"We weren't abandoned; we were chosen."
Adoption can be a joyous and beautiful process that creates love and family. However, with every adoption and every union, there is also loss, a biological parent being separated from their child. Even if a birthparent is happy with her choice of adoption, there is still a grieving process.
A ceaseless fire burned in me to find you, to see your face, hear your voice. I wondered if I found you whether you could learn to love me a teeny bit, if perhaps you could find some room in your heart to spare.
In July 2002, I woke up doubled over in pain. I couldn't eat, I couldn't drink, and I could barely breathe. I went to my doctor and she immediately did an ultrasound on my kidneys and liver. She was certain I had a kidney infection. Four days later, the doctor called and said, "Congratulations! You're 22 weeks pregnant. Please come in for a consult as soon as possible. Goodbye."
What I immediately noticed in the reunification story of Jessica Long is that there were no hyphens. I watched her parents, here in the states, talk about her family in Russia. They didn't talk about her meeting her birth-mother. I never heard them say birth-father.
I was adopted as an infant, during a time when adoption was still shrouded in secrecy. My experience is not unique, but it is important. Here are ten of the ten thousand things adoptees want the world to know.
I signed the letter "Christina." I had never used that name before and it seemed so alien to me as my hand forced the signature. Yet, when Sarah called me one month later asking for Christina, I answered "this is she" without hesitation.
When I started this search 20 years ago, this is what I knew: When I was two months old, I was adopted through the Elizabeth Lund Home in Burlington, Vermont; my birthparents were young teenagers; my birthmother was white; my birthfather was black. That's all.