In the winter of 1965, my mother and father decided to adopt a child. My mom was in her mid-30s and had been unable to bear children. While my dad spent his days committed to the U.S. Navy, my mom was dedicated to caring for their home, and she longed for a child to fill it with laughter.
Fifty years ago the adoption process was very different than it is today. In March of that year, my parents contacted an adoption agency and a quick 18 days later they were handed a newborn baby girl. I grew up always knowing that I was adopted. I have early memories of my parents telling me that I was “special,” that I was “chosen.” I even remember bragging about my adoption in elementary school. “My parents selected me,” I would say proudly.
Today I have three children of my own. I met my husband in high school, and we share a wonderful life together. Despite all of the blessings and love in my life, a consistent curiosity about my birth parents motivated me to contact LSS/NCA and petition to have my adoption file re-opened. My husband and my adoptive parents were hesitant about what I may find but they were supportive of my decision and supported me every step of the way.
I heard from my LSS/NCA case worker often during the search for my biological parents, until I received the phone call I was waiting for… “We found them, but they are hesitant to meet you.” I was ecstatic! I had so many questions about our family’s history. As we gave my biological family time to decide their next steps, I gradually learned little pieces of information about them. They married the year after I was born and had 2 more children a few years later. I had siblings! They lived a mere mile from my home in Bowie, Maryland. I must have passed them hundreds of times without ever knowing!
One night during dinner, the phone rang; a hesitant voice said hello. My biological parents had decided to reach out to me. After speaking for an hour and a half that evening, we decided to meet in person. I will never forget the moment I met my father. He gave me the longest and deepest hug I can remember and he whispered, “I never got to hold you.”
Since that memorable reunion, my biological father has passed away. My biological sister had a hard time accepting my relationship within the family, and my biological mother hesitated to acknowledge a decision that caused her grief and guilt. As a result I haven’t retained a connection to my biological family, especially since I never wanted to intrude. I only wanted to know about them, and I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to meet them. God has had his hand on me from the moment of conception. My loving parents and the work of LSS/NCA are a testament to this.
Editor’s Note: Lori’s adoptive parents passed away a few year’s ago. In their honor and memory, she asked that friends and family donate to LSS/NCA in recognition and thanks for creating their family. Lori’s request and the gifts that followed were a wonderful blessing to our current children still waiting for permanent and loving homes.