My husband and I started An Angel’s Choice Adoption Agency, Inc. with a strong desire to help others that are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. I never thought being adopted would have prepared me for starting my own agency. You see, God had a plan for me to help others when I was being formed in my mother’s womb. He took me through some rough lessons of life to bring me to where I am now. When I was 17, I chose to abort my child. This was so my parents wouldn’t find out and pressure the boy I was with into marriage. I recall that lonely bus ride to the abortion clinic and the sucking noises of the medical equipment taking my baby out of my body. I remember the coldness of the nurses without faces. I remember the uncontrollable bleeding afterwards. I remember being ashamed and carrying that with me for the rest of my days, even now. God put me here to help You. I believe in adoption for so many reasons. It gives hope and solutions. However, it must be a choice and never forced.
Michelle brings a refreshing perspective to adoption through her life experience as an adoptee and an adoptive parent, as well as her professional experience as a birth mother coordinator. Michelle has worked with many expectant parents who have chosen adoption for their babies. She understands how you are feeling — because she knows the process from both sides. Here is her story.
Michelle’s Story of Adoption
The pregnant women who came to St. Vincent’s needed privacy, confidentiality, medical care and compassionate understanding as they awaited the birth of their babies. Some, only in their teens or twenties, bore the stigma of the unwed mother. Others were married women who could not afford medical care or hospitalization – the stigma of poverty. I was told that my mother could not handle twins and chose to place us up for adoption. In the 1950’s, the only placement available was foster homes or closed adoption.
From different stories I was told it appeared that my biological mother came to the orphanage to give birth to my twin brother and me. She decided to place us into this foster home because she could not financially or emotionally care for us. Parts of her adoption plans were: 1) my brother and I would not be separated from one another; 2) she could choose our names; 3) she wanted us to be placed in a good home; and 4) she did not want us to know that we were adopted. She also wanted a closed adoption. This probably was the best way she could deal with her decision and hide this from her husband, her other children and the rest of her family. I understood she was alone in this decision and adoption plan.
When my adoptive father came to this orphanage, the plan was to be foster parents. As he laid eyes on us, he fell in love immediately. However, my adoptive mom only wanted one child. I am so glad he made the final decision.
My dad came out with both of us in his arms and said to her “I want them.” He was so happy!
My parents were in their 50’s when they brought us in to their home. They loved us as their own. I suffered from detachment disorder. This is one of the reasons it is so important that parents bond with their babies, either a biological or an adoptive mother, within the first 6 months of life. I could not accept it when my parents left me, for I cried endlessly whenever they left for a long period of time. At the age of 12, we found out we were adopted from a kid, being mean, in our neighborhood. We didn’t understand what this all meant for many things were not discussed with children in those days. After our parents explained our situation to us, it really did not affect us. We knew how much we were loved. The full story did not come out until we were older.
We were in their home all of our lives; we lived a good life in a safe environment. We traveled, went to private schools and enjoyed our childhood and early adulthood. We lived in a strict home with strong moral values. While we were not given everything we wanted, we certainly got everything we needed. At the age of 18, we were given the choice to be legally adopted and obtain their last name or keep our birth names.
My brother played the clarinet, served in the military, got married and had 2 sons, who blessed him with 2 grandchildren. I went to modeling school, business school, worked as a cosmetologist, got married and had one son. In marrying Mason, I adopted his daughter and love her as my very own.
Thank You to My Birth Mother
I understand why my mother chose adoption for my brother and me. I know she did this out of unconditional love for us. I love her so much for giving my brother and me a chance at a good life.
If I could send my birth mother a letter, this is what it would say:
Thank you for making sure my brother and I grew up together. After all of these years, he and I still remain close. Thank you for the precious names you lovingly chose for us – such a beautiful gift. We were raised in an incredible home and thank you for assuring that we would have a great family to love and nurture us. But, Mom, most all thank you for giving us life.
You do not have to go through this alone.
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