As a young child, I always had an affinity for adoption. Though I did not know anyone who was adopted, I held the idea of adoption deep in my heart. My love for children led to my choice of career, and my greatest dream was to be a teacher and a mommy when I grew up. I was consumed with this dream! I played “school” and “house” all the time as a little girl.
When I turned sixteen, I began a journey that no one would ever ask for or dream of. I was diagnosed with leukemia. As I began treatment, I was told that between chemotherapy and radiation, I would not be able to have biological children. My childhood dream then turned into a dream of having children through the path of adoption. The man that God has chosen as my husband, Bradley, never blinked an eye when we discussed the path of adoption!
A phone call from the adopting agency that we had chosen came one evening while we were both at home. This call was the most awaited one in my life; our story was about to be changed forever by an unlikely hero. The agency was calling to tell us that a young college-aged couple had chosen us to adopt their baby, who was due in 3 short weeks! A few weeks later, I received another emotional call (the memory still brings tears to my eyes and chills all over), this time from my husband, telling me that our baby boy had been born!
We traveled that next morning to the hospital where our birth mother had delivered our baby boy. We arrived with butterflies in our stomachs, so excited to see him! At the same time, we could not wait to meet the beautiful birth mother and birth father and had a special gift for each of them. We were speechless at their selflessness. The birth mother was a beautiful, kind, and gentle college student, and the birth father was a handsome college athlete.
The minute we walked into the hospital room, our birth mother said, “Would you like to hold your son?” Both my husband and I began to weep. Bradley held him first as I hugged our birth mother. I had so much love for her that my heart was full at that moment. I also hugged the birth father and wept more. Then I held our son for the first time. Our baby was unspeakable joy! Our hearts had never felt so full. It truly was a dream come true, one that words alone cannot express! The bond that we felt with the birth parents felt so natural and meant to be.
Four years later, another life-changing call came on a Saturday morning. This time it was a social worker at the adoption agency, letting us know that our beautiful baby girl had been born! We drove to the hospital, again with butterflies in our stomachs. Our little boy could not wait to meet his baby sister, for whom we had been praying over the past few years. Once again, I could not wait to meet our birth mother and hug her sweet neck. Our birth father was also there in the room, and I was able to embrace him as well and tell him how overly appreciative we were for their most selfless gift to us.
My heart has always been overwhelmed with love for all birth mothers and their personal stories. I cannot say that if I had ever become pregnant before marriage, that I would have been able to unselfishly choose to carry my baby nine months, have my life completely affected by the pregnancy, and then choose to place that child for adoption. This decision is the most courageous and loving choice a mother can ever make.
How could we ever demonstrate our deepest appreciation and love to our birthmothers? There just isn’t anything that could adequately show what we feel toward them for their love for their babies. Birth mothers are our heroes!!! They chose to give their baby life and to nurture this precious life for nine months! Our birth mothers made choices out of the greatest love for their child. Their choice was well thought-through and not at all impulsive.
Too commonly, our society views birth mothers as uneducated, irresponsible women looking for a way out, which is absolutely furthest from the truth. Each of our beautiful birth mothers are college graduates. They were simply surprised with a pregnancy at a time in their lives when they could not meet the needs of their babies as they felt their babies deserved. Placing their babies was the most difficult decision that they had ever made in their lives. They understood that their love alone was not all that was needed to meet the needs of their children.
Our birth mothers demonstrate such wisdom, grace and great love in their decision to place their baby with a couple who could not experience parenthood without their gift of life to their child. We are forever grateful for the love that they have for their children as well as their trust in us to give them all that they need in life. Our story begins with a birth mother choosing life for their baby and then choosing us to raise their baby in a loving, stable home. Our story continues as we watch both of our children graduate from high school and college ready to take on the world!
Shari Griffin is an adoptive mother of two beautiful grown children. She and her husband just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Shari taught elementary school up until the adoption of their son; four years later, their daughter was born. A stay-at-home mom for many years, Shari is now CEO of the Griffin home and leads a ladies’ small group through her church.