For several years I’ve been thinking about changing up my blog. I’m personally drawn to honest, vulnerable truth tellers who just put it all out there, and I have wanted to be that! I’ve wanted people to feel something when they came to my site. Yes, weddings are gorgeous and all of these people are wonderful, but I’ve wanted my work to be about more than that. I have known for some time that I have stories to tell that others may need to hear, and I’ve often felt led to share them. But because I’m stubborn and sometimes truth-telling is HARD, I ignored that gut feeling and kept on with the the weddings and engagements and all the pretty things. Because pretty things are MUCH easier. But recently I decided it was time to stop running away from what I feel led to do and decided it was time to make those changes I’ve been thinking about and be a more open and honest version of myself. It’s not fun to be surrounded by people who don’t really KNOW you, so I want let you guys get to know me here! Don’t worry, I won’t be bombarding you with crazy personal stories…there will still be a TON of wedding and engagement stories to tell, too. But mixed in with all that will be a little bit more about me, my boys, my life, my world…my story. My hope is that someone, somewhere, can take something from it that helps them. Some of my stories are beautiful and soft and kind to the soul and some of them are the kind of stories I wish I could forget. But all of the stories are uniquely mine. Because I am a child of God who knows with certainty that I wouldn’t be here without the grace of Jesus and the faith that He loves me in spite of everything else, I also know with certainty that my stories will be used, and that is reason enough to share them with you.
So, here we are. It seems silly now, but I struggled with knowing where to start for a while like it was a real problem–not just another form of procrastination–until I heard Julie Andrews in my head singing, “Let’s start at the very beginning–a very good place to start…” Haha! First fun fact about me is that I love the Sound of Music. But I digress. Onto today’s personal post which is the very beginning of my story: My adoption.
I don’t remember when my family told me I was adopted…I’ve always “known.” So, it doesn’t feel like a “big deal” in terms of the adoption part, other than being a part of my birth story. That being said, it also feels like the BIGGEST deal because if this part of my story didn’t exist, it is likely my entire world would be different.
For the first 30 days of my life, my name was Cindy. I was born to young, unwed parents here in Richmond, Virginia. My biological mother was 16 and my biological father was 17. That’s it. That’s all I know. That, and a fairly basic assumption that they realized they were too young to adequately provide for me, so they made a choice to give me, hopefully, to a family who was prepared and able to provide me with opportunities. They named me “Cindy,” and they planned this adoption before my birth, so my placement in foster care was settled ahead of time. While I was Cindy, from March 23, 1976 to April 23, 1976, I lived with a foster mother who faithfully documented my time with her. She took photos of me, almost daily, and she made sure my “new” parents (who I refer to as mom and dad) had all the information they needed about my routine and habits to ensure a successful transfer of custody. I seriously laugh out loud when I read the letter she wrote the night before I was given to my parents. I was less than a month old and was already drinking juice and milk and eating cereal. My, how times have changed! But I promise I’d like to thank that lady for my early love affair with carbs and apple juice. And my fat thighs. I’m sure that’s her fault too! It’s clear where my food issues began! Ha! I imagine I wasn’t the first, nor the last, newborn placed in her care, yet she seems to have cared for me like I was her only one. What beautiful people there are in this world who can do such an important job.
This is the photo album she sent along when I was given to my parents on April 23, 1976, when I was exactly 1 month old.
Just look at that chunky baby! Those thighs were something serious, even back then. Maybe due to my diet? 🙂
This is the letter she wrote them, outlining my schedule, sleep habits, and preferred foods, as well as my first thermometer.
And soooo many cards from loved ones who celebrated with my parents when their little girl came home to them.
This one from my grandmother still does me in. I miss her so very much.
I know it’s not this way for everyone who has been adopted, but for ME, I am so, so, so very grateful for the selflessness of my biological parents and their families! I can’t say that emphatically enough! Folks sometimes ask me if I’m curious about who they are and the answer is yes and no. Yes, because I wonder where I got my freckles from… I wonder if one of them often laughed at inappropriate times or used sarcasm as a regular form of communication like I do… I wonder if there are medical concerns I should know about that would impact myself or my children… I wonder where I got my simultaneous love for gangster rap, country, and contemporary Christian music… Haha! Or does biology and “nature” even make a difference in some of this and it’s really just a “nurture” type of deal to some degree (although I may pass out if I ever find my mom with Tupac in her ear). But no, I don’t wonder about them to the degree that I need to meet them. As far as I’m concerned I have a mother. I have a father and a brother and aunts and uncles and grandparents who are MINE. I have lived, and continue to live, a blessed life full of ups and downs and joys and struggles. Not everything and every time in my life has been easy, but I haven’t truly wanted for anything. If I had the opportunity to meet them, my message would be this:
Dear Bio Mom and Bio Dad,
Thank you for the opportunity you gave me to LIVE and LIVE WELL. Thank you for loving me enough to give me a family who desperately wanted me. Thank you for being selfless enough to put your own wants and feelings aside for the sake of your child. And if you ever doubted whether your actions were the right ones, please don’t. They were. And I am good. I am happy. I am LOVED. And in your one hard, teenage-parenting decision, you showed up and KILLED this parenting thing. I am forever grateful and will love you always for that.
Your girl, Cindy. xo
And a little Sound of Music clip for a send-off!
Happy late-night Tuesday!
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