Thank you so much Lindsey for sharing your adoption story with us! It brought me to tears. I hope that you readers will find her story as encouragning and heart-warming as I did! Here is her story in her own words:
“Do you know your real mom?”
“Sure I do! She’s at home right now!” I replied, being fully aware of what this person really meant.
“No. Your REAL mom!”
“Oh! I’m sorry, I thought you meant my FAKE mom!”
I heard these types of questions ALL the time. It wasn’t that people are rude, they’re ignorant. I don’t mean that in bad way, people really just don’t know. They are curious and don’t really know how to ask. I still get these types of questions as an adult. That’s ok. I am more than willing and proud to explain and educate people.
So time to back track a bit. In my mom’s own words, “All I wanted was to be a mother!” So when that didn’t happen she was devastated, to say the least. Finally, after years of trying and waiting my parents were blessed with a baby girl. Several years later, a second baby girl. And then a few years later, me. Third time’s a charm right? Just kidding.
Until I was about in 5th grade it was just the three of us. Then they got a phone call to see if they wanted to adopt a little boy. This was kind of different. The three of us had all been babies, this boy was around 24 months. I remember being so excited. I had always been the baby of the family and wanted a younger sibling. I still remember clear as day the first time I saw him. I had just finished swim lessons and my parents were waiting in the parking lot. He was the cutest kid I had ever seen.
A couple years later my parents got the phone call again. Another child needed a home. She was also around 24 months old. I also remember that moment clear as day when my sister came home for the first time.
We always knew that we were adopted. My parents never kept it a secret and we were taught never to be ashamed of it. It was actually really cool to have that little bit of an edge.
Like all things there are good and bad things about adoption.
-It is expensive. My parents still joke around with me to this day that they didn’t ‘own’ me until Kindergarten. The bank did.
-It can be heartbreaking. I remember kids coming and going that my parents planned on adopting. Biological parents changing their minds is what usually happened. I remember 2 or 3 kids going away. Two of them came and went two different times. And there were more before I was even born.
-It can be confusing as a kid. “Why didn’t my biological parents want me? Who are they? I don’t look like my family.” Etc. Etc. Etc.
But there are also so many positive things.
-My parents are blessed to have a great family with 5 very different and awesome children. Now they have son-in-laws & grandchildren too. If it weren’t for the amazing people that selflessly chose adoption, they would not have had this amazing family experience. How sad that would have been.
- I naturally learned from a very young age that all families are different and that it’s ok. I loved having sisters that looked nothing like me. We would play tricks on people all the time growing up!
-I know there are a thousand more postive things to write but it’s hard for me to think of them because I don’t have anything to compare it to. When Jaclyn asked me to write about my experience with having an all adopted family, I thought, “Piece of cake!” But honestly I have had such a mind blank about what to write. You know why? This is real life for me. I haven’t known any different.
I decided to recruit the help of my mom and asked for help. This is her story:
My husband and I decided to adopt a child and were blessed with a daughter in 1976. She came to our home on Dec 31st. She was small, noisy and a giant change to people who had been married almost 8 years without children. We welcomed the new year in with our 1st daughter.
Almost 4 years later we were able to adopt another girl. Our life was fun, hard, silly, just what I always wanted. Two daughters to play with each other. I didn’t think life could get better.
Then 3 years later, our third daughter entered our lives.Our third daughter was blonde and blue eyed. She looked much different than our first two. Having three children was a whirlwind. I had two hands and three children, Wow, life was a big adventure.
For many years life was so full and exciting. New things to learn with each child. Each one needing different and separate things. We were just like any other family. We were living the great dream of parenthood and family life.
In April of 1984, I took my 3 girls to get their photograph taken and have a Easter picture of them. I waited my turn to get the picture, and as we walked up to the photographer she asked me how I got 3 different colored children. I was shocked anyone even noticed. Then I replied 3 different fathers. Boy was she surprised! My children are from different ethnic cultures. Our 1st daughter is a full blooded Native American, our 2nd daughter is 1/2 Native American and 1/2 Mexican, and our 3rd daughter is very fair and from Canada.
Many years later in 1996, we adopted a son and started again. He was the highlight of everyone’s life. He never stopped, and was our greatest adventure day after day.
Once again, on 9/9/1999 we adopted our last child a daughter, she was small, timid, and wanted to learn as best she could.
