“On October 14, 1988, a woman gave birth to a little girl and made an adoption plan. This woman is my birth mother, and this is where my adoption story begins.
I was raised in a closed adoption and connected with my birth mother at 23 years old. We connected through my adoptive father’s business partner and a good friend of my biological grandparents. My birth mom shared she had gotten married and had three children. I learned her middle child was adopted internationally, making her a birth mother and an adoptive mother.
Fast forward, my husband and I have struggled with infertility. We did countless fertility treatments before pursuing adoption. We never imagined we would be on our own adoption journey 3 and a half years later. In April of 2020, we finally matched with an expectant mama. Our dream of becoming parents finally felt attainable. We met her a few weeks prior to delivery and planned our open adoption together.
Baby girl’s due date came and expectant mama stopped communicating. On May 19, our social worker alerted us this expectant mother had been committing fraud and was working with multiple agencies, had two hospital birth plans with two waiting families, and was receiving a variety of funds. Our social worker told us to prepare our hearts as we may never find out the outcome of this case. A week later, we found out she gave birth and decided to parent.
We truly felt heartbroken! We felt lost and confused someone could use our infertility trauma, and another couple’s infertility trauma, against us for financial gain. We almost stopped our adoption journey. But then I had the connection with my birth father, and I felt that was God telling me our story was not written yet!
Serendipitous events followed the next day when I had an alert on my DNA app, 23 and Me. I opened the application and found the ancestor connection was my birth father. In the past 6 months, I have developed a relationship with my birth father and discovered I have two more half-siblings.
New Year’s Eve 2020, we flew to Arizona and met my birth father, half-sisters, and additional biological family members. Their hospitality and welcoming hearts was truly a weekend I will always cherish. My birth father did not know I existed and he welcomed me with open arms.
When I met my biological parents, I felt whole and complete. I was nervous, but the instant I met them, there was unconditional love and I felt completely comfortable. My half-sisters attend the University of Arizona, where my husband and I worked for 3 years. My half-sisters and I look so much alike, and it feels amazing to recognize yourself in another!
Being raised as an only child, I was most excited to meet siblings. Growing up, I recall asking Santa many Christmases for siblings and looking back, wow, that wish was so hurtful on my adoptive family’s heart, as my mother could not have biological kiddos of her own, either. Meeting my half-sisters, who look like me, and watching them bicker like 20-year-olds was mesmerizing, haha. Knowing our future kiddos could have additional aunts and uncles and extra grandparents and great uncles is truly special.
Being an adoptee provides me one person’s perspective. People pursue adoption for a variety of reasons. The past 4 years of our adoption journey have been the most challenging 4 years of my life. I am so lucky to have an amazing partner who has supported me unconditionally through my adoption journey and ours. I will never forget flying to Arizona to meet my birth father, and my husband freaking out at the baggage claim, concerned we could be catfished. His protective heart and unconditional love has made these last 4 years bearable.
How does it feel to be looking to adopt as an adoptee yourself? Full circle. My whole family exists due to adoption, and Kent and I are no exception. My birth mother adopted. I have cousins and an uncle who are adopted. Kent has cousins who are adopted. Our family exists through adoption and we have an abundance of love and ‘extended’ family because of it!
Do you think being adopted will help me understand my child better? Absolutely! But honestly, I never felt misunderstood as a child. My birth mom wrote me a letter at the hospital, and my parents read this letter to me every year around my birthday. This letter sits in our hopeful nursery. I was always raised with a strong identity and with acceptance, and I have had a great example from my adoptive parents on how to be patient, forthcoming, and trust the adoption journey.
I honestly felt so conflicted during my journey. There are a lot of adoptees out there who are trying to share their stories to shine a light on the challenges of adoption. They are applying a one-size-fits-all approach, and I have often felt conflicted within the adoption triad. I had an amazing relationship and have a great bond with my adoptive parents. I also have unconditional love for my birth parents. This pointing fingers within the adoption triad is not helpful, and honestly, I’ve sought therapy to process.
As an adoptee, identity is often a challenge, but now as a hopeful adoptive parent, some days the ‘calling out’ within the triad is so heavy I have to often take a step away from social media. We need to understand we all have a unique voice within the adoption community—birth parent, adoptee, and adoptive parent. Our adoption journey has been full of peaks and valleys, but knowing my story started from strength gives me hope to persevere. Adoption is my past, present, and future, and a story still being written.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by KellyAnne Bultemeier of Denver, Colorado. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories about adoption:
Provide beauty and strength for others. SHARE this story on Facebook with friends and family.