My story is not all that unique.  After all, a lot of children have been adopted.  I just want to share the incredible gift adoption has been in my life.

As an adopted child, I never felt that my birth mother had abandoned me.  Instead, I have known my entire life that I was an answer to my parents” prayers.  I was chosen.  I was cherished. I was the only child in my class who had both parents at every single function I was ever a part of – from school programs to track meets.  Most of my friends wanted my parents to adopt them!  I always felt just a bit more “special” than anyone else who was not adopted.  My parents always treated me and my two adopted siblings as precious gifts in their lives.

I was adopted in 1962, during a time when all adoptions were “closed.”  Because of this, I never knew much about my birth mom or dad.  And yet, I have always felt a deep connection to my birth mother.  Of course, I was completely in love with my parents.  I can”t even begin to put into words the depth of love I have for my mom and dad.  But when I looked in the mirror at age 16 (the age she was when she gave birth to me), I knew beyond any doubt that I looked exactly like her.  I can”t explain why… I just knew.  I was able to meet her later in life (at age 32), and I discovered that I actually do look exactly like this amazing woman.

Now I consider myself to be twice blessed.  I have the love of two mothers – one who gave me life, and one who gave me a wonderful, loving home.  I am so grateful that my birth mother was brave enough to give me life and then to let me go into the arms of my adopted family.  I know that, despite my beginnings, I was meant to be here.  My life has made a difference – not only for my parents, my two children, my friends and other family members, but for the thousands of children whose lives I have touched through my life”s work.  Today I am the CEO of a non-profit counseling and assessment program that also provides support for foster care in our region.

No, adoption is not abandonment.  It is the most courageous, loving act any human being can offer another.  It is the gift of a chance at a better life.