I have a lot to be thankful for in my life. My brothers and I were adopted at birth. At a very young age, my parents lovingly explained that I was adopted and how special they felt being able to raise me.
One night, when I was in high school, my mom drove me to church for an overnight retreat. It was at that time she explained the details of my birth and the birth of my younger brothers. I remember thinking that memorable night I had something very special to be thankful for. I have never felt abandoned, unwanted, or unloved. I felt as normal as any of my childhood friends.
I never knew my birth mom and I decided early on never to invade her privacy. I am sure it was a difficult decision for her. Over the years I have thanked the Lord that she gave me my life. I imagine she has thought about me from time to time in her life.
As I have grown older it is obvious that being adopted had shaped my views on social issues. Life has challenges and difficulties for everyone. I am very fortunate to have been adopted and not grown up in an environment like the Supremes sang about in their 1968 hit song “Love Child”. I have a special place in my heart for children born to single moms and will do whatever I can to make their journey into adulthood less difficult. We share a common trait that transcends all barriers. My faith in the Lord has confirmed to me that “being here is a lot better than not being”.
We often have discussions in society about groups of individuals whose moral character elevates them to the status of a hero. I agree with those who mention members of the military who protect and defend our freedom, civil service workers who protect our interest on a daily basis, and school teachers. I strongly feel that adults who adopt children are the unsung heroes in our society. They do this without much recognition and with a lot of love. It usually ends up being a successful situation for both the parent and child.
My parents, who did a fantastic job of raising me, have both passed away. I think about them daily and how they are responsible for the success the Lord has given me. In the final weeks of my mom’s life, I was in her hospital room early one morning. She made the comment, “Look what I would have missed out on if I had said no when they called to tell me about you”. I could not image growing up any other way. My parents gave unselfishly to my brothers and me. I have been blessed in a way I could never justifiably describe. I hope every adopted child has the opportunity to feel the love and happiness I have enjoyed. There is no feeling stronger than feeling loved and wanted.
I am thankful for courageous women who unselfishly place their babies’ best interests above their own. To make a decision of that magnitude must be excruciating. And to adoptive parents everywhere, thank you. You have left your mark in the world and in the hearts of these mothers and their children.
Written by Greg Samford