Our lives were normal, we didn’t know we were different. We just thought we were a family, it was all we knew. We bonded as a family and loved each other. We loved to be together.
Now, most are grown. Four of our children have met their biological mother and, in some cases, their biological father. They are great people , yet they had their own lives and were not a part of ours.
I as a mother love these people deeply for giving me something I could never given myself. I became a mother, my husband became a father, and we all became a family.
What makes a family is different is everyone’s home. To have a family is the most joyous thing on earth. I have been given the greatest blessing on earth by people who did not know me. That is a miracle! To this day we are a family, needing and loving each other. No different than any other American family
I also asked for the help of my biological mother for her input. I had to privilege to actually meet her and my biological sister a few years ago. All my life I always wondered who she was. I would have those moments where I would daydream that we would be guests on a talk show like Montel Williams. You know those episodes where someone has a ‘special’ guest that wants to meet them. When my mom told me the info on her I was actually really mad. She had known about her my entire life but had ’lied’ by denying she knew anything about her. But eventually I came to the realization that dealing with this at my age was already super overwhelming, I couldn’t even comprehend how hard it would have been to process as a kid. So many emotions and excitement at the same time.
Here is her story:
As I sit here and think of what to write, my heart starts pounding thru my chest. Panic is setting in. Maybe even a little bit of guilt. It all started 30 years ago.
I was young and pregnant. No longer with the father of this unborn child who didn’t believe me nor want anything to do with me or my baby. I knew that I needed to get away from this town. My sister told me to come down to Utah and stay with her for a while so I can think about things. I did just that.
I had no money to get there but I had a friend who was going down there to go to school. So I caught a ride down with her. Being away from my hometown and everyone, I was able to think about what I wanted to do. So many thoughts ran through my head. Some good and some not so good. Many a day, did I cry because I didn’t know what to do. I was going to be a young mom, no money, no father in this baby’s life.
I did have some family support but I came from a “not well off” family. Didn’t have very much growing up and my father had died when I was just 2 years old. Growing up without 2 parents was difficult for me. All of a sudden, it hit me. I NEEDED to give this child the life that he/she deserved, 2 parents, siblings, etc. I talked with my sister and she said that she supported me in every way possible. My decision was made.
So many tears shed as this was the absolute hardest decision that I have ever made. The day came when I went into labour. My sister was there with me and was my ROCK.. Lindsey was born and immediately starting crying. I couldn’t help but sob endlessly and then I began second guessing my decision. I heard this baby’s cry and I just wanted to hold her. I had 1 1/2 days to sign the papers for adoption…
As I lay in the hospital bed thinking, I realized my decision was the right one for me and for her.
Fast forward to September 2010, the day comes and Lindsey and I meet for the first time. Stressful, heart pounding, butterflies in my stomach, hands sweating, feeling like I’m going to vomit, so many tears. Good thing, yet again, that my sister was there, as was my daughter Jylian. I knew that if Jylian could meet Lindsey, then so could I. We walked into Olive Garden, Jylian on one side and my sister, on the other side. Just holding me to help me get through this day. I didn’t think I could do it. However, I have known Gary and Margaret since before Lindsey was born. Another one of the best days ever. No grudges or anger. I thought for sure, so many questions and I wouldn’t know how to answer any of them…
I remember how nervous I was that day to finally meet her. Will she like me? Will I say something stupid? Will I meet her expectations? I seriously felt like I was going to pass out or throw up from all the anxiety. Then I found out that she was just as nervous as me and that she wasn’t going to come. I was devastated! All these years and now she is pretty much in the same city and doesn’t want to meet me. Luckily, her daughter worked her charm and dramatics (Thanks again Jylian!) and convinced her to come.
It was great. It wasn’t awkward at all. It was like we were old friends and just picked up where we had left off. We have all stayed in touch and talk often. I have been up to Canada, they have visited me, and I was even a part of Jylian’s wedding in Mexico. And now Jylian and I both have babies of our own that are months apart in age. I love our fun and special relationship!
So that’s OUR story. There is SO much more I could write, but it would go on and on. I hope that you can take away a positive opinion and maybe even feel a little more knowledgeable about what adoption is all about.
Lindsey (woman on far right) in her Biologiocal Sister’s wedding with her Biological Mother
Lindsey with her beautiful family!