My name is Kate and I was born in Lewes, DE. I was then adopted as an infant because my birthmother decided to give me my best chance at life. I really think highly of my birthmother for being able to make such a hard decision but also the strength and faith she had that my parents would give me an amazing life. I was born in early June, a couple of weeks before my due date. The family who I was supposed to adopt me was not ready, so my birthmother picked out my parents. She picked them by looking through a phone book, found an agency, called them, and decided my parents were who she wanted to raise me. I met them two days later and eventually was brought home to Glenside, PA, where I have lived all of my life. I have known my whole life that I was adopted and who my birthmother is. My adoption is an open adoption so there are no sealed files with the birthparents. I really appreciate that because I have had questions along the way as I have grown up, just like any other kid. I have maintained a relationship with her, her husband and their two kids. I have seen my birthmother and her family every so often as I have grown up. It was difficult due to them always moving around and struggling financially. What has really helped over the years is the advance in technology and social media. Texting and posting pictures make it easier to keep in contact and see the milestones in each other’s lives with not being immediately there. I have never met my birthfather, but I know his name. I hope someday to connect with him and get to know him. I did feel sad not having him be a part of my life, but I understand that sometimes birthparents have to make a decision that is best for them and I cannot imagine how hard that is.

I have two younger siblings who I know and am in contact with. My birthmother had a few miscarriages after me but then had her son and daughter. We are eight and nine years apart. My brother, Patrick is fourteen and my sister Haileigh is thirteen. We all talk on social media and connect over our new chocolate lab puppies. As a graduation gift, I got a girl chocolate lab puppy, Magnolia who is currently four and a half months old. My birthmother asked where we got her and they, later on, picked up a boy puppy and named him Geordie. I love watching them grow up and go through things because it is no different from what I did.

When looking back on my childhood and questions I have had along the way it was a great life. A common question I would get was, “When will you go back to your parents?” This always confused me because I live with my parents and am not going anywhere. I honestly forget now that I am adopted because it has become something so irrelevant to matter. I do share it with anyone, but I do not think it defines me. I am proud to be adopted and to be in my family. One thing I know is that DNA does not make a family, the love does.

I remember my mom telling me her favorite day was the day I was born but also the day my adoption was finalized. The whole time waiting is so hard and worrisome but once it is final it is such a celebration. My next-door neighbors adopted two boys and they knew I was adopted. I will always remember the day my neighbor came running over to our house to tell my mom and me that the adoptions were finalized, and we could not have been happier for them. I think the adoption community is a strong and tight-knit group that is so supportive.

A very special day to me was when I turned eighteen years old. That is the day that no one could ever challenge my adoption, not that anyone ever tried to, but I was then able to make the choice of who I wanted to live and surround myself with. I would never leave my family or wish for another because they are the best family I could have ever wished or asked for. During an interview I was asked, “What motivates you?” and my response was my parents. I chose my parents because I was adopted and given a chance to have a better life, so I am motivated to show my parents that all of their opportunities helped me. That I am the person I am today because of them, but also I am proud of the person they let me become.

My future plans are to start my job in one of the big four accounting firms in Center City, Philadelphia. I graduated from Arcadia University with a bachelor’s in accounting. I look forward to doing more things for my future like buy a car, buy a starter house, raise my two chocolate labs, find someone to spend my life with, and make much more memories with family and friends.  As I have grown up, I have often thought about my life as an adult and everything that it entails. I have often thought about if I would adopt a child, and I want to say I definitely would because being able to give a child a better chance at life is priceless. My experience with being adopted was very positive from all directions. I think that is because my parents were always so open about it and having relationships with my birthmother and her family allowed me to be proud of being adopted. I have talked to people who often ask questions of what it is like to be adopted and if there are pros and cons, my mom and I often talk about the adoption process and our story to anyone. It is something I could never hide from people because sometimes I think people need to understand what it is like because of misconceptions around it.