I always knew that I was adopted. My parents shared this information with me when I was probably four years old. It never really bothered me, though I did wonder who my birth mother was, where she was, and what had happened to her. Was she happy, married, etc.?
Once I got married, I wrote the DEFACS (Division of Family and Children Services) in Atlanta, Georgia, and got a copy of my non-identifying medical records. It gave me enough information to know that my birth mom was 16 when I was born, her mom owned a daycare, her dad was a carpenter, and she had two sisters and one brother. It told me that her eyes were brown, her hair was brown, she stood 5’7″—much like myself. At that time, my husband said to me, “Nikki, we can find these people.” From reviewing the non-identifying information, I learned my conception wasn’t a consented one, so I figured it was a bad situation, and I also figured my birth mom had moved on.
Well, in August, 2002, my whole life totally changed. My mother-in-law had begun attending a new church that had just moved to the Augusta area, when one day she began talking to her pastor’s wife. She asked the pastor’s wife, “Are you from Augusta originally?” The pastor’s wife said, “Yes, and I really didn’t want to move back here but when my husband received direction I had to. God told me he was going to restore joy to my family.” Then, she said “My mother owned a daycare in Augusta for 38 years.” That struck a chord in my mother-in-law’s heart. She remembered I had told her that my biological grandma owned a daycare and my birth mom had worked with her. They continued talking and my mother-in-law learned that her pastor’s wife had two sisters and one brother. She then said, “My middle sister, Liz, died in 1977 in a car accident.”
My mother-in-law came home and called me and said, “This may be a long shot, but it also may be your birth family, but if it is, then your birth mom died in 1977.” Well, of course, I didn’t want it to be them. I didn’t want her to be dead. I told my mother-in-law when she went back to church, to ask the pastor’s wife, Amy, if her dad was a carpenter. If she said yes, then ask her if her sister, Liz, had any children.
Well, guess what? When my mother-in-law went back to church and began asking, Amy was floored, and gasped, “Yes, my sister, Liz, had a baby girl in April 1973. She placed her for adoption.” My mother-in-law was not supposed to say that she knew who the daughter was, but in the excitement, she blurted out, “It’s my daughter-in-law.”
Grandma and I petitioned the court to have my original adoption file opened, and all worked out just as we thought. I am Liz’s biological daughter.
Since that time, I have become very close with my Aunt Amy (the youngest of Liz’s sisters), have met her other sister and brother, and spend every Thursday afternoon with my biological grandparents. Though I wish she were here with us, I feel like the Lord has shown Liz that I am okay, and her decision was for my best. It’s been difficult, because in a way I found her, and lost her all in the same day. I have learned that she did want to keep me regardless of the situation surrounding my conception, but that she was just so young.
She died when she was 20 years old, almost 26 years ago. It’s so strange because I have come to love her, even though I cannot see her face-to-face. I also learned she was able to hold me, so that made me feel better. My grandma has given me lots of pictures, poems, and songs Liz wrote, as well as her autoharp, a year book, tapes with her singing and playing on them, and pretty soon I will receive her guitar.
It’s funny, I always wondered where I got certain qualities. Now I know. I look so much like her. I bite my nails (she did too). My grandma says I walk like her. I play the piano and love to sing. I know God’s timing was perfect and His hand has truly guided my steps. He did this for my grandma to show her how much he loves her, because once Liz died, my grandma had a lot of regrets concerning me. I know He also did this for me.
Though its been hard on them, my parents have been supportive. They know that they are Daddy and Mama, and they’ll always be Daddy and Mama.