November is National Adoption Month. In celebration, Friends in Adoption (FIA) is featuring an important perspective on what adoption means from the voice of a person who was adopted through FIA not that long ago. Kayla Jones is 17 years old and a senior in high school taking advanced courses for college credit. Her assignment for an English 101 course was to write a 650 word minimum essay sharing her background or a story that is central to her identity. She chose to write about her adoption, and she was happy to have this story shared in honor of National Adoption Month! Thank you for telling your story, Kayla! Kayla’s future plans after completing Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) coursework in high school include going to college to become a registered nurse. We know that Kayla has a successful future ahead. Kayla is already a fantastic ambassador for open adoption!
Kayla's Story: A Voice of Adoption in Celebration of National Adoption Month
Summer Essay – Prompt 1
When a woman becomes pregnant, she has a couple choices. She can keep the baby, abort the baby, or put the baby up for adoption. My birthmother was 15 years old when she gave birth to me and put me up for adoption. If she had chosen to abort me I wouldn’t be alive and if she had kept me I wouldn’t be who I am today. I believe that my adoption was a very important building block to my life. My parents and my birth family chose to have an open adoption, meaning my birth family and I would keep in contact and even meet each other.
My parents always kept me informed about my adoption as I was growing up. If I had any questions they would answer them, “Mom, whose belly did I come from?” “You came from Amanda’s (my birth mom, of course) belly”. I never understood why a parent would lie to their child and keep their adoption a secret. Why must it be a secret? My whole life I have been extremely open about my adoption. I am willing to answer any questions I can about it. A lot of people don’t know much about adoption and I feel as if it is partially my job to help others better understand adoption.
My Mom and Dad dreamt of raising a family with kids and pets in a small neighborhood just outside of Woodstock, NY. My mom soon found out that she was not capable of becoming pregnant. A friend of hers taught her about adoption, so my parents contacted an agency called “Friends in Adoption”. My parents were able to meet my birthmother before I was even born, figuring out they actually had a lot in common with each other. That is when they made the decision to have an open adoption. I have met my birthmother and family a couple times. I have also been fortunate enough to meet my birthfather once. AI have met my half sister on my birthfather’s side and my half brother on my birthmother’s side. I wasn’t really sure what their reactions would be towards me; considering they just found out they have a half sibling. They loved me. We all went swimming and had dinner together.
When I tell people that I am adopted they usually ask “Who is your real Mom then?” The answer to that question is Lanie Jones. My “real” Mom is the Mom who raised me, my birth mom is the one who gave birth to me… I never get sensitive about it, because I understand that people mostly don’t look at it like that. If I had been raised by my birth mom my life would have been completely different. I wouldn’t live in Woodstock, NY. I would have different friends, a different school, a different job, etc. Most importantly, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Everything I have experienced in my life, every moment that I have learned from has shaped who I am and if I never experienced them then I would be a different person. My Dad is a musician and he has inspired me to pick up some instruments of my own. If I wasn’t adopted, who would have showed me the correct way to play a G chord? If I wasn’t adopted I would have a brother instead of two little sisters. Let’s just say I’d take my sisters over a little “bother” any day. My Mom and I have a sort of relationship that not many people understand. My Mom and I look at our relationship as a friendship, always telling each other things, never lying; I could go to her for anything. But don’t get me wrong she still is my Mom and still has rules and punishments. All in all, I absolutely love this family I have and the soulful life they have given me.
I could not imagine what it would be like if my birthmother had chosen a different path than the one she did. At that time, I don’t think she realized how much weight was in that decision. She tells my parents and I that she does not regret her decision. She knew she couldn’t handle taking care of me and she knew that I would have a better life in my parent’s hands. I am so happy to tell people my story; I believe that is what makes me special and what makes me who I am.
P.S. In sharing this essay with Friends in Adoption, Kayla’s parents wrote, “We are so proud of her. We just wanted you to see we practiced what you taught us about open adoption!”