speakfromwithin: (Sarah Lynn)
[personal profile] speakfromwithin
I've been asked to share the story of my adoption so I figured I'd make a separate entry rather than reply in a comment in case anyone else was interested in hear the whole story, plus it's kind of a long one.

*I've been working on this since November 1st and FINALLY have gotten around to finishing it.

My parents got married in 1969; my mom was 18 and my dad was 21. My mom was the second oldest of seven children and was taking care of babies from the time she was a young girl. Nurturing comes naturally to her. She always knew that she wanted to be a mother, but being so young, they didn't start TTC right away. They were enjoying married life as a young couple.

My Uncle Dennis (my mom's younger brother) was in the Marines at this time and had custody of his son, Chris. Uncle Dennis was sent on a 12 month unaccompanied tour to Korea and he designated my parents to be Chris's caregivers. I'm guessing this was around 1980-81 because Chris is about 6 years older than me and they had him for about the first year of his life. They loved him and took care of him like he was their own; the fact that he was only their nephew never really sunk in....until my uncle returned from Korea.

My mom told me that it felt like someone had ripped their child away from them. The hardest part was that there was nothing they could do about it. It was always known and agreed that my uncle would be returning and taking Chris back. I guess my parents just didn't realize how hard it was going to hit them. I believe that probably when they decided to start TTC a child of their own.

From this point on I am not exactly clear on the details of their TTC journey. I know that after several failed attempts, my mom started seeing a specialist, began taking fertility drugs, and had a couple of surgical procedures. I am not sure whether or not they attempted IVF before finally being told that she was infertile. I'm sure that this was a hard pill to swallow. I personally cannot imagine how I would handle it. I'm not going to say that my mom was immediately (or ever) ok with that news because I don't know. I do know that my parents refused to just give up and started looking into adoption. They were going to get their baby through whatever means necessary.

They got involved with Jewish Family and Children's Services and were assigned to a social worker named Joy. Joy called the house one day while my dad was at work My mom took the call,

"We have a baby we would like you to meet, if you want to. Come down as soon as you can."

I think my mom was in shock and told Joy she would call her back. She immediately called my dad and asked him what he thought they should do. His response?

"UM, WHAT DO YOU THINK WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!?"

Lol. My poor mom called Joy back and told her they would be down just as soon as my dad was able to get home.

I was about 6 weeks old the first time my parents met me and held me. My mom said it was love at first site and that leaving that day without me was like losing Chris all over again. I was living with a foster mother at the time, but as soon as all of the paperwork was completed, my parents were allowed to take me home (though the actual adoption was not yet final). It was not going to be an open adoption, but they were given some information on me and my biological parents:


Your daughter was born on Saturday, April 5th, 1986, at 1:31am at St. Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ. She was a full term baby and weighed 7 pounds, 10.5 ounces and measured 20 inches in length. Her delivery was spontaneous and her APGAR was 9-9. Her blood type is A+. A cardiac murmur was heard shortly after birth, but there were no symptoms of cardiac dysfunction. A chest x-ray showed no evidence of abnomality. Your daughter was examined by Dr. Peter Baron, a Pediatric Cardiologist, and he will follow her progress. Your baby was discharged from the hospital on April 8th, 1986, at which time she weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces. She was cared for by a loving foster family until she joined your family on June 10th, 1986. Her birth mother gave her the name of Anna Maria. Her foster parents called her Kim.

Your babys birth mother, Jeong, was born on October 13th, 1962 in Pusan, Korea. She is a very pretty young woman who came to this country with her family from Korea four years ago. Jeong is 5'5 tall and normally weighs around 110 pounds. She has black, straight hair, dark brown eyes, and oriental coloring. She is right handed and her blood type is A+. She is a lovely young woman who, in addition to her native language of Korean, also speaks English, Spanish, and Japanese. Jeong is a high school graduate who has worked at unskilled types of work in this country. She is interested in pursuing her education and has an interes in learning how to operate a computer. Her interests are cooking and child care. She is the mother of a son, Ricardo, who was born January 1985.

Jeong is the middle child of a very large family. She lives with her parents, three younger siblings, and her son. Her older sibilngs live in carious parts of the world. She is close to her family who have ver modest means. They felt they could not help her support an additional child. Her family were supportive of her decision to make the adoption plan.

Your daughter's birth father, Ricardo, is the same man who fathered Jeong's first child. Ricardo is Hispanic and was raised in Mexico. He is described by Jeong as being a very tall man, over 6 feet tall, with a very large body build. He has dark hair and dark eyes, but is fair skinned. He is right handed and does not wear glasses. Other than this, we have no medical history on Ricardo. According to Jeong, Ricardo was in good health. Drinking was not a problem, but she stated that was involved in the drug world. Jeong has been on good terms with Ricardo's mother who lives in Mexico.

