Monday, April 6, 2009

Adoption April : Why I was adopted

So this is the beginning of the Adoption April series that I decided to do. If you didn't see my post about it and the topics I'll be covering about my personal adoption, check it out here. The first topic I wanted to touch on was the reason why I was adopted in the first place. A little back story on my family is necessary since I will be talking about them these next few Mondays.

My mom passed away after a four-year battle with breast cancer on April 6, 2006. Oddly enough that is today, the beginning of "Adoption April". I know my mom would have loved the fact that I'm sharing my story with so many people. I have a 20-year old brother whom I will refer to as "T". My father and I currently have a very strained relationship, but before my mom passed things were fine. My family used to be the "perfect" nuclear family, according to many standards. My parents were always happy, and we were more than blessed in the community where I grew up. I grew up in a Christian home and went through a Christian K-12 school system. So that's a little background of the fam, now onto why I was adopted.

First and most obvious, my parents couldn't have children. I have been told that not having children of her 'own' was one of my mom's biggest 'regrets' in her short life. My parents tried a lot of different ways of getting pregnant but my mom's body wouldn't allow her to produce a child, and she had to have a complete hysterectomy in her twenties. They began to look into other options.

I think this is why whenever I stumble onto a blog about a woman trying to get pregnant I feel a twinge of pain in my heart. Sometimes I think maybe this is how my own mom felt while struggling with the fact that she could not get pregnant. I couldn't imagine when everyone else around you is having children, and you want to have one so badly, how much your heart must ache. It would be miserable, and I feel like I can understand the pain some might be dealing with because I remember my mom telling me about the pain it caused her. I can't imagine wanting something so bad and knowing it won't happen for you like you planned. My mom told me sometimes she felt like she failed but I knew she hadn't. I knew that the struggle she endured only made her a stronger person.

When they realized my mom couldn't get pregnant, my parents then decided to explore adoption. The fees associated with adoption are costly, and I am glad my parents could afford it at the time. One of the first steps in their adoption process was to create books. Prospective parents created these photo books to 'show/share' with birth mothers that you are legitimate people. The books also described their hobbies, the church they were involved with and had pictures of them and their dogs. It is a glimpse into the prospective parents lives. I have seen these books and they are fun to look through. I couldn't imagine being pregnant and looking through the books and wondering "if my baby would fit in" with this family, but it gives you a sense to the family, their beliefs, their story, and their extended family.

My parents were on the waiting list for a baby for quite some time. They prayed about getting a child. They hoped. They waited. They had no idea when and if they would ever get a child to adopt.

My mom was shopping at Costco when my aunt called her. The adoption agency had called my aunt to tell her that they had a baby waiting for my mom at the hospital. That baby was me. My mom was shocked. There was no talk of her and my dad getting a baby anytime soon. They didn't have any names picked out. They were not prepared for me, but they were still so excited to have me.

After my mom passed away, my grandpa let me listen to the the voicemail she left for him, and it will forever be etched in my memory. Since then somehow it was eaten on the machine, but I will never, ever forget her voice on that message. The love that oozed from her tone, the excitement, the nervousness. It was all there, and it was all about me, being able to go home with her and my dad, and the beginning of a family.

I was born close to where I grew up and was incredibly small when I was born so they had to make sure that I was healthy and okay to go home. I will get into why it was a surprise when I talk all about my birth parents in an upcoming post but my parents were surprised but so happy that they finally had a baby.

Adoption allowed them to have the joy of having a child, even if I came to them in a non-traditional way. My parents' prayers had been answered and they were surprised and shocked all at the same time. Now they had a baby to take care of . In the whirlwind of events that had taken place, their lives had completely changed. Though I was originally named Baby Girl Anderson, my parents quickly picked out my name from a list they had compiled for the past years while trying to have a child. I have two birth certificates, and one literally says my first name is Baby and my Middle name is Girl and my last name is Anderson.

My parents took me home from the hospital and I lived with them for a year and a half before being officially adopted on January 23, 1987. In order to make everything official you have to go down to an LA courthouse and sign paperwork and take vows in front of a judge. Obviously I was too little to remember my own adoption, but I do remember my brother's adoption and traveling to the courthouse.

