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When you know better.

It’s 1999 and a 23-year-old woman was considering placing her baby for adoption. She was a single mom of two and had her mother’s support to consider adoption. She and her mother were looking at profiles but kept saying the same thing, “nothing clicked”.

The adoption coordinator at that time, according to her notes suggested she meet a family to see what she thought. The coordinators next note was “Meeting was cordial, but I left with concerns about this match”. The expectant mom was looking for a Christian family, and no one was what she was looking for. Her pregnancy was progressing, and time was running out.

That next weekend, ASC took a call from a prospective adoptive couple that had just delivered a 7-month-old baby that did not make it. It was their second attempt at IVF and after this loss, were devastated. 

This adoptive family was Christian, they did not just say they were Christian, they practiced it. Without even hesitating, a home study was started and within 7 days, a baby was born and immediately put to the adoptive mom’s breast, since she was able to lactate from her recent pregnancy. 

ASC felt like they helped the birth mom find the right family, finally a Christian family that she had been waiting for. ASC felt like they were able to give this family a baby.

The home study actually read from this era: “adoptive mom and dad state that they are planning to be fully open with their child about their adoption. They believe that the time frame to do this is when a child is much older but will readily answer questions should their child have questions at a younger point then this.” I read on further down “they state that they would be more than supportive of their child if they would like to eventually do a search for their biological roots when they reach the appropriate age.” 

Fast forward to 2020.

That baby is now a young man and was just recently told he was adopted. The adoptive mother stated that it just never was the right time. It was never appropriate, I guess. She stated, “some people would get into our business and tell him they think he’s adopted, but we never confirmed it”. I could not get an idea from her whether she felt guilt from withholding this information about her son. At this point, I just wanted to speak to him myself. 

He had a very deep voice and talked slow like he had all the time in the world for this call. He seemed nervous, maybe shy and asked if his birth mother knew we were talking. He stated that he used to have a photo of his biological mother and siblings, but it disappeared years ago. I do what I usually do and asked him, “do you want me to share things, or do you want to ask me things”. He replied, slowly, “I want you to tell me.” I opened his file and told him. 

He is now in reunion with is biological mother, ½ sister and full brother. His grandmother has since passed. We are still going, still doing our best. We cannot change the past, but we can be better. In the words of Maya Angelou, “When you know better, do better.”

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