If I could say just one thing to my birthmother it would be “thank you!” My name is Dan and I was adopted at birth into an amazingly supportive, loving and positive household. I grew up with two amazing parents and an older sister, all who’ve helped shape me into the man I am today. The reason I would say thank you is because without my birthmother’s incredibly selfless decision to put me up for adoption, I would have never known this amazing life I have now.
Growing up I always knew I was adopted and it was never a topic in our family that was off limits. Several of my family members have their own adoption stories. Each very different than my own. Mine began at birth, but for me it starts with a very specific memory. I’m not sure how old I am, but I am sitting on our piano bench across from my parents in a dress (so it must have been a Sunday because I would not be wearing one otherwise) telling me I was adopted, explaining to me what that meant, and asking if I have any questions. My only response, “Nope! Can I go play now!?”
Over the years, I was curious and had questions. My parents always made themselves available to answer my questions or made sure I knew I could go to anyone in our family. My parents never forced the subject, but my mom always seemed to know when to bring up the subject and talk about my adoption even if I didn’t want to. My parents always had positive things to say about my birth mother and her family. They were always honest, caring, positive, serious and provided humor when it was needed. I think their attitude has provided me with the same outlook and a realization that my adoption doesn’t define me. It is a part of my history they have helped me to embrace.
Hello from Jaime, Bobby & Finn!
We’ve always wanted to be parents. It didn’t matter how long or how we got there. After adopting our son Finn, the word love doesn’t even come close to describing how we feel about being parents now. It’s so much more than we ever dreamed of. Helping our kids grow, learn and achieve their dreams is something we’ve wanted more than anything. I absolutely love being a stay-at-home Mom and Bobby is an amazing hands-on Dad. At the same time, we know our family is not complete. We have so much more love to give.
Both of us are super close with our siblings. I grew up the oldest of 4 and Bobby is the middle of 3. The bonds Bobby and I share with our siblings are so special. They’re our best friends and the reason we’ve always wanted a big family.
Bobby and I met while working at Disneyland and have been happily married for 10 years. More often than not, we can finish each other’s sentences and know what the other is thinking with just a glance. I never thought I could spend every day with someone and still want more. As a couple we did almost everything together and that hasn’t changed a bit since Finn came into our lives. He’s a happy, active, fun little man that fits right in. Playing, reading, hiking, traveling, cooking…we love experiencing life together as a family.
Bobby is understanding, loyal, protective, smart, funny, doesn’t take himself too seriously and is the nicest man I have ever met. When we first met, his friends called E.I.B. (Everybody Loves Bobby) which is completely true. He is very active and a kid at heart which is why he plays so well with Finn, our nieces and nephews and even the neighborhood kids. Growing up, Bobby helped his parents and older brother raise Scotty, his little brother who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after birth. He always says it didn’t feel any different than any other family, but looking back at all the love, patience and sacrifices his parents made, it’s pretty clear where he learned to put the needs of a child before his own.
It’s weird for me to talk about myself so Bobby helped with this part. I can say that for most of my life, I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a mom. As the oldest of 4, I enjoyed caring for my younger siblings, just like I do now with our son, Finn. I love being around kids! I like their humor and their willingness to learn and try new things. As a swim teacher, I absolutely loved working with kids, especially the little ones! I really liked seeing their confidence grow. I take great pride in “being there” for my family. I love to read and share my love of books.
Our house is in a quiet Southern California neighborhood with lots of young kids on our street, great schools and plenty of parks and lakes close by. WE have a good sized yard with fruit trees and space to run and play. Finn loves playing in the yard with our 3 year old dog, Loki.
Both of us have very close knit families, with parents, grandparents, siblings and extended families nearby, getting together often for game nights, birthdays or just to hang out. Almost every holiday includes a get together with family including an annual Thanksgiving trip with extended family all packing into one mountain cabin together. It may seem crazy to some, but it’s one of our favorite family holiday traditions…one we wouldn’t trade for the world.
We truly admire the love you must have for your child and the strength you’re showing by putting their needs first…something we’ll strive to do every day for the rest of our lives. We think it is important for our children to know where they come from and they have always been loved and wanted, even before they were born. We look forward to an open relationship with you and are excited to get to know you.
