Jen’s Adoption Story

Keeping with the Adoption Awareness Month theme I wanted to share a story from someone I know personally. An old friend of mine from Utah reached out to me when I asked for adoption stories letting me know she was more than happy to share her story with me and the world. I love her story because it’s similar to Cash’s story. Her story gives me hope that Cash will see things the way they truly were. I hope when Cash is an adult he sees Tyson in the same way Jen sees her dad. Thank you so much for sharing with us, Jen. ❤

 

My mom and biological father divorced when I was not yet two. When they divorced, my mom allowed him to have visitation with me whenever he wanted. I was his child and she was not going to try and keep me from him. The things I remember from my time with him are not that great. I spent most of my time, when I was at his home, sitting in his apartment living room watching TV while he and his girlfriend locked themselves in their bedroom. He never did know how to be a dad. Shortly after I turned seven, I watched him come out of the bathroom with a hypodermic needle. I remember asking him what that was for and him responding “oh nothing, I have diabetes”. When I got home to my mom, I asked her about my dad’s “diabetes”. It was shortly after this that the relationship changed. He did not, in fact, have diabetes; he was a drug addict who could no longer control his addiction even when his child was around.

I did not see my biological father much after this. Sometime after this incident occurred, I said to my mom’s husband, who had been there for me since I could remember, that I wished he would adopt me. I didn’t fully know what that meant. However, I knew that this man, who was not my biological father had done a much better job at raising me and supporting me than the man who helped create me. My biological father came to my eighth birthday with his girlfriend. The two of them gave me an expensive ring and a 100-dollar bill. I didn’t see either of them after this. He stopped trying to contact either me or my mother.

Because of the comment that I made to my mom and her husband, they looked into what needed to happen for the adoption process to get started. Our lawyer said that if my “dad” had no contact with me for six months, it was considered abandonment. I found out later in my life that my mom had contacted my “dad” to give him another shot; clean up his act and get off drugs or give up his rights. Initially, he fought it and said he wasn’t going to give up his rights. That didn’t last long, and he stopped calling and trying to keep his rights. The drugs were more important to him than his daughter.

Once the legal length for abandonment had lapsed, the adoption process could be final. I remember going to the courthouse in a new dress that my mom and soon-to-be dad let me pick out. The judge asked me if the man sitting next to me was who I wanted my dad to be; yes, the answer was, yes. My mom, now dad, brother, and lots of other family members were at the courthouse were there to celebrate this occasion.

In my early 20’s I found out that my biological father was ill and going to die soon. I had a lot of unresolved issues because of his abandonment. I wanted to see him and talk to him. I wanted to ask him why he made the choices he did. Most of all, I wanted to yell at him and show him that I turned out to be an amazing person, despite the hell I went through with him. Our meeting had been set up. I had written a letter to him to ensure my thoughts didn’t get lost or forgotten due to emotions. The day before we were supposed to meet, his girlfriend/wife, contacted my mom and said that he no longer wanted to see me. His exact words were “she’s big enough to make grown-up decisions without me (referring to me getting married), she doesn’t deserve to see me before I die”. This just showed me he remained selfish and childish until the day he died.

*Side note: I found the VHS of my adoption about two years ago and watched it….I bawled.*

 

The feature photo is of her adoptive father, Dean, and her at her wedding. I love the comment she puts for this photo: “This man has taken on a responsibility that not everyone can.”

The photo below is of her very supportive husband. “When I was dealing with how to approach my biological father dying, he worked with my mother every day to make sure that I was okay.”

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