I grew up in a very diverse family. I have three brothers of which, all but my oldest brother, are adopted. We have a very loving and great mother and father, who gave all of us a life full of opportunity and prosperity while also teaching us hard work and the importance of a good education.
We have always known that we were adopted from birth. My mother took it upon herself to make sure that the three of us knew and understood that we have birthmothers who made the hardest and most selfless decision and sacrifice any individual could ever be faced with. Our birthmothers have always been held in the utmost respect and we have always kept a prayer in our hearts thanking God and these amazing women for bringing our family together.
My experiences over the past few months have really caused me to pause and reflect on the many, many miracles that have happened in my life. Before I was adopted my adoptive parents had heard about a pregnant girl in Arizona that was interested in giving her unborn daughter for adoption. After months of travel and anticipation the day came for the birth of their daughter, but immediately after the birth my parents were notified that the girl had changed her mind and they never heard from her again. They were heartbroken.
After a lot of counsel with their attorney in Arizona, they came to the conclusion that there was nothing they could do to pursue her. However, the attorney knew of another young woman who was considering giving up her son for adoption. My parents, once again, became very excited. The closed adoption laws in the state of Arizona made it difficult to learn much about her, but they were able to learn that she was 14 at the time of my birth, she was a cheerleader, and her name was Brie.
While my mother stayed in Arizona to finalize my adoption, my father was in Canada finalizing my, soon to be, brother’s adoption. We are three months apart but we were brought back to our first home in Boise, Idaho together.
Although we grew up to become two completely different people, we were, and still are, very close. My mother would come get us in the morning and find our cribs pulled together and us sleeping in the same crib. When we got a little older my brother found a way to bypass the child safety lock on the children’s Tylenol and we enjoyed two whole bottles before my mother discovered us. Like most teenagers, we had a few rough patches in high school but we grew out of them and I consider him to be one of my best friends.
As we grew up, we had many conversations about if and when we would seek out our birthmothers. My brother was always very certain that he wanted to, but I was a little apprehensive. My love and loyalty towards my adoptive mother and father is very strong and, although they always encouraged me to follow my heart, it was very difficult for me to decide whether or not to seek out my birthmother for fear it would hurt them.
When we were 21 my brother made the decision to meet his birthmother, because his adoption was more open and there had been continuing contact between her and my adoptive parents it was very easy to set up the meeting. That summer, while we were on vacation in Utah, my brother had a very emotional and happy meeting with the woman who gave him up for adoption. We spent the next week getting to know her, her husband, and their children. It was a great experience to be a part of and I will never forget it. It was the experience that drove me to find my birthmother.
A few months later, I had a long discussion with my mother about finding my birthmother. Before I decided to go through with the decision, I needed to know without a doubt that my mother was happy with the decision and that she supported it. She reassured me of her love and support and we started the search. We contacted the attorney used in the adoption, only to find out that he shredded all his records after 15 years. We contacted the state court but we were just pushed from answering machine to answering machine without any return calls or any real progress. As the years past, I posted on a few different Arizona message boards designed for those seeking lost relatives and adoptive family members but my busy school schedule and personal life kept me from really digging in.
At the age of 23, I got the opportunity to marry my best friend and soul mate. We fell in love very soon after we began dating 2 years prior and experienced many things together that tightly knitted our bond into an unbreakable companionship. My wife and I had many nights talking about our lives and how strange and miraculous it is that things work out the way they do. How one decision, made 23 years in my past, could have drastically altered every single piece of my life.
After being married for a year and a half, we were blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby girl. My love for her grows more and more every day. I could never imagine my life without her. This love made me realize that there was a woman out there that felt the same feelings for me and yet has never met me nor spoken to me.
One night my wife and I discovered a program through the state of Arizona where a Confidential Informant is hired to find adoptive relatives. We immediately reached out to one to help me find my birthmother. Once I got off the phone with the informant I was sure that she was going to be able to find my birthmother. I was flooded with emotions. What if my birthmother doesn’t want to meet me? What if she has her own family and I was kept a secret? These questions continued to fill my mind and shadow my desire to continue to find her.
As the next few weeks past, our informant requested many documents from us, many of which we didn’t have. One afternoon my phone rang, it was a phone number that I recognized as our informant. When I answered she asked me if I was ready for some great news. She then relayed information to me about my birthmother and told me that she had just gotten off the phone with her. She told me her first name was Melanie and her middle name was Brie. She also gave me her email address and phone number and encouraged me to reach out to her.
My wife and I immediately went to my parent’s house to talk with them about Melanie. It was a very emotional hour as we discussed the different possibilities and fears that clouded my mind. I decided to write her an email, explaining who I was and how grateful I was for her. After sending the email, I sat in anticipation waiting for her response. After about an hour, the response came. From her email I could tell the anticipation and concerns that I was feeling was mutual.
She wrote about her life and how she had three biological daughters and an adopted daughter. She also conveyed her love for me and how often she thinks of me and who I have become. She explained that she knew my adoptive parents were loving and kind people that would teach me good principles and values. Although we have not yet met in person, we continue to communicate through text and phone conversations and we are planning on meeting in person this upcoming summer. It will be a joyous occasion.
My decision to reach out and find my birthmother was one of the greatest decisions I have made. As our relationship has strengthened I have learned more about her life and what an amazing woman she really is. I will never be able to comprehend the difficulty and heartache that she must have faced while making the decision to give me up for adoption. The love that she displayed for me that day will resonate with me until the day I die, and I will continue to respect and love her as our relationship grows.
Adoption is a wonderful thing. Throughout our lives we all make mistakes, some in greater magnitude then others. The ability to give a child up for adoption, to a loving mother and father who want nothing more than to become parents, is the greatest gift anyone could ever give to another. In my opinion, adoption is the second greatest miracle that we can experience in this life. It is a miracle of love, gratitude, selflessness, courage and a second chance to those involved. The Bible says, in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The right choice is not always the easiest choice and, in some cases, it can be the most difficult choice you’ll ever have to make, but the choice of adoption, in the correct circumstances, is the closest to godliness that any of us can come.
I am positive that my birthmother would have done a great job raising me. She would have raised me to be a great man, just as she has raised her 4 daughters to become the beautiful, strong, and respectable women that they are. Although I know this to be true, it would have been a very difficult path for both of us and it is likely that neither of us would have been able to achieve all that we have in our lives. Giving a child up for adoption is the most difficult and painful decision anyone could ever have to make, but the overwhelming amount of love from that decision outweighs everything. There is a special place in heaven reserved for the mothers who had to, and continue to, make that sacrifice.
I am eternally grateful for my birthmother. Although, it was a very difficult decision, she placed me in the absolute perfect set of hands that nurtured and cared for me and gave me every opportunity that I could have asked for. I know that there are angels looking out for me, and the same ones that guided my birthmother to my adoptive parents are the same ones that led me back to her.
Story written by: Steven Gabrielsen
This story was seen first on Real Imprints.