were FINALLY able to take me home. My mom can’t tell this story without tears filling her eyes. All those painful years of infertility felt like drops in a bucket compared to almost six months waiting to complete their family.
Since that time long ago I’ve always known my adoption story and at no point has it ever been hidden from me. Good friends will often find out I’m adopted and feel shock! (Emily and Nicole included.) It’s just not something I share, not out of embarrassment, but because, genuinely, I forget. I attribute all of the security I have in this journey to my parents. They offered stability, consistency and love from day one that is unparalleled.
My adoption does not make me feel abandoned, it makes me feel cherished, doesn’t make me feel alone it makes me feel so full. It doesn’t define who I am but lends to whatever strength I find in myself. I’ve learned that while you may not have the same genetic makeup as your family, they were always intended to be your family. That all along, regardless of how you came to them, you were meant to be with them.
And while I don’t feel urgent in this stage of my life to have a relationship with my birth mom, I have a deep, abiding gratitude and love for her. If she hadn’t made such a mature sacrifice, my life would be drastically different. I wouldn’t have had lunch on Saturday with my amazing mom, rode bikes with my boys this morning, chatted with my husband on the phone while on a business trip, gotten a supportive email from my dad, or had a play date with my dearest friends. All the blessings in my life I am grateful to her for. Every day.
So, welcome to Adoption Week. A week all about gratitude for the incredible journeys traversed that so many of us take for granted to create a family.