I've always known I was adopted. It was one of those fact in my family that just were. My name is Stacy, I was born in December and I was adopted. I also knew the story behind the adoption, but never really understood the story until I had my own son. Suddenly, I had much more respect for that story and truly realized what they had been through.
My parents starting protecting me before they even met me.
Without going into all the details, lets say that in 1983 a neighbor of my birth mother finally got tired of hearing me cry and called CPS. Through investigation they not only placed me within foster care, but they also started proceedings to terminate the parental rights of my birth parents. This is actually where my parents story starts, as I was in North Carolina, my biological Grandma was in California and my parents where in Illinois. Little, did we know at this very moment, we were all moving on a course of impact that would that affect and ripple into so many lives in such an amazingly positive way.
My aunt, who is my dad's sister, lived in California and heard about a set of grandparents where were trying to fight for the right to bring their granddaughter to California, but that she was set to be adopted in North Carolina. Therefore, she called my dad and asked what she thought they could do. Without needing to get involved, my dad picked up the phone and called my grandparents. After learning their plight and story, he immediately called up my uncle and got them a good family lawyer, helped them to find a lawyer in North Carolina and stopped the adoption proceedings. When I was about 13 months old, my grandma flew out to North Carolina, met me for the very first time, took legal guardianship and took me home to California. My parents starting protecting me before they even met me.
My parents and grandparents continued talking over the phone and became good friends. My grandma was worried about their poor health and asked my parents if they might know someone who would be willing to adopt me in an open adoption, where they would still be able to be part of my life and I would continue to visit them and have a relationship with them. At this point, my parent still had not met my grandparents in person, not had they met me. They decided that my parents would fly out to California , meet them (and me) and they would discuss their ideas for adoption. My parents might have fleetingly discussed adopting me before flying out to California, but that was not necessarily their plan. They thought that they were helping a nice couple find a good home for their granddaughter, never imagining that it would end up being their home.
On a warm day in August, when I was about 16 months old, my parents nervously parked in the driveway of my grandparents house. I can imagine my mom nervously reapplying her lipstick and giving herself a little spritz of perfume before they exited the car. I can see my dad reaching over and squeezing her hand in reassurance, as they picked up the presents that they had so carefully selected for me. They had wanted a cute summer dress and finally found one after searching with my aunt through many stores, as all seemed to be in-stock were heavy winter outfits. My mom, also, picked out a plush white kitten. They exited the vehicle and opened up the gate to the yard. Carefully closing the gate they walked along the walkway and turned the corner and saw me for the first time.
I was sitting there, sitting in a white-tee shirt and diaper and looked at them. My mom knelt down, said "Hi" and gave me the kitty. They introduced themselves and gave me the other carefully wrapped present and helped me open it. My dad snapped a picture of this first meeting and until this day, he considers it one of his favorite pictures of all time.
After this, they walked in, introduced themselves to my grandparents and my dad announced "We would like to adopt her."