Monday, October 27, 2008

When it's just meant to be...

My parents and I met on March 11th, 1981. I don't remember anything about it of course, being only 2 days old, but I've heard the story several times. Through a network of different people they were led to Karen. At the time she was 15 years old and only a few months away from having me. As soon as she realized she was pregnant she knew that adoption was the best option for us. So after enduring a pretty rough last couple months including bedrest and back labor, I was born on March 9th and my parents were called immediately. They flew from Hawaii, where they were stationed with the military, to California, and after a few days they flew me to Oklahoma to meet my very extended family. They had been hoping for children for 14 years so my arrival was a pretty big deal.

My family.

For as long as I can remember I knew I was adopted. My parents made sure that I knew I was special because my birth mother had loved me enough to give me to them. Because of this, when I turned 18, I wanted to find my biological mom. My parents supported me and gave me the information I needed to look her up on the internet. Even though I knew other kids that were adopted, no one had looked for their biological parents. I didn't know how it would go, if I would be welcomed or turned away. What if they wanted to just forget about me? What if something had happened to Karen in those 18 years? Thankfully she had a pretty unusual last name and within a day I found my grandpa Ralph, who I immediately wrote to. I included a picture, which was probably pretty scary since I look VERY similar to Karen. He forwarded the letter to Karen and she wrote me back within a week. I cannot imagine what that must have been like for her. I'm just glad that she found the strength to contact me back after so long, not knowing how she would be received on our end. I think I can say with complete certainty that everything turned out even better than anyone could have hoped. My parents will always be my parents, and Karen has become a cool "older sister" type. I can call her about ANYTHING. And I gained some really awesome family members. (Bryan, Jason, Ralph, Pat, Rick, Patrick, Brenda, Dave, Meghan, Jonathan, Phil, Paula, Nick, Chrissy, Jes, Brysen, Carsyn and many more!) My very extended family became a very VERY extended family. I definitely would need a good 20 minutes to recite them all. :)

Brenden and I with Great-Grandma Pat and Great-Grandpa Ralph.

Karen, Chrissy, Brenden and me at the Botanical Gardens in Denver.

Now that I have my own son I can see what a sacrifice Karen made. I'm just so glad that I was able to contact her, to be able to include her in my life and be included in hers. And of course that includes her in Brenden's life, which gives him another grandma to spoil him silly!

Brenden with Grandma Ginger and Grandma Karen.

Karen and Me...a slight resemblance. :)

This blog was not just a random thought that I decided to share with anyone who wanted to read it. When I was pregnant with Brenden there was a couple at my church who were in the process of adopting a little girl. Through several different twists of fate the adoption fell through, and my heart broke for them. They had already held her, fell in love with her, and had her taken away. Every time I went to church I worried that my son, who was so close in age to the daughter that they lost, would bring back those memories and make things worse. This last Friday my mom called to tell me that she had seen a birth announcement in the church bulletin that caught her off guard in the best way possible. On October 13th Melinda and Fred met the little girl that was destined to be their daughter. Their story reminded me of my story. It reminded me how lucky I am to have so many people that love me. And it showed me once again that, even though the path may not make sense, some things are just meant to be.

Miss Bailyr Makenzie Faith!!!

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