The Heart Has Its Ways

Meet Patty. Read her story and learn how adoption has impacted her life. A grandmother speaks about adoption…

My attitudes toward adoption started many years ago, over fifty, actually. Rosanne and I were like sisters. We attended the same high school, and were in each other’s weddings. In those days of hush-hush adoptions, her mother, my aunt, never spoke of how she came into our family, but I didn’t care. As a child, I can remember thinking how wonderful adoption must be because without it we 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 with fairly strict rules of behavior, curfews, and no single dates until the girls’ senior year.

Margaret began dating Casey and in September 2000 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 night Julianne called and spoke those devastating words: “Mom, Margaret is pregnant.” My knees failed me and I gasped for air, feeling I would surely pass out. 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 put into 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, 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.

I was familiar with crisis pregnancy centers and adoption caseworkers. As we are Catholic, our choice was Catholic Charities Maternity and Adoption Services. We visited and the process began. The baby was due in early June, and Margaret 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 there were tears of sadness, but those were replaced with tears of joy when we met Bob and Nancy, the couple Margaret chose to parent her baby. From that very first moment, it was a match made in heaven. On June 5, 2001, Sean made his debut and forty-eight hours later, he became theirs for life. He is blonde and blue-eyed, with his mother’s deep dimples and flair for sports. Ours is an open adoption and Margaret, who is now happily married, sees him 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. God has given my heart a love and a peace beyond all understanding.

He is happy, well-rounded, and safe. We enjoy our times together but do not grieve that he is not a part of our everyday lives. He resides in a special place in our heart that will always be his alone. If only other grandparents could know the blessings we enjoy!