My Adoption Story – Part One

I’ve always known that I was adopted. I don’t ever even remember being told, there was just never a time I didn’t know.

In developing this blog, one thing that I really want to keep focused on is being an open and honest writer. While there are certainly things that are off limits, there are also things that I feel like I need to share in order for you to really understand who I am, and what I could possibly have to offer.

I am here to motivate, inspire and encourage you…and to make you laugh. To do that, I feel that it is important that you see me as a person; as a woman who laughs and cries, succeeds and fails, and as a woman who struggles with her own issues…on a daily journey toward joy.

The following is part of that journey.

I was born in Germany, to a 23-year-old* American woman who, for whatever reason, didn’t want to, or couldn’t, take care of me. I was  born though, so in my mind, she fulfilled her job in my life. She had me. She didn’t have to, but she did…and then she did another amazing thing. She gave me away.  Going through the process of carrying and delivering a baby, I can tell you, it must have been agonizing for her to know I wouldn’t be going home with her, regardless of her situation. She is a good person. I know her first name, and for blog purposes, I will call her Alexa*. That is all I know.

Like I said, I’ve always known that I was adopted. It was never really a big deal to me, growing up in the Air Force all over the world, everyone looked different from everyone else anyway. There was so much diversity that it was never an issue that I wasn’t my parent’s biological child.

Adoption is so cool, because everyone’s stories are so different. My adoption was a closed adoption, which means that after the 2 month, (or so, I’m not totally sure, and this was in Germany) waiting period, my adoptive parents (Mom and Dad CYL) took me home and there was no further contact with my birth family. Not all adoptions are like that. I’ve known people who talk weekly to their birth families, people who send and receive pictures, people who were adopted out of social services, and people who were adopted from orphanages. Every story is so unique, and up until about 7 years ago, I would have told you my experience was the ideal situation for adoption.

I first remember thinking about finding my birth mother when I was in high school. I was having some serious health issues and had to undergo extensive medical testing to rule out conditions that wouldn’t have been necessary, had I known my family medical history.

The desire to find her came and went, without any real research.

The next time I had the desire to locate my birth mother was when I found out I was going to be a mother myself. Every time I went to the doctor for OB checkups, they would ask about my medical history. It confuses doctors when you say that you don’t know, even when it’s been charted 10 times the reason why. During my pregnancy, I would have liked to have a medical history…but when it came down to it, it didn’t really matter all that much.

Then something changed.

The first time I felt my tiny Bean kick in my belly, I thought about my own birth mother. She had, at one time, felt me kick inside of her. As I grew larger (and larger) I often wondered who this woman was…where she was, what she was like, what she looked like.

When my Bean was born, she looked like me. Well, after that alien-baby look faded…she looked like me. It was strange, because no one else looks like me, and I don’t look like anyone else, either. My birth mother was on my mind often those first few years.

I did a little searching every now and then. Google. Facebook. MySpace. Nothing ever came up. It’s tough when the adoption process took place in a foreign country, was completely closed, and then not researched at all  for over 20 years. I began to feel something was missing in my life. An identity of my own, of sorts…just wasn’t there.

Where did I come from?

Jump forward to recent history, almost 2 years ago. I met someone who is very, very special to me. This person grew up with her biological mother, but not her biological father. When she was a teenager, her mother told her who her father was, and her step-father helped her locate where he was, as well as contact information for him. For whatever reason, this amazing young woman decided to contact her father. A relationship developed, along with relationships with all of her father’s family. She became a part of that family, as if she always had been.

Shortly after that, her father passed away suddenly, and without warning.

I had heard her story before I actually met her. It broke my heart. After I met her, it made my heart melt. By choosing to be brave and find her father, she had a chance to meet him, love him and become a part of his family. It didn’t matter how much time they had, her bravery, and his love gave them time they never would have had otherwise…and a lifetime of love from his family.

All of a sudden, my own birth mother’s mortality was something that dawned on me. Until that point, I always thought I could find her whenever it made sense to me. Now, I wondered if I’d waited too long.

