Hi, my name is Katie and I was born in Pennsylvania in 1997 to a young girl named Adele.
I was born with Spina bifida, leaving me paralyzed from the waist down. Don't worry though,
I'm thriving (most days) in my wheelchair! I was adopted at three days old by my mom and dad.
I grew up with 16 other siblings who are also all adopted, (I could writing a book about all of that, but i'll save it for another time). I look back at my life and am simply amazed by the positive impact adoption can have on a family.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and am a firm believer in a God who see's us through our toughest challenges, and provides a way for us to have true and lasting joy along the way. I believe that He loves all of His children, and has provided adoption as one of those “it’s too good to be true” kind of things.
Anyways, I still can picture little me hearing my mom on the phone with the social worker that placed me with my family, and rushing over to ask her if she had heard from Adele, my birth mother. Did she want me? Did my birth family want me back? Was I good enough for them now? "If only they can see me... I promise I’m good!" I tied my self-worth to being wanted by my birth family for so long, and frequently thought of my adoption as a back-up plan. But news flash, that isn't how it's supposed to be! I lived with this ache in my heart, burying it deep down for years with the fear that it would cause pain to my adoptive family. After all, I was taken care of, my needs were being met, and I was loved. There were many days when I was happy, so I tried to focus on that.
In the Church of Jesus Christ, it is very typical for those between the ages of 18 and 25 to serve missions. I was called to serve in St. George, Utah doing family history, which was by far the best experience I have ever had. It was there, in the mission, where I feel my true journey with adoption took place. You see, I knew the genealogy of my adopted family pretty well, but what I didn’t know was that of my biological family. All I knew was that I was adopted at three days old, and my birth mothers name was Adele.
Side note: My adopted mom passed away when I was 17. As a result, my life as I knew it felt as though it was completely pulled out from under me. A year after my mom passed, while on my mission, I received guidance to take a DNA test. Unfortunately, I went into taking the test with the same hopes & insecurities as little Katie once had. The DNA test eventually led me to my brith parents, only for me to once again be devastated to hear that they wanted absolutely nothing to do with me.
And so, although I officially knew where I came from (my heritage being Italian), what I didn’t know was “who I was” on the inside. Was I defined by my birth mothers choice to leave me at the hospital? Well no, because that is her story. Was I defined by my disability and lack of mobility? No, that’s just the body I got. Was I defined by my adoption? Close, but no. You see my existence is much greater than all of these. My existence is based on me being a beloved daughter of God, created in His sight and image, who provided a way for me to progress, learn, grow, and become. "Who I am" is defined in Him and through His perfect plan, part of which is the wonderful family He blessed me with.
Adoption is the most beautiful thing to be a part of. As I look back, forward, and all around me I realize that adoption gave me, and continues to give me, everything that I have now — including the knowledge of a very mindful and loving Heavenly Father and Savior. I realize now that adoption is not a back up plan, it’s THE plan. Something provided for us all to find joy, to learn who we truly are, and to grow into who we can become in a stable and loving environment. I am forever changed thanks to my adoption, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Despite everything, I love my birth family with my whole heart (those who gave me up), and I love my forever family with my whole heart (those who adopted me). Both families have gotten me to where I am today in some way or another. This is my adoption...almost "too good to be true." :)