Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Miracle #2- Hannah
Hello there! My name is Hannah. I was born September 29th, 1999, and I am adopted. I love my adoption story, and I love sharing it with others, so here I am, sharing my story once again. I hope as you read my story, you will be able to see what it really means to be an adopted child in circumstances like mine.
I have always been very open about the fact that I’m adopted. It has never been something I was ashamed about, it was just part of who I am. I have had several conversations with my teachers at school, friends, or just people in general, and they have told me that it is so cool how open I am about being adopted. I think my being so open about it starts at a very young age. I have always known I was adopted. I am often asked when my parents told me that I was adopted, but I honestly don’t know. My sister and I were both adopted and we were always raised knowing about it. When we were little, in our basket of books, we had two children's books about adoption. We read those as often as any other story. I think being open about being adopted from the time I was little has been part of the key reason I am so open and comfortable about being adopted.
Often times, when I tell people that I’m adopted, they give their sympathies with “I’m so sorry,” and “you must hate your birthmother.” And I always am so confused and upset. Why would I hate my birthmother? She made the biggest sacrifice for me. She decided to place me for adoption not because she didn't want me, but because she loved me so much, and knew that what I deserved she couldn’t give me at the time. People don’t seem to understand that adoptions are often times made solely out of love. I understand that some adoptions aren’t as beautiful as mine was, but it seems that the overall view of adoption is often looked at with such negativity, and it kills me because there is not one fiber in me that is upset that I was adopted. I love my birthparents beyond words and have always thought of them as sort of like my own personal heroes. They made the hardest choice they could have to place me with a family, and by doing that gave me everything they couldn’t.
I think the most common misconception about adoption is that the babies are always sent to an orphanage or to a foster home, and often times, adoption is referred to as “throwing the baby away.” In fact, one time when my sister and I were getting check ups at the doctor, the nurse was asking us questions about our health and stuff, and one of the questions, my mom said something to the effect of “You know, we don’t really know because they are adopted.” And the nurse looked at my mom in awe, and said “Really? Who would just throw away beautiful babies like that?” I have never felt like I was simply thrown by the wayside, it was a very carefully thought through decision. My birth parents chose my family. Both my birthparents and my sister’s birthmother said that none of the other files of potential adoptive families felt right, but when they read my parent’s file, they knew that my parents were the perfect fit for me and my sister. Maybe people just don’t realize that the world of adoption has changed hugely for the better since the 1950s where babies were taken from their mothers and the doctor or agency chose who the babies would go to. Fast forward 60 years and adoption is so different. Birthparents not only choose the family for their babies but can have as much contact with their child as they want. There are a lot of different adoption plans, closed, semi-open, open. It is all up to the people who surround and love that child.
My adoption is semi-open, which means that I don’t ever see my birthparents in person, but we are still in contact. We write letters back and forth annually, which I have always loved doing. My birthparents didn’t stay together after their decision to place me for adoption, but they are both married now and have their own kids. When I was about five, my birthfather was told by the agency that I was adopted through that he wasn’t allowed to write letters anymore. We don’t quite know why he was told that but we lost contact with him for about 9 years, and we had no idea why, but last January, we got a call from our bishop (like a pastor or priest if you aren’t familiar with the term) that he had just got off the phone with my birthfather, and that he was wondering if he could start writing to me again. So, last year was the beginning of that new chapter in our lives. I have loved seeing pictures from both of my birthparents, and seeing how well their lives have turned out.
Trying to decide what to say about my birthmother is one of the hardest things, because she has always been there, always part of my life, always constant. I looked forward to her letters and packages that come around my birthday every year. I have always thought of her as like a distant relative and her kids as the little cousins in the family. I love her so much. I have always held her on a special pedestal in my heart. In one of her first letters to us, she expressed how hard it was for her to place me for adoption, and I found myself in tears reading them. On the last page of the first letter written directly to me, part of the paper was wrinkled and thinned, and she had drawn a little arrow to it saying “Pardon the tear stain.” It was so sad. I know that what she did for me was in no stretch easy. I’m sure she questioned if she was making the right choice at least a couple times leading up to me being born. But as time went on and her little family grew, I am sure that the miracles and blessings following my adoption are innumerable.
In the first several letters from both of my birthparents, they both made it a point to explain to me that they both loved me so so much, and that if circumstances were different, they never would have let me go, but it was because of their love for me that they decided to place me for adoption. Reading those letters sends me in tears, because I have no doubt in my mind that they loved me beyond what words can say, and that knowing that they couldn’t give me the life that I deserved, they knew adoption was the only way for me to have that. My birthfather wrote me a letter shortly before my first Christmas, and told me that the Christmas before, he wished to be with my birthmother, and for that Christmas, he wished to hold me again. But like my birthmother, he was also blessed with a wonderful spouse and kids.
There is not a day that has passed since I was old enough to really think or ever will be a day that I don’t think of my birthparents, and the priceless thing that they did for me. I know that the family they chose for me is my family, and that my birthparents made the right choice to place me for adoption, even if it was unimaginable how hard it was for them to make that choice. I am so grateful for adoption, and that I was able to be placed in my family. Without my birthparents, I never would have found my mom and dad, and my sister who is my favorite person on this planet. I can’t wait until the day when I can meet my birthparents face to face and tell them how grateful I am for all they did for me.