“Adoption is not about finding children for families, it's about finding families for children” --Joyce Maguire Pavao
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. I never really realized this or new there was a month to celebrate one of the greatest things that ever happened to me, but I'm so glad I discovered it. And, I would first like to say THANK YOU to 4 individuals. I'd like to thank my parents, John and Connie Stannard for taking that leap of faith, driving to Omaha and picking me up and making a make-shift bed for me in that dresser drawer for those first couple nights of my new life with you. And I'd like to thank two responsible teenagers who made what was probably the biggest decision of their lives--they gave me a better life and didn't terminate my life by taking "the easy way out" as many did back in the early 70s.
Yes, I was adopted at just a few weeks old, and I never thought my life was any different. My mom and I fought like a lot of moms and daughters fight, and people say I look like my dad--maybe that was when we were younger and he had hair. My parents were always open about where I came from and I even corresponded with the Children's Home during different milestones in my life--graduation and special achievements. They always wrote me back. And then, as I got older I did seek information about my birth parents--purely from a medical standpoint--so I might know something about my medical history. However, I never had the desire to know my biological parents. They did the responsible thing, and although I sometimes wonder how my life would be different--Would I be a city kid vs. a country bumpkin--I never regret one day of my life.
My first meeting with my awesome parents!
It seems the older I get the more adopted folks I know, and more people my age have also adopted children, both in the U.S., and internationally. My adoption was closed, but I know several who have gone through open adoption where the children are still in touch with the birth mother. Both are great situations, as long as they work for all involved.
People face adoption from both sides for many reasons; I was showing a co-worker my baby book today since I brought it in to scan some of these great photos of me--look I loved wearing red, even at 8 months old--and he couldn't believe that there was a write-up about my adoption in the local newspaper. I explained to him that adoption wasn't taboo in my family. And, just like my cousins, I deserved a "birth announcement" too.
Even today, I hear people say, "well we have tried to have a baby, but my husband is against adoption." Or "I could never adopt, it just wouldn't feel like my baby." These words sting, and I explain to the people who say them if they really want a family, that adoption is a fabulous option. And, there are so many babies and children out there that deserve a loving family.
So, as I continue to count my blessings this month of Thanksgiving and recognize National Adoption Awareness Month, I would like to say thanks to those who take time to help others children their families. And I'd like to thank the families whose lives have been completed with their children. Due to respect of privacy, I won't mention names; just know you all are special people, whether in Nebraska, Illinois, Maryland, Indiana, Kansas, Wisconsin, New Mexico or wherever you might be. And know that you have made a difference.