Welcome to 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days, hosted by Portrait of an Adoption. This series will feature guest posts by people with widely varying adoption experiences and perspectives.
When I decided to place K for adoption, I never really gave much thought to what religion her parents would be. I was not a devout Christian like I am now, and I didn’t really know the difference between Judaism and Christianity. All I knew was that Jesus was Jewish, and the Jewish people were God’s chosen people.
When Carrie and I first began talking fourteen years ago, she asked me if I was okay with them being Jewish. I remember telling her that I didn’t care what religion they were as long as they had some type of religious beliefs and believed in something greater than their selves.
I had major surgery almost two years ago, and I decided at that point to get right with God. I started listening to only Christian music and attending church every Sunday. I wanted to make sure that if I didn’t make it through this surgery that my eternal life was secure. Through my walk with Christ I have learned so much about what Jesus wants for us. He wants us to love, accept, and be kind to one another. He wants us to treat others as He treated us and to love thy neighbor -- something I feel this world is very short on in this day and age!!
When Carrie started planning for K’s Bat Mitzvah -- a very important Jewish rite of passage at age thirteen -- I never hesitated in my decision to attend. I knew this was something very special for their family, and I was honored to be part of it.
I was very nervous to meet all of the family, but they were all so accepting and supportive. Some of us hit it off beautifully and now we are friends on Facebook!! I really feel that by placing K for adoption, I also placed myself into their family as well. I know in my heart of hearts that if I ever needed anything at all, they would help me, no matter what!!
I am so grateful to have such wonderful people in my life and to be so accepted by them simply because I gave them the gift of a child’s life. I healed their hearts in a time of sorrow, and I believe it was divine intervention. I really believe God used us to answer each other’s prayers when we both needed help in creating a home for a baby.
I have learned so much about the Jewish religion since Carrie and I met, and I try to be mindful of their values and beliefs. I try to be mindful of Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Hanukkah.
When people ask me why I let “some Jews” raise my kid, or ask “how weird was it to go to a Bat Mitzvah,” I simply tell them it wasn’t weird at all, and Jews are perfectly capable people.
When I think back to K’s Bat Mitzvah, what I remember was love and celebration of this one little girl that touched so many lives before she was even born. This amazing young person brought together young, old, black, white, Jews and Christians -- just to celebrate her life -- and I really feel that is how Jesus intended us to live. He doesn’t want us to see our differences but to see the similarities and rejoice in those. We all bleed the same and whether or not we worship the same God is none of my business.
If people want to talk to me about Christianity, I will gladly talk to them about how God has saved me and transformed me into the person I am today. I also feel that whatever relationship someone has with God, Buddha, Jesus, or Allah is their PERSONAL choice!! That is something between them and God and it is not my place to judge. I will extend to them the same grace, dignity, and love that Jesus has shown me because we are all humans and we are all in this together.
Placing K for adoption was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I really struggled in the beginning and even thought about backing out at one point. I remember I was saved and baptized in August of 2003, and I cried through the entire ceremony. If it hadn’t been for the amazing support I received from a few family members and many friends, I don’t think I would have been able to go through with the adoption, even though it was the best thing for K.
I spent a lot of time with my friends who ran the local Domestic Violence Shelter. I threw myself into going to support groups and counseling sessions every week. I was not only dealing with placing K for adoption, but I was dealing with the fact that my entire immediate family had disowned me because of the abuse that had happened to my son D, which is what led my kids being removed from my care by Children’s Division.
My parents and siblings blamed me for what had happened to my son, although I had no idea until Children’s division came knocking on my door. So here I was, all alone, dealing with the fact that the man I loved had abused my son, and had been abusive to me as well. I didn’t even see how he had been abusive to me until after I was away from him.
I felt I had no one. I had two aunts that really supported me and were there for me. I made friends at the support groups and they helped me tremendously.
This time in my life was very dark. My faith really helped me through, and now I am at peace with the decision that I made. I have learned that God gives us the strength we need when we feel as if we can’t go on and that He has His divine hand in everything that we do. All you have to do is trust in Him.
Looking back over the past few years, I realized that I went through more dark times after placing K for adoption. I tried to move on like nothing had happened, but I found myself dating a married man, and then when that ended, I dated men that were emotionally unavailable. I was looking for someone to change and to fix. Little did I know that I was the one that needed to be changed and fixed.
I moved to my current city five years ago, and although at the time it seemed like a million miles from home and a huge challenge, it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I found my current church here, and last April, I was baptized again and recommitted my life to Christ.
I have talked about my story in church and have found such amazing love and support. When Carrie and Andrew lost their first child, we were complete strangers and we were all grieving the loss of our children, and the birth of K would be the one thing that would heal us all. I knew early in my pregnancy that I was going to place K and I knew that God would lead me to her forever family.
Placing K for adoption has given me the strength to go back to school and get my Bachelor’s degree, so that I am able to continue to walk the path God has for me. My dream is to help other birth mothers find their way and make sure if adoption is the best choice for them, or to help victims of domestic violence find their independence and realize that their self-worth is not contingent on a man. I want women to know that we are amazing even if we are alone, and we can face whatever comes our way.
I hope this story reaches someone. Time heals all wounds, and if you give your pain to God, He will fill your heart with blessings you could never imagine or receive on your own. He is an amazing Father, and He only wants the best for all of His children.
M is a proud mother and grandmother. She is excited to announce that she will soon be finished with her Bachelor's Degree.
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Carrie Goldman is the host of Portrait of an Adoption. She is an award-winning author, speaker, and bullying prevention educator. Follow Carrie's blog Portrait of an Adoption on Facebook and Twitter
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