Adoption goes both ways…sometimes in the same family…

…which can make for some very difficult conversations. I was young. Almost a year out of high school. Trying to be on my own, without being on my own. In a relationship and unable to see how unhealthy it was. I moved back home with my then fiancé (JR). I found myself pregnant, living with mom, unsure of how to tell her. The circumstances that led to the pregnancy are irrelevant. It’s the lack of support that was most impactful. 

I wasn’t married yet, and I dreaded the disappointment mom would have when she found out. JR told his mom first. She threatened to tell my mom if I didn’t. I told mom, and the disappointment was evident. He moved back in with his parents, in Utah. My high school friend invited me to visit her in CA. I went. Met a man in the military, married him 12 days later. I’ll admit it was a desperate move on my part. I didn’t see it then, but I had this need to not be alone, and I wanted my unborn child to be raised by both a mom and a dad. He Said he wanted to be that dad, and I wanted to believe he really did, but I was wrong.  

Long story short, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Married, but all alone, I didn’t feel I had any support from my family. They were all so disappointed in me. My husband gave me an ultimatum, either the baby goes, or we both go. With no lifeline, and a fear of my child being taken away and given to strangers if I left too, I started searching for a family who would adopt her and love her as their own. I found that family, and sent her on her journey to her new family and her new life at one month, one week, and one day old. Although it’s been almost 20 years, and I have had contact, and pictures and visits, there is not a day that goes by that my heart doesn’t ache, and cry out, for her to be mine again. And yet, I know she is where she belongs. She will always be mine, even though she isn’t. 

Almost 3 years later, and still married, I was pregnant again. Depression hit hard…I was not strong enough to raise the first child, how could I find the strength to raise the second. I was fighting a battle within myself that still rages on to this day. 

Not long after giving birth to another beautiful baby girl, my husband took her and left me. The battle stopped being an internal one and I fought for her to be returned me, a few months later I traveled across the country with my little girl to escape and to keep her safe from the abuse that now plagued my marriage. God was watching over me as I divorced him and kept my daughter safe. 

4 years later and living near the town I grew up in, I found myself in love and engaged to the man of my dreams. He knew my past, he knew my struggles, and he loved us both still. We married and he adopted my daughter. He has 3 children, and with my 2 (the one I placed for adoption included), we had 5, but someone has been missing. Infertility and other issues have kept us from having another baby, and so we looked into adoption, but the timing wasn’t right for us. We tried sperm donors, but again, the timing wasn’t right for us. As silly as it sounds to most of the world, I know there is another child waiting to join our family. I have seen him, talked to him in my dreams, I know his name. We know Gods timing is not ours, but I find it so hard, too hard, to be patient. My faith has been tested, and many times I know I have failed that test. 

As we’ve opened our home to people in need, they have adopted us as family, and ties have varied as they move out and move on. Full adoption, step parent adoption, unofficial adoption, all start with choice. Never easy, never to be taken lightly. Natural families have choices too, but it’s not the same. The family who adopted my first born…they chose her. My husband who adopted my youngest…he chose her. The people we have helped…they chose us. Adoption goes both ways.

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