A thousand questions began to develop in my mind. Who is this woman who had given me away? What is she like? Am I like her in any way? Could some of my quirks be something passed down? What color eyes does she have? Where does my mousey brown hair come from? Do I have siblings? Would she want to know me? …or her own biological grand-daughter? If she would want to…would I be willing to let go and accept that I really have no idea what I may find? Would I be able to put myself and my daughter through that? If not, would I always regret it?

Months went by. I wasn’t sure what to do. I talked about it, slept on it, and cried over it…and a decision was made.

I’ll tell you about that choice, and the lessons I’ve learned from it…on Monday.

*Updated 10/25/11

23 Comments to “My Adoption Story – Part One”

  1. Jamie, I just read your email to me and immediately popped over to read this post. I am so intrigued by your story and cannot wait to learn more!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your blog with me. 🙂 I am looking forward to reading more of your story.

  3. Jamie – Good post – will check back on Monday (I am the other author on the adopted ones – Shadow is the author of the post you read).

  4. what an amazing story, jamie! my husband and i talk all the time about adopting (both by choice and because we have dealt with fertility issues in the past) and i think it is such a wonderful option and a selfless act by mothers who make the greatest sacrifice in providing their child a better life.

    • Hi Kathleen…I’m not trying to hijack Jamie’s post but I’d just tell you that before you adopt, read other blogs written by adult adoptees to get a better understanding of what you may be in for if you do decide to go that route.

      • Christina, I totally agree! I’m sure she’s looking into all avenues…and Monday’s post will shed some light on the not-so-sunny side of being an adult adoptee. There certainly are a lot of factors to think about and it’s so important to understand all sides!

  5. You are amazing for sharing this! I am looking forward to reading more!

  6. Looking forward to reading more Monday. Thanks for reading my post. Shadow

  7. Cannot wait to hear more on Monday! I would be very curious if I were you.

  8. want to read more.i to knew my birth mother she didnt raise me.never knew my father,when i was 40 years old i found 2 brothers ,went to grave site where my father was buried .and found his brothers and sisters.met my birth mother was also adopted ,i never knew her family and the people that adopted her are the ones that raised me ,so i really have never found any thing really about either side ,i say you find out any thing you can about your biological father and mother you wont be sorry,also i truly hope your adoptive parents were the best.

    • Daisy…I found my “birthmother” at the age of 30. She had 2 natural children after my birth with a man she married about 18 months after my birth. I wished to thank her for the courage to give me life…but why in the world did she “leave me with the people she selected.” Now…she has passed away…the two siblings are nasty as they have stated: you remind of us of what mother did. I agree, as a Biologist…that genetics speak loudly to what we will become and to provide to our offspring. As for my adoptive parents…they were a disaster.

      • I’m so sorry to hear that your experience was not a positive one. Everyone has such a different story, and I think our stories play a huge part in our lives. I hope that you can find peace with yourself, even though this part of your story isn’t great. I told myself from the beginning that no matter what I found…I am still me. Genetics are huge, I agree…but I decided that I wouldn’t allow what I found to change who I am. I wish you well and appreciate your comment.

  9. As an adoptive mom I find your blog very interesting.I was so blessed with my beautiful daughter, who is now married with children of her own.I know she loves us as she has told us this . However every year her birthday comes around she really struggles.Gets very depressed and to be honest makes life miserable for all of us.I realize this cant be helped and my heart goes out to her.Please any advise would be welcome. She never wants to talk about it. She always says its not something anyone else would understand.

    • Thanks for reading! Has she always acted this way or is it recent that she feels this way around her birthday? There are SO many variables when it comes to how an adoptee feels. I do agree that it can feel like no one else understands though. Has she any interest in finding her birthparents?

  10. Hi , From about the age of 13. 14. It worries me how depressed she gets.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that. Again, there are so many variables and I am not an expert. If she is grown now…it is probably going to have to be her own choice to make a change in her emotions during her birthday time. The only suggestion I have would be to see if she was willing to go to counseling with you to try to work through any of the problems/heartaches she is facing about her adoption. I wish you the very best!

  11. I should have said she has met he father ,and he has visited her home . Her birth mother and her talk on the net. no meeting as yet.

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