We sincerely wish you all the best with your decision. Thoughts and prayers to you.
Jaime, Bobby & Finn
Carol and Tim helped for a period after the birth of my second son. It was really great to have that support so I could figure out what I needed to do. I found a job about a month later and I applied for loans and grants to go to school for hair and makeup.
My grants and loans came through and I was able to go to school. The loans helped with my school expenses and rent. I eventually graduated and found a job at a salon. It wasn’t easy starting at the bottom or starting my new life out with loans, but I’ve paid my loans down and have a great career that I love.
I now have my own apartment, a car, and some money in the bank. I’m stable and secure and it’s the greatest feeling in the world. I receive pictures and letters from Carol and Tim all the time. I am closer with my sister and mom. My father died years ago and I don’t have a strong relationship with my brothers. I still see and talk to Irene periodically. Her support has been unwavering. She has been the one person who has been honest and kind and has provided the support I needed to help me see if I didn’t change my life I would be stuck in a pattern that wouldn’t get me anywhere in life.
When people learn about my story, they question it. They don’t understand my decision or they don’t even understand adoption.
I can tell you that I do not regret my decision. I know I made the right decision for my boys and they are together because of it. I made an adoption plan for them because it was my responsibility to give them more in life than I could offer and I found that for them in Tim and Carol. Tim and Carol were not strangers to me in the end; we got to know each other and we respect each other.
If I can leave you with any advice…I want you to know that there is nothing shameful or wrong in doing an adoption. Do it for your child and if it’s the best thing for them. Don’t completely rely on others to help. I’ve seen way too much friends who have raised their babies with promises from friends and family that they will help and for a while they do, but then friends and family get caught up in their own lives and they aren’t available anymore. Or friends will offer you a place to live or help but in the end but it comes with strings attached. You need to rely on yourself. You’re the only one that knows what’s best for you and what you need to do to change your life for the best and become someone you are proud of. Be honest and open with everyone in the adoption process. If you don’t, your needs will never be met and you’ll only get frustrated. This process isn’t easy, but it is worth it when you see how happy and healthy your baby is.
My story took me a long time to put into words and describe my feelings. If you’re reading this and considering adoption, I hope my story has helped you. I hope my story has touched anyone that has read it.
I was released from jail with no safe place to go. I didn’t have anything. I didn’t want to go back to the places I was staying with Boyd since none of those places were safe. I decided to call Irene. She picked me up off the street. She helped me with a place to stay until I could find a more permanent place and helped me get my ID.
Once Irene got me settled she was able to take me to the doctors and able to get me an ultrasound. I found out I was four months pregnant and that I was pregnant with a boy. I told Irene I wanted to do an adoption again and asked if Carol and Tim would want to adopt this baby again. Irene told me she would call them and see if this would be possible.
Irene called me back a couple days later and told me that Carol and Tim were very excited to adopt again and to add another child to their family. Carol and Tim were able to meet with me that weekend and they brought pictures of my son, who they named James. It was so great to see pictures of him! James and his brother (Carol and Tim’s other son) got along so well and did everything together. It was so great to see him have fun with another sibling. It was a very emotional meeting for everyone. I was ashamed and sad that I was in a worse position than when I first met Carol and Tim. I could tell they felt bad for me. That I was back in this position again and worse off.
Carol and Tim were financially helping me throughout the pregnancy. This was my chance to start figuring things out. The pregnancy went smoothly. I was able to meet James during this time. I was so happy that I got to meet him and so nervous too. Carol and Tim told me they explained to him who I was and had been telling him his adoption story so he always knew. It made me feel blessed to know that they acknowledged me and placed me in an important part of their lives and James’s.
For the most part, everything was easy with this adoption. I knew how things were going to happen and so did Carol and Tim. The hardest part of this adoption was locating Boyd. The attorney did everything they could to find Boyd, but in the end couldn’t find him.
