Meet Patty. Read her story and learn how adoption has impacted her life.
My attitudes toward adoption started many years ago, over fifty years, actually. My cousin Rosanne and I were like sisters. We attended the same high school and were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings. In those days of hush-hush adoptions, our family knew the story, but Rosanne’s mother, my aunt, never spoke of how she came into our family. I didn’t care. Growing up, I can remember thinking how wonderful adoption must be because without it I wouldn’t have had Rosanne. Even though we live far apart, to this day she remains an important part of my life.
I remember like it was yesterday how adoption really became personal to me. Our twins, Gina and Margaret, were surprises, born when I was well into my thirties. They have always been close, as only identical twins can be, and we laugh about how we couldn’t tell them apart as babies. Ours was a loving home, but my husband and I set fairly strict rules of behavior. Our kids all had curfews, and no single dating until their senior year.
Margaret met Casey through mutual friends, and they began dating the summer of 2000. In September the inevitable happened. She kept the fact of her pregnancy from everyone. She was tall and thin; nothing gave her secret away—no morning sickness, no bulging tummy. One weekend in early February she and Gina drove to Austin to see their sister, Julianne, a senior at UT. That Saturday morning, I was dressing to go to a meeting when Julianne called and spoke those devastating words: “Mom, Margaret is pregnant.” My knees failed me, and I gasped for air, feeling I would surely faint. Margaret took the phone, crying, “Mommy, I am so sorry. Do you still love me?” What came out of my mouth at that moment were not my words, but those the Holy Spirit had given me: “Baby, I love you more at this moment than I ever have in my life. Please come home to me and Daddy. Let’s talk and we’ll work this out.” And then she said the most amazing thing: “OK, Mom, yes, we’re coming home. But I’ve decided to let this baby be adopted. I know I’m not ready to be a mother yet.” Our first fear was that Casey would contest the adoption, but that never materialized. God’s plan slowly began to take shape.
Having been active in pro-life work for several years, I was familiar with crisis pregnancy centers and adoption procedures. As we are Catholic, our choice was Catholic Charities Maternity and Adoption Services. I actually knew one of the caseworkers well, and that she would help us in any way we needed. We visited her and the process began.
One day, Dan, Margaret, and I began perusing three photo albums put together by prospective adoptive couples. We read each one separately and then passed it around. Then we rated them and wrote down a number and put it in a bowl. When we read the numbers, we smiled; they were all the same. Again, God’s hand was guiding us, as we took this most important step of choosing the right parents for Margaret’s baby, our grandchild. Soon after we three met Bob and Nancy at a restaurant. That first meeting was the start of a most remarkable family relationship, one that has blossomed into a true and lasting friendship.
Margaret’s baby was due in early June, and she would stay in school as long as she felt comfortable, which was until the beginning of the last quarter. Yes, she would graduate, but not walk across the stage and receive her diploma. Throughout this time my husband and I shed many tears of sadness, but those were replaced with tears of joy when Bob and Nancy came to the hospital on June 5, 2001, and held their son for the first time. From that very first moment, it was a match made in heaven. Forty-eight hours later, Sean became theirs for life.
He was – and is – a beautiful child, blonde and blue-eyed, with his mother’s deep dimples and a flair for sports and cooking. Ours is an open adoption and Margaret, who married eight years later, saw him often as he grew up, usually on his birthday and at Christmas. Nancy and Bob are good friends and great parents, providing for Sean spiritually and materially in every way that we could hope for.
And me? God has given my heart a love and a peace beyond all understanding. I know he is happy, well-rounded, fun-loving, and so loved.