Jeong had lived with Ricardo for several years. They moved around and lived in several different states and in Mexico at one time. Ricardo taught Jeong to speak Spanish. Jeong was abandoned by Ricardo in her fourth month of pregnancy. According to her, she has since learned that this have been his pattern with other women.

Jeong made the adoption decision with great pain and much sadness. She felt it would be just too difficult to try to raise two children alone, and she wanted her baby to have a better life than she felt that she could provide. She felt that to attempt to raise two children would do justice to neither of them and decided that her first obligation was to provide the best life she could for her little boy. This was a difficult decision for Jeong, but fortunately she did have the support of her family in make this decision. She has some contact with Ricardo and did share with him what her plan would be. At first he opposed the plan for adoption. Then after giving it some thought, he decided that although he was unwilling to cooperate by coming to the agency, that he would not stand in the way of the adoption plan.

Jeong is a very healthy young woman and has had no medical problems. She sought prenatal care in December of 1985 and had a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. The only medication used during her pregnancy was prenatal vitamins. She did not smoke or drink during her pregnancy. She has good teeth, has never had surgery, and does not wear glasses. Her menstrual periods began at the age of 16 and she has had no problems in this regard. Her family, too, are in excellent health. Jeong's mother is 53, is 5'7" tall and weighs around 130 pounds. Her father is 63 is 5'6" tall and also weighs about 130 pounds. Both parents do janitorial work, Jeong's siblings in this country are ages 20, 17, and 12. Two of them are students and one is employed.

Your beautiful daughter has had a very loving foster home. She has had medical follow-up for her cardiac murmur and the prognosis is excellent. She will not need surgery, but caution should be taken that she be put on antibiotics should she need any type of surgery or dental work in the future. The is purely prophylactic. She will need to be seen again in August by the Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Baron. Your daughter is a delightful, responsive, cuddly baby who has developed normally and appears to be very alert.

We wish you all much happiness in you future life together.

My mom said that if she had known off the bat that my birth mother had given me the name Anna Maria, she would have kept it. Instead, they gave me the name Sarah Lynn. Sarah because Sarah was Abraham's wife and she was a patient and faithful woman. Sarah also means princess. Lynn is my Uncle Mick's middle name and they chose him and his wife to be my Godparents. She said the name just fit. From the first time she looked at me, I was Sarah Lynn.

Again, I'm not sure what the timeline is on what happened next; at least I'm not sure how long I lived with them before HE came into the picture.......

HE is my sperm donor. Joy informed my parents that when my biological mother notified him of her plans to place me up for adoption, he threatened her. He threatened to harm her and her family, take my brother and I and flee to Mexico. I am told that he impregnated and abandoned several women. Now I realize that there are two sides to every story. However, to my knowledge, he has never tried to deny any of these things nor has he tried to make a better name for himself.

At some point, HE came forward and wanted to re-claim his rights to me. My parents were devastated and terrified. They thought they were about to lose a child all over again. They were told that they had to start bringing me to the social services office so that he could exercise his right to visitation. They cried. They prayed. They even considered fleeing to Canada with me. In the end though, they knew they couldn't do that. It would mean living life on the run, not to mention the risk that they would be caught and I would be taken anyway.

In the end, they decided to stay and fight. Although they were granted primary residence (meaning I was allowed to live with them), he was granted visitation. Twice a month, my mother had to drive me back to the JFCS offices where she turned me over to Joy who supervised HIS visits with me. My mom told me that it was so hard for her to let me go to this man that she didn't know and hadn't heard anything good about. It took everything she had not to follow him wherever he took me just to make sure I was ok. She said that after she dropped me off, she would go across the street to the mall, sit by herself, and cry until it was time for her to come pick me back up.

Everyone was scared for our family. They were afraid that one day he would take me and flee to Mexico. It would be easy for him to get over the border, but impossibly to get me back once he had me over there. The only small comfort during this time was that HE often did not show up for his scheduled visits. While these did count as strikes against him, it was not enough to have his rights involuntarily terminated. This went on for five years before he finally just stopped showing up altogether. Each time he missed a visit, my parents prayed that this might be it. They prayed that he had finally given up his fight and that they would finally be allowed to legally adopt me and put an end to the fear of losing me.

In 1991, their dream came true and they were FINALLY allowed to legally become my parents. I find it funny that I never knew them as anything else. I remember being five years old and standing in front of Commissioner Mary (wondering if she knew Commissioner Gordon from Batman, my favorite show at the time) and her asking me who I wanted to live with.....

"I want to live with mom and dad!"

If anyone ever wonders why I consider my parents my heros, now you know. They have been picking me up off the ground and fighting for me from day one. I don't know where I would be without them.

Date: 2010-02-01 07:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] speakfromwithin.livejournal.com
That's the only explanation I've ever been able to come up with.....

Date: 2010-02-01 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reniwi.livejournal.com
Well, thanks for telling this story. It really is a beautiful story and gives me a new respect for your parents, even though I don't know them personally. :)

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