The day I delivered my second son, Carol, Tim and Irene were all there with me. It was a long birth, but I had support from Carol and Tim. Two days later, I left the hospital without my baby. Irene took me home. Carol and Tim offered but I wanted to be alone. I was leaving the hospital without my baby and didn’t want the pain of saying goodbye again to them after saying my goodbyes in the hospital.
I knew once again, I had made the right decision. The only thing I could give my baby was love, but nothing more. I didn’t have a job or family to help. I had no prospects for the future. I knew I didn’t want to live the life I had been with Boyd. I didn’t want to be a disappointment to my boys or Carol and Tim who had so much faith in me. I didn’t want to become my parents or like my brothers, in and out of jail. I was going to have to figure out something really quick.
[To see how Sandy’s story ends, come back next week for the ending.]
We met at Irene’s office one evening. Thank God for Irene because I think she helped everyone with their nerves. Carol was open and gave my mother and me a hug and so did Tim. I think he was more nervous than any of us! They told me how grateful and excited they were to be meeting us. Irene asked the hard questions for us. I didn’t know really what to ask even though Irene gave me some suggestions to ask. After the meeting, Irene let me know that I would have a couple days to think about my decision and if I had anymore questions to just let her know. I already knew this was the family I wanted.
The adoption process was a little overwhelming. There are people relying on you to make doctor’s appointments and to follow through on different things. Besides my mother, my family wasn’t all that supportive and my dad could have cared less. I was just another disappointment. Overall, during the pregnancy Carol and Tim were great. They came to a couple of my doctor’s appointments. There was a lot more paperwork to fill out too for the attorney that was handling the legal part of the adoption. They also took care of all the paperwork for Keith. He wasn’t difficult about it. He just did what he needed to do to get out of having to deal with our son or me.
I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He was so perfect and beautiful. Carol and Tim were there at the hospital and placing them in their arms was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Carol and Tim stayed there the whole time and visited with the baby and me. It was nice to spend time with them and us before they took him home. Irene was there during my hospital stay. She stayed with me and made sure my family got to spend time with my son and that I got to spend time with him alone. She helped me with my emotions and went over again why I was placing him for adoption.
I knew I was making the right choice for my son, but it didn’t help the pain in my heart as I left the hospital. My stomach was empty and I was in a little bit of pain. My boobs were tender and hurt.
My mother couldn’t pick me up from the hospital and my dad…well I don’t know where he was but my best guess is he was off getting drunk. Irene was the one who took me home from the hospital. When Irene dropped me off and I walked back into my place, I knew I had made the right decision. The place reeked of alcohol and my parents were fighting yet again.
I finished high school and got a job at a drive-in restaurant and moved into a studio apartment with my best friend. It was the best thing to be out on my own away from the hellhole I was raised in. We struggled but we did okay. I started to look into college courses, but I would have to take on student loans. I started putting a little bit of my paycheck away for college. My roommate ended up stealing the money I saved and used it on drugs. We got in a huge fight and I left.
I had nowhere to go and I wasn’t about to go back to my dad and mom’s place. I wasn’t going to let them know I failed or made a choice that didn’t work out. I met a boy named Boyd and it just seemed right with him. I hadn’t let myself get close to anyone after Keith. Boyd was fun and carefree. And we had a lot of fun doing our own thing and hanging out with friends who were all the wrong people. I thought they were my friends. We were in the same bad spot…no permanent home and running the streets and drugs. Boyd knew all the right people and places to go. We skimped by on selling drugs and collected on favors from people.
About seven months after hooking up with Boyd, our lifestyle caught up with us. We got caught shoplifting and we were arrested. I did a quick turnaround since it was my first offense but while I was there I found out I was pregnant once again. This sobered me up real quick. Despite my lifestyle and my current state of being incarcerated, I was having fun with Boyd. We were doing anything we wanted. It was freedom for me and I was addicted to it. But finding out I was pregnant again, sobered me up real quick.
How the hell did I end up back in this situation once again? And I never thought I would be calling Irene again to be helping out of this very crazy situation I was in.
As I laid in bed that night all I could think about was why I shouldn’t do an adoption. How could I just give my baby up? Could strangers really love my baby as their own? I already loved my baby and I thought the best thing would for her to be with me. I kept thinking it would all work out. Keith would come back to me and my family would get me through all this.
