“When you were deciding to place me for adoption, did you wonder if I would resent you?” Samantha asks her biological mother while visiting her across the country.
“Yes. I still do.” Debbie responded with honesty.
Samantha, now 27 with four kids and an amazing husband, shares pieces of her story as an adoptee. Her adoption was closed with zero contact until the age of 14 when she and her biological mother set a date to meet. Sam was excited, to say the least. It is an honor and privilege to have her share pieces of her story.
Natalie: When and how did your closed adoption transform into an open adoption?
Sam: When I was about 13 I was at a church camp near Bend, Oregon. There was a forest fire nearby and it was growing rapidly, so we were evacuated without the ability to go back and get things from the cabins. Since I was little, I had a big white bear with a red Toyota t-shirt on it from my biological mom. It was very sentimental and important to me and I was devastated that it may have been burned. Within a few weeks my mom had asked her best friend, who happened to be our adoption agent, if she had any way of contacting my biological mom so I could get another bear. Long story short, my bear ended up being recovered from the fire, and I still have it to this day. But since contact was made with her, we set a date to meet, and I was able to meet in person when I was 14 years old. I wasn’t emotional about it in a negative way at all. I was just excited to meet her.
Natalie: When in your story did you first wonder about your biological family?
Sam: I was always told I was adopted, it was never a secret. My biological mother (Debbie) and I became good friends. I’m actually visiting her home right now for vacation! I think it was around 17 that I became interested in finding my biological father, which is another incredibly long story that is still in progress.
Natalie: What were some of the questions you wrestled through and at what ages?
Sam: What is my medical history? That question always bothered me on medical documents. “I DON’T KNOW IF I HAVE A HISTORY OF HEART DISEASE!!” That one has bugged me for as long as I can remember. Also, Who do I look like? What is my heritage? Do I have any biological siblings? are questions that still haunt me on my paternal half.
Natalie: Is there anything you are still processing/wrestling through regarding your adoption?
Sam: I am currently on the search for my biological father. I grew up being told it was a particular man and actually made contact. We even did a DNA test but it was negative and I (even HE!) was devastated. I just met one of his daughters last weekend and we are convinced his test is wrong and he may retest. However, back when the test was originally performed and came back negative, it created a division between Debbie and me. She wouldn’t tell me who the other possibility is and I was angry. I still am. I deserve to know if she has an idea who it could be but she said it’s not that simple, I say it is. In the end she asked that I wait until I am 30 which was not going to fly, but with the advice of my pastor’s wife, I’ve handed that to God and am trying very patiently to wait.
Natalie: Do you wish you had more or less contact with or information about your birth parents/siblings/extended family?
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Sam: Just my paternal side. I am very, VERY connected with my maternal side and it is great!
Natalie: Have you ever resented your birth parents for choosing to place you for adoption? If so, do you still? If not, why do you think you didn’t or don’t struggle with resentment?
Sam: I never have and never will. My parents made sure to really emphasize how selfLESS it is. She didn’t do it out of convenience for her or because she hated me, she did it BECAUSE she loved me so much that she wanted better for me. They made sure I knew that it was not an easy decision, but probably the most painful one she has ever made. I grew up respecting her for it.
Natalie: Is there anything else you feel would be helpful to share with women or families facing unplanned pregnancies who are unsure what steps to take, who truly feel they are unable to give the life they want to give their precious and so loved child, but fear their child may resent them if they choose adoption?
Sam: PLEASE, choose LIFE. You are giving someone the most wonderful gift. Truly blessing someone beyond what you could imagine. It will be hard. It will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. It will be impossible, but it will be GOOD. You will be a hero. EVERY child, no matter how they are conceived, is meant to be here. Show them how much you love them by choosing to let them live.
As an adoptee, did you resent your biological parents? As a birth parent, did you wonder if your child would resent you? Did that looming question ever stop haunting you?
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