An adoption story with an adoptee birth mother, adoptee adoptive mother, and of course one beautiful adopted baby that will knock your socks off…
Ebersole Tribe… what is that? Your husband is an all-American boy, you are Asian adoptee… what makes you tribal? Let me explain. Before my husband and I were even married we knew we’d adopt. I grew up in a white family and never lacked any confidence in being Asian, chosen and loved. My parents adopted me first and then went on to have biological children.
When Danny and I were married, everyone started asking me if I had baby fever. I struggled with this question because I did, but it was different. I had “adoption fever”. I had some amazing friends who I watched walk through the process and desired that for our own family. I saw the way these kids were so much like me. How I identified with them in their belonging to a family even if they didn’t “match”. How they were dearly loved because they were their kids and the journey that brought them to be a part of the family was celebrated at all possible moments. We knew adoption wasn’t a consolation prize. Whenever Danny and I would talk about adoption, my sensitive husband would tear up saying “I am so glad I get to choose you, it’s only because so many other people chose you too.”
So we knew we were being called to adopt. Adoption to us at the time already meant so much. Having looked for my birth-mother in years past, I really desired to be able to have our baby’s birth mother be a part of our family. We knew domestic adoption was the best root for these desires and so we started the process.
Little did we know our story would unfold so quickly.
We jumped through all of the hoops of home studies, classes and applications within a span of eight months. We were officially activated in our domestic program three weeks before we were chosen by a birth-mother. This call changed our lives and healed my heart in so many places. Our birth mother – Mama T, as we call her – wrote her daughter a letter when she signed the papers to put her up for adoption. She wrote that she loved her and wanted her to love her adoptive family because Mama T herself was adopted too.
Mama T is the bravest person I know. Yes, you read it correctly: she’s adopted too. Her adoption story is not nearly as cheerful as mine but she is still proud, loved and knows God has big plans for her life. She is a young woman, who kept her pregnancy a secret from all her friends and most of her family. She opened her heart to us during the days before the baby’s birth as we took pregnancy photos of her, we got our nails done, laughed, ate good food and of course went shopping.
Mama T invited us to be in the room when little our baby came into the world, and I was able to be the first one to hold her. Mama T gave us the honor of naming our daughter Vera-lou! Later, Mama T also got to hold Vera-lou and take pictures with her that we will forever cherish. She has also now introduced us to Padre J, her boyfriend, Vera-lou’s birth father. We text message both of them often, sometimes FaceTime and send them little gifts when special holidays come around. They are what make us a tribe; they are a part of our family.
Yes, it seems a little crazy and a bit unnerving to some to have an open adoption but for us it was a clear way to thank and honor the birth-parents. These people are Vera-lou’s parents too, just in another way. Their love for her is as fierce as ours. They show it in the pain they feel as they are miles and miles away from her. It’s in the way they know that they made the right decision when things in their lives show it wouldn’t have been safe for her to have lived with them. We will forever be honoring Mama T and Padre J, that’s why they are forever a part of our tribe. For they will forever be loving Vera-lou. We have no idea who else will enter our tribe and under what ways but we will all be a part of the process.
Adoption has been an instant thing in terms of our tribe loving. But it’s a process to be an adoptee and an adoptive mother. I have this overwhelming pressure to represent adoption from all angles. This makes this topic one I love yet it hits all sides of my heart. I want to represent all sides of the story well but let me be honest in saying it is too beautifully complex for anyone to ever completely ‘figure it out’. I am one person fumbling my way through this life. I have had the privilege of seeing and experiencing the beauty and the tragedy of this redemptive thing called adoption.
To read the full version of our sort and to follow our fumbling journey please visit ebersoletribe.wordpress.com.