After the papers were signed I legally was my parents 'child'. Though my adoption day made it 'legal', I consider myself to be my parents child from the day I entered their life and we became a family back on the day I was born at the hospital.

Next Monday I am excited to talk about how I was raised and how adoption was an integral part in my life. What my parents did and how we address my adoption was important to me and I'm excited to share it with you guys. The last adoption post will be about Q&A that anyone has, so if you have any questions, feel free to email me @ (danicakoo) @ (gmail) (dot) (com)

xoxo

PS Tomorrow I will post my race report from the weekend! :)

84 comments:

Shannon said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I know this is just the first post of many to come, but I've never met anyone who was adopted and I've always been curious.

Beanaritadotcom said...

Awesome story. I have some extended family that were in the same boat and adopted. Their stories are very similar - it's a long, emotional and costly process but they were extremely excited when they adopted their new baby girl.

Thanks for sharing!

Nessa said...

Thank you for sharing, this is awesome. Im looking forward to more!! =)

X-Country2 said...

I've been looking forward to this post all morning. :o)

Excellent story, very well-written, and I already know to get the kleenex out for the rest of the series.

Mojito Maven said...

I am so glad you are doing this series!!!!! You are THE BEST! *HUGS*

runsarah said...

Thank you SO much for sharing. Looking forward to future installments.

Kelly said...

A very cool story. My cousin was adopted from China, so I'm really interested in the whole process, and I think it's a wonderful experience for the child and the parents.

A Toronto girl out West said...

Danica,

I love this!! Thank-you so much for posting it.

I have often thought that I may consider adoption in the future. This post is a brilliant example of why!

It warmed my heart! :o)

Gracias!

Karen

kilax said...

What a great start to the story! I am so excited to keep reading. What a true blessing you were. And what a surprise it must have been for your parents! Can you imagine the look on their face with the foudn out? I bet it was one of the best days of their lives :)

Ashley said...

I'm looking forward to the rest of your posts. Thanks for sharing!

jessie said...

I think that it's really amazing that you're sharing this with everyone. I can't wait for the upcoming posts so I can learn more about you and your story.

Legallyblondemel said...

Terrific post. Thank you for sharing.

Laura Lives Fabulously said...

Thank you very much for sharing! My husband is adopting and we are wanting to adopt atleast one child in the future. I love your story!

Amber said...

Thanks so much for sharing that story, this is SO cool! I can't wait to hear more :-)

skinnyrunner.com said...

what an interesting story, cant wait to hear more!

Mrs. Newlywed said...

I am so glad you are doing this!

As you know we're going to end up adopting, and while I have a number of friends who are adopted themselves it is nice to hear another point-of-view.

so excited for these posts!

Brooke said...

I'm so excited to read all of your adoption posts!

http://gokristen.wordpress.com said...

This is great, I can't wait for the upcoming posts on this.
I know that if I ever have a hard time getting pregnant that I will adopt...that....and I don't have a real desire to be pregnant :-)
Weird...i know....

Oz Runner said...

great post...your adoptive parents sound like wonderful people...thanks for sharing

Lou Lou said...

I just loved reading this and I can't wait for next week's post!

The Happy Runner said...

OK, I got halfway through this and had to stop because I am crying. I will be back. When I'm feeling less emotional :-)

I'm so glad you are writing about your adoption. I think it is terrific.

Mrs. Smith said...

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful adoption story - it brought (some pretty serious) tears to my eyes. I am a social worker who has worked in foster care/adoption and whose best friend is adopted. I have the possibility of having some fertility issues of my own, and adoption is a very real future for me. Your story is extremely touching and I look forward to reading more of Adoption April!

D10 said...

I can't wait for the next posts about you adoption. We celebrate the day we met Morgan and not "plane day" or the day she was officially ours as signed by the courts. To me she was officially mine from the moment I saw her.

Kim said...

Thanks for sharing.

Mrs. D said...

I think it's great you are doing this series! I can't wait to read more!
Have a great week! :)

RunToFinish said...

in love with these posts already. thank you so much for sharing them!!

Lacy said...

