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.
I am Tiffany, a single mom of a big-eyed little boy named C3. I adopted him at the age of two. Our adoption story was one that started out of sadness, trauma and abuse, which in the end resulted in a love so great, no one involved expected it.
C3 was born to “M,” an abused young child who had just turned eleven, ELEVEN!!! Sadly, she had been sexually abused by a family member and her entire family turned against her, accusing her of being untruthful.
Despite the DNA test results which proved her truth, they still shunned her. It breaks my heart to say that C3’s young birth mom remains in foster care -- some five years later -- and will likely age out.
As for me, as a young girl, I knew I wanted to be a mother. Coming from a big family, naturally I thought I’d have two or three kids. Like most others, I wanted the dream… marriage, two or three kids, a nice house, a great career, etc.
I had everything I could’ve ever wanted except the marriage and children. Still, I knew that despite not being married, I could still be a mom. After all, I’ve known I wanted to adopt since the tender age of seven. Since I hadn’t married and had any children of my own, I figured God purposefully gave me the desire to adopt at such a young age.
At thirty-nine, I became a foster-to-adopt parent. My goal was to adopt a child. I didn’t have any particulars wants (i.e. girl vs. boy, baby vs. toddler or older child); I just knew I wanted to be a mom.
Even so, for an entire year after completing my foster parenting training, I was too scared to take in a child. Then came “the call” one January day while I was at work.
A baby boy had been born a day or two earlier and was likely going to be adoptable. I agreed to take him, and a few days later, I picked up C3 from the hospital. Ours was to be a unique case…
His birth mom, although a minor of age eleven, still had parental rights, which meant she needed to see him several times a week. Weekdays weren’t going to work with my work schedule, so I asked if I could have her stay with me on the weekends. That way, the child could bond with her baby and get to know me by spending quality time with us both.
As we got to know one another, I fell in love with her. How could I not? She was a sweet child and despite what had happened to her, she still was hopeful and had dreams, even though her future was uncertain. I admired the fact that she could see beyond what she had been through and was going through.
She came to stay with us most weekends. During our time together, despite having just given birth, she was able to be child in my house, and we enjoyed doing things children like to do. We went to the zoo, the aquarium, museums, amusement parks, festivals, restaurants, etc.
I wanted to ensure she didn’t lose her childhood just because someone tried to take her innocence. We got to know one another and I really wanted her to come and stay with me as much as she wanted to. We tried a full-time living arrangement, but sadly, it didn’t work. She had gone through so much and still needed a lot of counseling. The timing just wasn’t right.
While our effort to live all together as an untraditional family failed, our love and respect for one another continued to grow. I call C3’s birth mom my “bonus big baby.” She calls me her “God Mother.”
We both believe each other were heaven sent. To me, in God’s own way, he gave me the little girl I have always wanted and a little boy as well!
As we continued to spend time together, getting to know one another, I knew C3’s first mother needed to be a continual part of C3’s life and mine. I realized this was about them, not me, that God put me in this untraditional adoption situation for a reason. He knew my heart and that I’d do what was best for both of them.
After I had been fostering C3 for about a year or so and the realization that C3 would be placed for adoption set in, his first mother asked me to adopt him and only asked for two things in return. One was that we keep in contact and two was that he go to college.
This level of thinking was from a twelve-year-old! I agreed and vowed we’d have an open adoption, one where we would not only be in contact but one where she would be a part of our family. As needed, I set boundaries that we both agreed to and have respected. After just under two and a half years, our adoption was finalized in May 2015.
Today, three years after our adoption, we continue to interact with C3’s first mom. She is a busy high school student, thinking about which college she will attend as she wants to be a pediatric surgeon and she has the grades, smarts and mindset to do it.
Harvard is her first choice so needless to say, I am pushing her and holding her accountable to do what she needs to do to make it happen!
Then there is her social calendar - she is active in several clubs, sports and dance so when she pencils us in to her schedule, we make it a point to have some fun for everyone. As for C3, he is a busy five-year-old who will start kindergarten this fall.
He is smart as a whip which is to be expected since his first mom is too. He knows he is adopted, that she is his first mom and that he grew in my heart. He calls her by her first name but when he is older and understands more, I hope he calls her mom.
For now, I love their bond. It’s natural, loving and authentic which is what I hoped for. He is a blessing and he is blessed with two moms who love him tremendously.
As for me, I am here being mom to them both. Trying to figure out life’s challenges, like every other mom, and how to raise happy, healthy, stable, considerate, responsible, God loving, well rounded kids who will be positive contributors to society. I am loving every bit of it.
We are a family today, tomorrow and forever. They are my heart and my life and I am thankful God chose me for them and them for me.
Tiffany is single with two kids: C (C3) and M (C3’s bio mom). She is a Human Resources executive, a children's and father's rights advocate, and a former foster mother who will start fostering again once settled into a new home. She mentors four young ladies who recently graduated from college and are starting their careers. She has her Masters in HR Management and attended college in Mississippi (Jackson State University - Undergrad) and Georgia (Clark Atlanta University - Graduate School). Tiffany is a native of Chicago and is the youngest of 16 siblings. She designs and sells jewelry in her spare time at www.TiffanyChristine.com.
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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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