Adoption is a beautiful journey, but the circumstances that lead to placement are often difficult and complicated. This was the case for Patti W. Patti’s adoption journey began 20 years ago in 2000. Patti had already been parenting three small children when she first learned she was pregnant. Upon hearing the news, she immediately knew she was not able to parent another child. Patti was in an abusive relationship and facing homelessness as she had just been evicted from her apartment.
Her main goal was to get her and her family out of their current situation. To accomplish her task, Patti knew adoption was her best option. Initially, the child’s paternal aunt offered to raise the baby. However, Patti did not believe this was the best choice. She soon contacted a local, Christian adoption agency. Picking the right family was of the utmost importance to Patti. She sought out families who were open with their willingness to adopt children of different backgrounds, especially since her child was biracial. With the help of a great social worker, Patti was able to pick a family to place with and develop an adoption plan.
Patti would give birth to a daughter, Grace, in May of 2001. Her daughter’s name proves to be special as Patti and the adoptive parents decided on a name together. They maintained a semi-open adoption through the majority of Grace’s childhood. Patti chose to have yearly communication with Grace’s adoptive parents. The parents would send pictures of Grace along with information about her growth. In turn, Patti sent gifts for Grace on special occasions such as her birthday. As Grace came of age, Patti’s relationship with her daughter grew.
It was while assisting Grace with her search for scholarships when Patti first learned of Adoptions From The Heart (AFTH). She saw that the agency offers a scholarship targeted toward birth parents demonstrating financial need. The idea of the scholarship immediately stood out to Patti. At this point, she had already earned an associate degree; An achievement she worked toward over the course of ten years all while balancing motherhood and working. After receiving an offer to work for a welfare-to-work program, Patti was inspired to further her education and pursue a bachelor’s degree.
After reading more about the scholarship and receiving encouragement from Grace, Patti applied for the scholarship. She wrote a moving essay detailing her adoption journey and her career aspirations. Patti’s essay impressed the agency’s board members, and she was soon awarded the scholarship. Needless to say, Patti was ecstatic to hear the news. She described the award as a blessing, especially since she did not qualify for other assistance and her full semester’s tuition will be covered by the award.
The scholarship assistance will be a great help in helping Patti achieve her educational and career goals. Once she transfers colleges, Patti will major in Behavioral Services. Her ambition is driven by a desire to help others. Upon graduating, Patti plans to work with families in distress, troubled teenagers, or re-entry programs. She likes to work with less fortunate and sometimes forgotten communities.
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Currently, Patti’s biggest goal is completing her bachelor’s degree program, which she is enrolled in part-time. When describing her current life, Patti says it is much better now. All of Patti’s children are now adults between the ages of 19-30. Reaching this milestone has allowed her more time to focus on the goals she placed on the back burner while raising her children.
When reflecting on her adoption journey, Patti is confident she made the right choice. She describes the decision as the best option for her family at the time. She was able to choose a wonderful family for Grace who was open to her wishes and remained loyal to what was agreed upon in their adoption plan.
As for Grace and Patti’s relationship, the two share a close bond. The mother and daughter speak with each other often, at least three to four times a week. Although they live in different states in their region, Patti and Grace see each other about three to four times a year, even more frequently for events such as birthday parties and other functions. Their path to furthering their education even fuels a friendly competition among the women. Patti and Grace share their grades secretly trying to rival one another, so much so that even Patti’s eldest daughter has joined them.
As a mother, Patti could not be prouder of Grace. Beaming when speaking of her daughter, Patti describes Grace as a smart and independent young woman with beauty and confidence. Looking at the wonderful woman Grace has grown to be, Patti is reassured that she made the best decision for them both. She feels very fortunate to have had the option of adoption and believes it is a wonderful choice. Overall, Patti is glad adoption exists. Placing gives birth mothers, the ability to give their children a life they may not have otherwise been able to provide while adopting gives others the choice to parent.