I'm hooked!! What a beautiful story! We are currently going through infertility, so adoption is something I think about often. It is so neat to be able to see it from the other side, through your eyes. I can't wait to hear more. Thank you for sharing your story!

Texan Couture said...

Thanks for your sharing your story, I look forward to following it!

d.a.r. said...

Thank you for sharing this personal story!

lindsay said...

love the story. can't wait for what's to come! love that they really put 'baby girl' for a short while. maybe mr. r can call you that too:)

Ms. V. said...

Oh sweetie, that was beautiful, and what a way to honor your mom today.

I'm pretty sure you were in your Mom and Dad's family long before you took your first breath...they just hadn't met you yet.

Wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

Marlene said...

Thanks for sharing a little bit about your story. I'm so glad things worked out well for you and your family.

I also think it's pretty cool that you have a "Baby Girl Anderson" bitch certificate.

Tara said...

Danica, this is truly amazing and wonderful that you are shairng this part of your life with fellow boggers! I've always thought adoption requires an amazing heart and love of life. It seems like your parents have all that and more. Looking forward to hearing more about you and your family :)

onelittlejill said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful journey. I was looking foward to it!!

My best friends mother passed away in May 2006 from what started as breast cancer but ended as "all-over" cancer. I do not know the personal struggle of losing one's mother, I just know the pain of watching my friend go through it was one of the hardest things. I think it is wonderful that these posts began on what will always be a very stand-out day for you.

Amanda said...

Wonderful story, I can't wait to read more. It almost made me cry thinking about you listening to that voicemail from your mom, and how excited they must have been to get that phone call!

aron said...

thank you so much for sharing danica!!! i see where you get your big heart from :) what an amazing story and i cant wait for the rest of the posts!

Newlywed Next Door said...

This is so great! Thanks for sharing your story! I can't wait to hear the rest!

Marlene said...

I can't believe I said "bitch certificate" - where do you get one of those anyway?? lol

bri said...

thanks so much for sharing your story!

littlesack said...

thanks for sharing this. looking fwd to next week's post/.

Denise said...

I have chills and tears in my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait until next Monday!

Lucky in Love said...

What a great story to share! You were their miracle baby girl :)

Megan said...

As a new reader to your blog I love that you are sharing your story. I can't wait for the rest of your adoption posts! Thanks for sharing!

Niki said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing:)

Christine said...

What an awesome story...so far. So sorry about the loss of your Mom. I know what that must have been like for you and it always hurts....even years later.

Tania said...

This is such a beatiful story! I'm excited to read the future ones! Thanks for sharing!

Melanie said...

Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed reading this and look forward to the rest!

Running Through Life said...

How very cool of you to share. I look forward to reading more.

Marci said...

Thank you so much for sharing, you should become a spokesperson for the benefits of adoption.

J said...

Thanks for sharing!!!!!!

RunningLaur said...

Love the post. Thanks so much for sharing!

Fair Weather Runner said...

WOW, thanks for sharing, I was captivated when I saw your post that you were going to write about adoption. I'm one of those women who can't conceive easily (and for various reasons have decided to stop trying), and yes it is heartbreaking. My husband and I are starting the adoption process soon, within a year possibly. So it's amazing for ME to hear it from your end. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to the rest of your posts! I have quite a few adopted family members, some from other countries, some from cities right next to our family... it's amazing!

Kristen said...

I can't wait to hear more of the story! Thank you for sharing something so personal.

Cindy said...

wow, thanks for putting your story out to share with us. i'm looking forward to reading more :)

Marathon Maritza said...

Oh, I loooooooved reading this! How touching and wonderful that have such a great family! I love your transparency on this topic, which I'm sure many are curious about.....thank you for sharing!

I can't wait to read more!

Liana said...

i loved reading this. im sending you big hugs for writing this and thinking of your mother today xoxo

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

Such a great post. Thanks for sharing. Sorry about your dad and hope everything works out ok.

Billy Burger said...

Love this.

Alisa said...

Thanks for sharing!

I'm in the same boat as some others...drying my eyes with a tissue.

Sooooo heartwarming that your grandpa let you listen to the phone message.

I can't wait to hear more about your story. You are so very brave for sharing something so personal.

