It’s the late 90’s. You’re 19 years old. You find out you’re pregnant with your less-than-reliable boyfriend’s baby. A few months pass and you discover that that same boyfriend is addicted to drugs. There is no end in sight to his addiction and you are still pregnant with his child. Your options? Abortion, letting your parents raise the baby as their own child, or adoption. You have no relationship with adoption. What does adoption even look like? You’re told “You’ll never even think of the child again… you’ll be able to move on with your life!” But how could that be true? What will being a birth mom look like later in my life? What if I want to have children later in life? Do I tell them they have an older sibling? What about dating? Do I tell my future suitors that I have a child I didn’t raise? These are the questions my birth mom faced, I’m sure. And I know that these are the same questions many expecting moms considering adoption face as well. 

I was born in the Fall of 1997. My birth mother was 19 when she got pregnant with me and 20 when I was born. My birth father was not a great option to coparent with. Two things were important to my birth mom: First, that I have a strong, dependable, and loving father. And second, that I was as far away from my biological father as possible. She put these two priorities above her own emotional well-being. She betrayed and denied her motherly instinct to care for and nurture me while also leaning into the motherly instinct to protect me and provide every single need I would have as I grew up. 

How did she make that choice? Would abortion have been easier? Now, as a mother of three, I cannot begin to fathom the depth of grief a birth mother faces in her lifetime. The reality is that they are separated from their child (potentially) forever. The bond and connection is broken, never to be restored in its natural and, what I believe to be, God-intended state. This seems to be worse than death to me. And as awful as this is for both the mother and baby, sometimes it is necessary. 

In my case, if my birth mother had chosen to parent, I probably would have been exposed to a lifetime of deadbeat fathering, drug exposure, and who knows what else. Either way, I would have met heartache. And none of this was the fault of my birth mother, yet she faced that impossible choice and the grief that followed for a lifetime. Is my life better because I was adopted? Would it have been worse if I was raised in my biological family? There is no way to know that. I lived the adoptee life, but I never had the opportunity to live the non-adoptee version. 


In 2020, I stumbled upon some birth mother resources. I had been listening to and reading materials targeted for adoptees. But when I found the birth mother’s targeted podcasts, I was baffled. It seems like it would have been obvious to me, but I had never thought of my birth mother as a real person. When I found Birth Mother’s Amplified, I binged every episode in a matter of days. A lightbulb turned on in my head—birth mothers are real people, with real emotions, real heartache, and they love their children that they have placed! I started listening to the stories of birth mothers and imagining them as my own birth mother. Is this how she felt? Did she think of me on my birthday every year? Did she miss me? Did she wonder if I was okay? Through this experience, I began to desire to reach out to my birth mom more and more. And, eventually, I did.

Early in 2021, after 23 years of a closed adoption, I found and contacted my birth mother. We met two weeks later and we have been in contact ever since then. She has a relationship with my adoptive parents and I have had the opportunity to create a relationship with my two younger brothers who she chose to parent after placing me. She has met my children, and they adore her. The bond has been restored, at least in some sort of capacity. And although we missed nearly 24 years together, we still have the rest of our lives together. 

Let me share with you a glimpse into our reunion relationship. Recently, my husband and I went on an anniversary trip to Florida. My birth mom traveled to our home and stayed with and cared for our three children, her grandchildren, while we were away. Two weeks ago my husband and our children traveled to Ohio, where my biological family lives to visit my birth mom. During our trip, we went to my biological grandparents’ house to have dinner with them. 

My three children call them “far-away grandma and far-away grandpa”. Why? You guessed it, they live far away. My half brothers were there, whom my children call Uncles. They don’t feel like my half-brothers, they just feel like family. We have another trip to Ohio planned next month to watch my brother perform in his high school play. My grandparents will watch their great-grands during the performance, and we plan to share dinner together as a family after. 

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Your story of reunion and restoration may not look exactly like mine, but there is hope for some sort of family relationship waiting to blossom in every adoption reunion. 

Birth moms, you matter. I believe there is hope in your story. There is redemption waiting in the brokenness you may feel. There is restoration for you in your relationships. I appreciate that impossible decision my birth mother made for her baby. Despite the pain, she chose what was best for her and for her baby. Birth mother voices matter in this weird club of adoption we find ourselves in. Your words matter to other adoptees. I see my own birth mother in you, and I find immense, unspeakable comfort in your stories. Please never allow mis-attributed shame in your story to stop you from sharing it. The thing that pushed me over the edge into search and reunion were the voices of other birth mothers on Birth Mother’s Amplified. Birth moms, as an adoptee, I encourage you to share your story, as painful as it is, every chance you get. You never know who you could be reaching, and what kind of restoration is taking place because you spoke up.

If you would like to be interviewed for by me, an adoptee all grown up, please contact me at