That morning my mom kept me behind to talk to me some more. She told me about her friend’s daughter who called an adoption facilitator and ended up doing an adoption. My mom told me she setup a meeting for me to meet with her friend’s daughter, Cassie that afternoon. I can tell you I was so irritated my mom just went ahead and was making me talk to people. I wanted to figure this out on my own and didn’t want to deal with any more people.
Cassie was friendly and open. She shared her experience with me and was going through the same emotions and thoughts I had. She told me she met with Irene at Rainbow’s End and Irene gave her a bunch of information and went over all her options. Irene gave her profiles of families wanting to adopt. She picked a family and she got to meet with the adoptive parents. She really enjoyed that. She said she was sad and it took time after her son was born, but she doesn’t have any regrets about her decision. She said she got pictures and letters and she sees a boy who is really happy and loved. Cassie explained all the reasons why she chose adoption.
I was a little emotional after talking with Cassie and she comforted me and told me it’s normal I should feel the way I do. She said she wasn’t sure of her decision until she met the adoptive parents. She told me she still felt like a mom to her son and she gave him life she couldn’t provide. She said if I wanted to go talk to somebody about adoption, she would come with me. She said she could call the people that helped her. I still wasn’t sure, but after a few days after meeting Cassie, I got of hold of her and asked her if she could call the people that helped her and if she would come. She agreed. My mom wanted to be there too.
I was so nervous to go to the meting. Irene was so open and friendly with my mom and me. She was so happy to see Cassie and they seemed to have a friendship and Irene treated her like anyone else. And treated her with respect. Irene had a ton of questions. Questions that made me think. After going over everything she left me with a ton of paperwork to fill out and some profiles. I kind of just glanced at them but didn’t really look at them.
I’m not kidding when I tell you this part. When I got home I just threw all the papers on the floor not really wanting to look at them yet. It had been a long day and I was irritated with everything and everyone. But when I threw those papers on the floor, one of the profiles separated from the rest of the stack, Carol and Tim. I looked at their profile and I really liked it. I sat there in front of all this paper work and finally decided to look through the profiles. I just couldn’t get Carol and Tim out of my head. They seemed to be everything I dreamed a family should be. They had one adopted child and wanted to have more children and a sibling for their son. Cassie was right, you would just know the family you wanted. You would feel it. And she was right and it is hard to explain, but you just know.
Irene called me after a couple days and asked if I had any thoughts on the families or if I had questions. I told her which family I wanted and Irene said she would setup a meeting for us and get things going. Irene did just that and we had a meeting schedule with Carol and Time the following week.
[Sandy* is a birth mother who has agreed to write her story for us. She broke her story up into six different sections to tell her story. We hope you can find inspiration and guidance from her story.]
I knew I couldn’t tell my parents. There was no way we could afford another mouth to feed and the worst part was facing my dad. I knew my mom would be disappointed and we would deal with it, but my dad would be scary to face. The worst part was Keith stopped talking to me and the rumor was he was already seeing some other girl. I decided to google abortion and get some facts on it and if I could get around telling my parents about the pregnancy. Unfortunately, I needed their permission. And after reading some information, I didn’t know if I could go through with it.
I turned to the one person I thought I could and that was my sister. She wasn’t as understanding as I hoped she would be and she told me to take responsibility. She did go with me to a crisis pregnancy center so I could really know how far along I was. At the crisis pregnancy center they gave me a bunch of information on abortion, parenting, and adoption. My sister believed I should raise my baby. I was confused. I didn’t want to raise a baby on my own and I had so many goals. I wanted away from this life and I didn’t want my kid to be raised the way I was. But I also felt that if I had a baby, I would also have unconditional love from this baby. It was someone I could take care of and maybe I could get Keith back. He would want to be with me again knowing I was carrying his baby. I was really leaning towards raising this baby and getting a job. I mean I could figure it out. Finish school and get a job. My family could help me with the baby.
