an Intro to Adoption Week

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.adoptionweek

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.

Jenna and Diane

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.

44 thoughts on “an Intro to Adoption Week”

  1. I love this. I have not really had any experience with adoption, but im for sure an advocate! this is a beautiful story.

  2. Thank you for focusing on this topic & writing your beautiful story! I have always had a particular draw to adoption, so I studied social work in college with the intent on helping birth mothers & adoptive parents. I have worked in domestic & international adoption in SLC & NYC, & I absolutely love this topic. I have a passion and testimony of it! Adoption is amazing but it definitely doesn’t get talked about enough. Thank you for shedding some light on this beautiful topic!

  3. Love this. My aunt adopted five kids, all different nationalities. So I grew up with the blessing of adoption. They are all my best friends. Such a wonderful gift.

  4. This is so amazing!! I love Small Fry but this tugs at my heart in a very personal way. Thank you for sharing your story. My husband and I were both adopted along with all of our siblings. We were also very fortunate to adopt our two boys who are our life. Adoption is such a great option and I hope more people can open their hearts and minds towards it. I feel the same way about my birth mother. I am grateful to her everyday of my life. Grateful for my life and family, grateful for my sweet husband and boys. There is nothing she isn’t apart of in my heart. I to feel cherished, loved and protected by my birth mother. I am so grateful that she was courageous enough to carry me and took the care to place me safely into my parents arms regardless of all the opposition she faced. Being adopted is just apart of my story and who I am. Just as it is apart of my boys story now. Without going on and on… I love this idea and I am looking so forward to the rest of this week. 🙂 LOVE YOU SMALl FRY!

  5. I love reading your story! Thank you so much for sharing! I loved your words that being adopted makes you feel cherished and FULL. My twin sister adopted a five year old boy from Ethiopia last year and has two biological kids and my own family of four is excited to begin the same journey this year too! I pray our adopted children will grow up to feel the same as you do. 🙂

  6. This post is amazing. So frequently I read posts from adoptees who feel embittered and frustrated and disillusioned with their adoptions….and granted….some of that is understandable based on the adoptions they’ve described. But when I read what you’ve written as an adopted daughter, I think of my own adopted daughter and pray that these same words will come out of her mouth one day. Thank you Thank you!

    1. i’m so grateful for your comment. it’s exactly the point i wanted to come across. you CAN be adopted and feel loved & celebrated!
      it’s a happy happy thing & a special kind of love.
      thanks for reading!

  7. Sweet Jenna,
    I did not know this about you! It makes me love and admire you even more! You are amazing!! I have seen adoptions that bring great joy to families (my little brother who is now 50). I also know the pain of friends who havn’t been able to adopt or rather picked to be parents even though they long so for this great blessing.
    I know birth mothers who have had to make that very difficult decision, but do so for the love and future of their child. Any way you look at it it is bitter sweet! Blessings to all those who give and receive!!

    1. calleen,
      your comment made me cry and cry. i love your story.
      i’m always so grateful for your loving support.

  8. thank you for sharing. 2 years ago, I adopted a baby girl that is now the center of my life. Although some people see open adoptions as scary or uncertain, I can say that I love her birthparents with my whole heart. They are amazing people who acted with such faith and unselfishness at an incredibly difficult time for them. adoption truly is all about love.

  9. What a beautiful story of adoption. I hope with all my heart that my adopted son, Reuben feels the same way. At this point he’s only 4 years old and adoption is completely normal. He’s never even had any questions and knows he “grew in K’s tummy who loved him so much and then came out of K’s tummy into Mama’s arms”. I pray that he sees adoption as a web of love surrounding him with all these amazing people who cherish him.
    Thank you so much for sharing, Sammy x

    1. it’s sort of strange because i do not have a single adopted friend, so a lot of the time i feel alone in my feelings. but through my life i’ve come to find that all good people whether they’re friends or family are willing to talk about the issue & help me work out whatever feelings i have. it sounds like your son has the BEST support system & will do awesome!
      thanks for reading.

