Getting Personal

Adoption: Finding My Past

Have you ever felt as though a part of you was missing?

It’s no secret that I was adopted – I can’t even remember being told that I was because it was such common knowledge in my home. When I was old enough to start to really understand what it meant, my parents gave me a half of a necklace, the other half belonging to my birth mom.

Throughout the years, I received some other small gifts – a journal with a note from my birth mom, a bracelet on my 18th birthday – but never any identifying information due to Missouri adoption laws.

As I got older, I got more curious. Shortly before getting married, I looked into what it would take to find my birth mom. At the time of my limited research, it appeared as though without an (expensive) private detective, I was out of luck.

I tried again this Spring, as thoughts of future babies popped into my head, realizing how little I know about my health history, my family, and selfishly, my future looks.

My best friends had always suggested using Facebook, but I shrugged it off. In my eyes, Facebook is a business tool for brands to reach customers, and a tool for every person I went to high school with to announce their engagements and pregnancies. Luckily, after a few glasses of wine on a beautiful February weekend, I caved in and shared my story.

142 shares later, all I had was a timeline full of me in that red dress (thanks, Rent the Runway!), and upset parents for not telling them I was doing this. However, the one plus was that my mom shared this little detail: there was a photo of my parents in my file at the Children’s Home Society. I quickly shot a note to the adoption coordinator my parents worked with and got my first glimpse of my birth parents.

I went back and forth for weeks on whether or not to try one last Facebook post featuring my birth mom, and finally decided to do it. Within 12 hours, I had three people contact me saying they knew who it is, and after a good stalking session across social media, I worked up enough nerve to send her a message. A few hours later, I got my answer – I had found my birth mom.

As I write this, I’m still incredibly overwhelmed that after 28 years, I know who courageously gave me up for adoption. I now know that I was born via c-section, and that my birth mom demanded I stay with her during her recovery, even though it’s not allowed. I know that my birth aunt, who was 8 at the time, made me an Easter basket as they celebrated three days after I was born on Good Friday.

I now know what has been missing all this time.

Getting Personal

Why National Adoption Month is Important

I get it – create a search on Google for “November Holidays” and you’ll find a plethora of options – Aviation History Month, Peanut Butter Lovers Month, National Sleep Comfort month – it’s a little ridiculous. However, there is one diamond in the rough, and I’m not talking about Housewife’s Day (Nov. 3).

Over 100,000 children and youth in the United States are in need of adoption. That’s 100,000 kids without parents. Without someone to love and care for them. Without someone to encourage them to succeed.

Getting Personal

Giving Thanks

Let me be blunt – I am not a fan of the “post something your thankful for everyday on Facebook” nonsense. I’m happy that you have a great family, friends, boyfriend, dog, etc. I do, too. But the things I’m most thankful for might not fall into your standard buckets.

I’m thankful for the teen moms who existed before the MTV show, like my birth mom, who may have had unprotected sex, but was smart enough to realize she could not handle a child and gave me up for adoption, allowing me to grow up in an amazing family with plenty of opportunity.

I’m thankful for AT&T, although they may not have the greatest cell reception or customer service, because they have given my father a job for the past 35 years, allowing him to support my mother and I.

I’m thankful for hockey. Yes, hockey. Hockey has given me something to be passionate about, it brought me and my boyfriend together (no joke, we met at a hockey tournament), and gives me something to connect with friends and family about.

I’m thankful for the Humane Society, Animal Protection Association and all other pet rescue companies. My rescue pup brings an insane amount of joy to my life, and these folks get to give people that same joy day after day.

I’m thankful for the Great Pumpkin (my Eclipse). Without it, I would be unable to go to the job I love every day, visit friends and family, and have some much needed me time with nothing but the radio.

I’m thankful for Martha Foote Crow. If this lovely lady did not decide to start Alpha Phi at Syracuse in 1872, I would not have had the opportunity to grow, lead, and meet some of the most amazing women on earth.

I’m thankful for communications. Communication is such an integral part of my life – my degree (Strategic Communications), my passion (writing), my relationships – that without it, I would not be the same individual I am today.

And yes, I’m thankful for my supportive family, my loving boyfriend, my fantastic friends, and my darling dachshund. But you already knew that.