I went to talk to the school counselor about my situation. I asked her about parenting. She made me realize that a baby isn’t what keeps two people together and that a child won’t provide unconditional love and that’s not a reason to raise a baby. She asked me, how many times do you get mad at your parents? They’ve put you through a lot and you’re about to put another baby through what you went through. We talked about abortion and I told her I don’t think I could do that. I already read about it and our family didn’t agree with abortion. She suggested adoption. I told her I got some information but didn’t really want my baby to be raised by someone else. She gave me some more information and explained that there are so many people that wanted to be parents, but couldn’t have any children on their own. I could help someone become parents. I really wasn’t sure about this. I mean who were these people? Was it even safe to do an adoption? I was still leaning towards raising this baby.
I asked my sister to be there when I told our parents. They were obviously furious at me. They couldn’t believe I could be so irresponsible. My mom was mad and upset. She hoped I would do more with myself. My dad wouldn’t even look at me. I thought his reaction would be worse. He told me I needed to figure it out ‘cause I wasn’t going to be raising a kid there.
After a few days my mom came to me and suggested adoption and if I would think about it. She told me that one of her friend’s daughters just put her baby up for adoption and it seemed like a really good option for me if I wanted more for myself and to be able to stay here. She said she would talk to my dad about it and would talk to me about it tomorrow.
[Sandy* is a birth mother who has agreed to write her story for us. She broke her story up into six different sections to tell her story. We hope you can find inspiration and guidance from her story.]
I never thought I would ever place my babies for adoption, ever. And I never thought I would place more than one for adoption. I know what you’re thinking. I’ve heard the comments from my friends and family. They didn’t make it easy on me at all by asking why would you do this? What the hell are you thinking? You can’t just give away your kids. I gave them a better life and when I get my pictures and updates from their parents, I know I did the right thing.
My name is Sandy and this is my story…
My childhood wasn’t a happy one. I was the youngest of four kids and we were poor livin’ in a two bedroom apartment. We lived off of welfare and random jobs my mom did. My dad was an abusive alcoholic. He rarely worked and when he did the money went to alcohol. I think it was his goal to make us all suffer. I don’t know. My mother was weak. She didn’t do anything to leave my dad or ever stand up to him. Not even when he would beat us up. We all tried to stay out of his way when he was wasted, but he would find one of us and beat us til he thought it was enough.
Growing up I used to daydream for something better. Something like those Disney movies where everyone had great parents and a better life. Some nights we went to bed hungry. We were dragged to outreach programs so we could get free dinners. We shopped at the Goodwill for all our clothes. By the time, I reached high school, my brothers ran with the neighborhood gangs and my sister was getting ready to leave home. She wanted as far away from my parents. She hated them both. I don’t blame her. Our dad was abusive and our mom was weak and she hated our mom for that.
High school was whatever. I was shy probably because I had no self-esteem. We were poor, I didn’t wear the best clothes, and I was abused. I had a couple of friends, but I never let them come over. I wanted out of this place as soon as possible and the only way I was going to do that was graduate from high school and get a job somewhere. I guess my circumstances led me down the path I went.
I started dating this guy, Keith*. He was a typical guy, but he paid attention to me. I never knew what that was like since no one ever paid attention to me. I never let Keith come to my house. We always meet at his place or a park. Wherever we could meet up. I liked him. He was nice to me and treated me nice. After hanging out for awhile, Keith invited me back to his place. Before I knew it we were hooking up. I remember not really wanting to, but I didn’t want him to get mad at me or stop hanging out if I didn’t. We hooked up a few times and then I missed my period.
When I told Keith I missed my period and my pregnancy test came back positive Keith freaked out. No joke. The guy blamed me for getting pregnant. He said there was no way he wanted a kid and that his parents would go ballistic. I got pissed and told him you think I can go home and tell my parents? I’m screwed. He didn’t care though. I was on my own and I had to figure out something quick.
*names have been changed
Irene and Danielle,
Thank you for helping me become a mom. Today was a beautiful day and I feel so lucky to be a mom. I texted our birth mother a “Happy Birth Mom Day” text with a picture today. But I wanted to tell you both thank you sooooo much for helping make my dream come true of being a mom and having a family. I hope you had a great day too. Hugs!