Adopted Daughter and Donor

Sara Hemphill gives the gift of life to her father by becoming a donor.

Meghan Rivard May 31, 2018
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Adoption revolves around sacrifice and selflessness. Typically those tender acts of service are experienced between birth parents and adoptive parents or adoptive parents toward their children. But one adopted daughter stepped up and turned the tables around to give her adoptive father the ultimate gift of life.

Steve and his wife, Karen, adopted Sara when she was two weeks old. Adoption has been part of their family’s life. They value adoption, family, and their faith.

Many years ago, Steve’s father was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease which progressively destroys the kidneys. There is no cure and it is very painful as it reaches the last stages; the disease eventually requires a donor’s kidney. As it is genetically passed down, Steve and his siblings were tested; Steve and his sister tested positive for the disease.

Steve’s father passed away before receiving a kidney transplant. Although Sara was only 12 when he passed away, she saw the pain her grandfather endured. She knew she would not let her father experience the same pain.

When Steve reached the point that he needed a transplant, Sara knew that it would be her kidney. She was tested and the first test disqualified her as a donor. She had faith that it was to be her kidney for her dad and requested a second test. That test revealed positive results and Sara was qualified as a match. Not only a match but a high match that is typically only found in siblings and close relatives. Sara stated, “Dad and I were a match of 5. That was a really good match. Who would have thought that an adopted daughter would match that well?”

Sara and Steve completed the operations and transplant were successful. Even with everything going well, there is still a lot of pain involved in the surgery, especially for the donors. But, it was something that Sara had always prepared for. She loves her dad and would do anything she could for him.

While Sara was still at home recuperating after the surgery, Steve walked in, sat on her bed, and with tears in his eyes could only say “thank you.” Sara reflected, “Those two simple words from the father who has given me so much since he and my mom brought me into their home made me know everything was worth it. It’s a memory I’ll have with me forever.”

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Meghan Rivard

Meghan is an adoptive mother and a big advocate of adoption and foster care. She resides in Indiana with her husband, their one-year-old daughter who is the center of their lives, and their dog Max. She has a Bachelor's and Master’s Degree in Social Work. Meghan stays at home with her daughter but is so happy she found this outlet to share her personal adoption story and educate about adoption!

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