This is where it gets tricky. Not because it's uncomfortable to share, just because I don't know where to start! Do I tell you my parents' story as they told it that day, without all of the background? Do I give the background and spoil the ending? Do I tell my birth mom's story first? Do I try to interweave the two????? Well, I don't expect you have the answers to those questions, either, so I might as well just pick a place to start and go with it. J
I sat down with my parents that day, expecting them to give me a basic layout of how they got me—maybe what agency they used or what county I was born in or… something. I thought they would point me in the general direction of what courthouse was storing my super-secret-biological-records. I thought it would be a 15-minute talk.
I had no idea.
I'll start with some background information on my parents. They had two boys of their own (I hate that phrase, by the way. It makes it sound like my brothers are "theirs" but I am not. And I am, for the record, completely "theirs."), but always wanted to adopt. My mom had been raised by her aunt and uncle after her biological mother died from complications during childbirth. She had five older siblings, and her dad just didn't feel capable of handling a farm, his five older children, and a newborn. She wasn't officially adopted, but her biological "aunt and uncle" were her real parents, my grandparents. She knew her biological father and siblings, but wasn't really raised with them. She was, for all intents and purposes, adopted, and she knew that she someday wanted to adopt, too.
The fact that they had two biological children made adoption (in the 1970's) difficult. I know that at least one time (maybe twice?) before I came along they actually had a baby in their home, but when it came time for the final adoption hearing the judge took the baby away, since they already had children. They looked into international adoption, but for whatever reason (I'm sure they told me, but I can't quite remember now… cost, maybe?... or maybe it just wasn't "clicking"…. I just don't remember…) that didn't come to fruition.
By the late 70's, they had all but given up. Then one day my grandma called my parents and said that she had found a bassinet that she wanted them to have—she firmly believed they would one day get the baby they were hoping for. (She was an amazing woman, but I never had the privilege of meeting her—she died about three months before I was born.) And another time, my dad had a dream that he would have a daughter named "Kathryn." They didn't know how realistic it was to hope anymore, but the hope was returning anyway.
And then one day, they got the phone call. My mom's sister was Dean of Women at a small Bible college. She had a new (single) student who was pregnant and who wanted to give her baby up for adoption… were they still interested?
I can't even begin to tell you the emotions and excitement and concern and everything else that my parents were going through then, because, well, I wasn't there. I can't even tell you a lot of the details about how it all happened. But I'll tell you as much as I know…
The adoption was handled privately (without an agency). My parents and my birth mom both used the same lawyer, so that everything would go as smoothly as possible. And when it came time to go before the judge, my birth mom specifically told him that she wanted my parents to have her baby because they already had children of their own—she wanted her baby to have siblings. It was all coming together.
Meanwhile, my parents kept this whole situation a tightly kept secret—not even their parents knew. Only my aunt, who had "introduced" my birth mom and parents (They had actually never met, but you know what I mean...), had any idea. As hopeful as my parents were, they had been burned before and didn't want to start spreading the news to quickly.
And then, it happened. They got the phone call that it was time. Their new baby girl was here—July 13, 1979.