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WAITING FOR BABY: From adopted to adopting

By Ann Tatko-Peterson
Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 at 8:41 am in Adoption.

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(“Waiting for Baby” is a closer look at adoption and my family’s personal experience as we go through the process. It will appear every Wednesday in the aPARENTly Speaking blog.)

Once you decide to adopt, you suddenly discover just how many other lives are touched by adoption, too. I’ve met a lot of people in the past year with some remarkable stories. Most recently, Gina of San Francisco shared hers with me. Now, I’d like to share it with you.

From Gina: My parents adopted me when I was 2 days old. I grew up knowing my birthmother — we met twice and have exchanged letters every year on my birthday. When I was 12 years old, she explained why she put me up for adoption. I never had the insecurities you often read about with some adopted children. My parents gave me all the love I’d ever need. My birthmother gave me the explanation that I needed to hear. My life was really pretty normal.

Then six years ago, I found myself walking in my mom’s shoes. Medical reasons made it dangerous for me to get pregnant. I knew right away that my husband and I would adopt.

My daughter, Kayla, was born almost two years ago. We met her birthmother through a cousin’s friend. Tracy was in college studying to be a nurse. Her boyfriend broke it off when he learned she was pregnant. She chose adoption, and fortunately for us, she chose us to be her daughter’s parents. Tracy still sees Kayla once a year. I e-mail her pictures once a month. I may not understand the emotions she feels, but I can offer her and every other birthmother one reassurance. Adoption is one of the greatest forms of love. We not only choose to have and love a child, we choose to be a part of the birthmother’s life, as well. I grew up strong because I was surrounded in love. I hope Kayla grows up to have this kind of love, too.

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