  10. Jenna- you articulate this so well. My mom and three of her siblings were adopted and there isn’t a day that goes by that she isn’t so grateful for her parents. I think adoption should be talked about more often because it is such a beautiful thing!

  11. Thank you for this post and for this week. I loved reading it! I too am adopted, and feel the same way as to I really do forget. My family is just that amazing! My story is a little different. My birth mom was 18 already had a boy and my Dad was her dentist. She sat in the chair to have her teeth cleaned, and said “well I’m pregnant again, want a baby?” Without even a blink he said yes. Even though I am different in the way I look (dark brown hair, almost black eyes, all my other family members have blond hair and blue eyes) I just knew from the very beginning that they were my family. Never once have I felt out of place or weird. It has been such a blessing that I was raised in my amazing family. My birth mom has reached out to me and we’ve chatted a bit. Mainly what my genetic background is and what she has been up to. I don’t feel the need to have a relationship with her right now, but will always be so ever grateful that she gave me to a loving family who was not complete without me. (I am the last of 6 kids, by nine years!) Thanks again for writing this story!

  12. Beautifully written. I wish every young woman that is challenged with an unplanned pregnancy could read this. I see too many sad, sad stories here in San Francisco.

  13. I am a huge proponent of adoption!! I experienced and still experience infertility. I did invitro and it failed after 7 years of trying for children. Adoption gave me the hope of bring a mom!! 2 months after a failed invitro I met my sons birth mom!! She chose my husband and I to be the parents of her son!! I wept!! She have me what I could not give myself!! There is only one other person that compares and it’s the Savior!! I spent the next 5 months with her attending all the spots ultrasounds, making him a scrapbook, getting to know her!! She asked us to be present at the birth!! We saw Our son/her baby being born she asked my husband to cut the umbilical cord. She wanted me to be the first one to hold him. He was my baby he was always my baby he just came a different way!! My sons birth mom was 19 years old when she placed her baby in our home. She is now almost 25 with a nursing degree, remarried and sealed in the Monticello temple and just have birth two months ago to a baby boy–my son is an older brother!! It is amazing it is a miracle!! God had a plan for all his children!!

  14. Thanks so much for sharing. I love that you love your own personal story of adoption. I hope and pray my own special girl will love hers too. Adoption is beautiful and stories of it always warm my heart. Much love!

  15. I love that you girls are doing this! Even though I’ve been blessed with easy fertility, I’ve wanted to adopt a baby since I can remember and plan to as soon as I can. I just feel like I’m meant to take in a baby that needs a momma and this story makes me really excited for that day!

  16. thank you for adoption week! Once you’ve been touched by adoption, you automatically become advocates! We have been chosen twice now to be parents and it is the most amazing gift we could receive! We brought our first baby girl home almost 4 years ago and then our second just a mere 5 weeks. We are so blessed to have such precious girls and birth families who we respect and love so much!

  17. Thanks for sharing Jenna! I’m adopted and feel the same way! I feel so loved and wanted by my family and so thankful to my birth mother for having enough courage to give me the life I have. People don’t know enough about adoption. I’m asked all the time where my “real” mom is… It makes me laugh. My real mom is the women who has raised me, held me when I was sick or sad. I couldn’t have hand picked better parents.

    1. i feel this way ALL the time! when someone asks me if i ever want to know my “real mom” my blood starts to boil!!
      my real mom is the woman who raised me & knows me better than anyone else.
      so glad you are reading adoption week!

  18. I love that you are dedicating a whole week to adoption! This is so great. My husband and I are in the process of adopting our first child and are so excited about it!

  19. All these adoptions stories have my heart brimming with gratitude and hope. Love the fun stuff, but it’s nice to put some substance on the internet. xo

  20. Jenna, thank you so much for sharing! My family was actually featured this week on your 3rd Adoption Week. I love hearing your side of it. I pray my husband and I can make Ryan feel as secure and wanted so that she never feels unloved or as though she was a mistake. Most importantly, I hope we can help her to see she was meant to be our all along. I truly believe that with my whole heart. 🙂

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