Next run I go on, I'll dedicate a mile or two to your mom...she sounded like a great lady!

unathleticrunner said...

Thanks for sharing this with us.
You are a strong gal.

Nicole said...

thank you soo much for sharing! its thoughtful for you to share such a personal story :)

A Balancing Act in Heels said...

What an inspirational story. Thanks so much for sharing!

Sarah said...

wow it was wonderful to read along on your journey!

That Pink Girl said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing story. God makes families all kinds of ways and He has a way of making sure we all end up where we are supposed to be! Looking forward to next Monday...

J said...

All I have to say is WOW. After reading the first part I hope that someday you are able to have children of your own and experience what you mother felt like when she took you into her life! How did your parents decide on your name?

Milltini said...

Wow, you are so awesome to share this. And its also a great way to honor your Mom's memory. She sounds like an amazing woman and a wonderful role model for you to grow up with!

Sharneysrun said...

Thank you for sharing- your mom sounds like the sweetest lady ever! I'm looking forward to the rest of the story :-)

The Laminator said...

Thanks Danica for sharing your story! That was very well written and very inspiring. For a pediatrician like me who specializes in a lot of adolescent woman issues, including future fertility, it was awesome to hear how well your adoption story turned out. I'm very fascinated since I have quite a few young women under my care who because of various medical conditions will not be able to conceive on their own. I hope to be able to share your story with them one day. Thanks.

The most popular questions I get about adoption is 1) How should a parent begin the process of "telling" the child that he/she was adopted, and 2) does being adopted ever make you feel different from other kids in terms of relationship with parents? If so, in what way?

If you can comment on those questions as viewed from your perspective, it'd be great. Thanks.

FLYERS26 said...

My father was an orphan, and never talked about any of it.
I would like to know if he had any brothers/sisters, who his parents were, etc..

Ted said...

I am newbie to your blog and cannot recall if I ever did visit your blog in the past. Too many to count. Off the point, Congrats on getting the book "50/50" from that Pink Girl of Texas. Enjoy the book....

I was in complete awe when I read your post. You touch my heart. One thing I do appreciate the fact is your openness. Thank you so much for sharing about this and do look forward to your future post. Your mother sounds like a truly wonderful individual who went for the extra mile to bring so much happiness in your life.

Glenn Jones said...

Danica - thanks for sharing. This is such a heartwarming story.

ilovesteaks said...

Can't wait to read your next post! Thanks for sharing.

Tara Gibson said...

awesome story girl.. thank you for sharing this with us! I cant wait to read more!

Sarah Danielle: Jeune Marie said...

I am adopted!! I shared a bit of my story on my blog a few months ago now!!

http://jeunemarie.blogspot.com/2008/09/tagged.html

Carolina Girl said...

Thanks so much for sharing this story! I've always thought adoption is so awesome, and who knows, I'm 35 - I may someday adopt if I don't or can't have children in the next few years. What a great story. PS I also went to a Christian school from K5 to 12th grade. Most of the time, I enjoyed it. ;)

Thanks for all the running motivation!! <3

Crazyisa said...

I look forward to your next post. Thanks for sharing that... and all your running stuff as well.

Ashley said...

This is an awesome story - I'm looking forward to reading more about your adoption!

Lauren said...

thanks for sharing your story. I love that you were "Baby Girl" :) So sweet.
looking forward to reading more

N.D. said...

what a great story. AWww.
I can't imagine the sadness associated with not being able to have a child when you want one so badly. You brought your parents much joy!

*~! megs !~* said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

As I've said on my blog, adoption is starting to look more and more like our option for our family. And we're completely ok with that. My hubs is actually adopted and I know how his went, but I love hearing from others who've been touched by adoption.. Can't wait to hear more!

Mrs. Jetplane said...

thank you so much for sharing this.

Run For Life said...

I really enjoyed reading this since my sister is adopted it's nice to hear the other side. I loved the part about the message your grandpa saved! I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. :)

The Reality of Happily Ever After said...

I love it... sorry it took so long to comment, I've been on a blogging vacay!

I love this story and can't wait to read more... You are totally inspiring!

P.O.M. said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm excited to read all about it. I'm just catching up.