It was 47 years ago. I was five years old and it was the best day of my life. My memory recalls only glimpses of moments in that day. My Mother, Father and I waited patiently in a room with a big table waiting for my baby brother. I remember having the outfit which my mom and I had carefully picked out for my brother, in my lap. My next memory is a woman holding a tiny baby boy leaning down to show him to me.
I can still feel the excitement knowing that I was becoming a big sister! It would no longer just be me and my parents! I would be like the other kids in my neighborhood….I would have a sibling! Another quick memory flash: my mom asking me to help her put his outfit on that we had carefully selected.
The only other thing I remember about that day is going outside and rounding up all the kids on my street to come and see my new baby brother. I brought them all inside and we all stood in a big circle around the bassinet. It was so great to be a big sister and I owe the whole experience to my brother’s birthparents who lovingly decided that adoption was the best choice for him.
Without adoption, I may have been an only child. I longed for a sibling to play with and to enjoy our family times with. My parents told me as I grew older about the pressure I put on them to have another child. Because of infertility issues, they had been unable to conceive so they began looking at adoption as an option.
I have no idea how long they waited or the process they went through, I just know I will have those few memories of that great day etched in my mind forever. I want to thank my brother’s birthparents for placing him for adoption. He has been a great friend, and wonderful brother to me. He has lived a life of adventure and had interests very different from mine, but I love him for that. He is very intelligent, a voracious reader and loves to travel. He has served our country and is a great father to his kids.
For those who are considering placing a baby for adoption I want to thank you as well. You will never know the feelings on the other side of the placement. The joy is greater that you may ever realize. I know that as you grieve for what you hope might have been, please know that the adoptive family with whom you place will love you forever. They will cherish this child. They will protect and guide and love and help him in every way that they can.
When my experience with adoption happened, there was no such thing as an open adoption. Because open adoptions are so common today, you may be able to see the joy you bring to the family and be a part of their lives. As you see pictures of happy faces and read letters or emails about the activities of the child, you will know in your heart that adoption was the right thing. As you witness your child grow into that young man or woman, it will be a thrill to watch what they become, what their interests are and the wonderful ways they can contribute to society.
Thank you, birthparents everywhere, for making my life even better for having had the experience of being a sister and having a brother. It is such a privilege for me to have my life touched through adoption.