I grew up just the same as every other little girl. My father was my first love, and my mother was my best friend and comforter. My grandparents spoiled me beyond belief, my cousins were my closest friends, and my aunt and uncle’s houses were my homes away from home. I loved playing dress up, picking flowers for my mom, and always ran into my parents’ arms when I scraped my knee. I went to piano lessons and played soccer with my parents always cheering me on. I laughed and smiled while I danced around with my parents and held their hands. I viewed the world in the state of wonder that can only be seen through the eyes of a child. As the years went on and I grew up, my parents were always by my side, loving me the whole way. Nevertheless, some may consider the way I came into this life and family to be special. My parents, Brian and Carmela, adopted me when I was a newborn.
In the year 1995, a young girl named Jennifer was 14 years old when she found out that she was pregnant. Like many others her age facing this difficult situation, abortion crossed her mind. Meanwhile, my incredible parents were trying to have a child of their own when my mother received the news that she was infertile. Devastated, they told everyone they knew that they wanted a baby and needed their help to find a mother willing to place her child for adoption. The news arrived when a friend, who was a teacher, told my parents that one of his students was pregnant. My parents immediately jumped at the opportunity, begging their friend to ask his student to choose life for her baby and give her baby a better life. My birth mother agreed, and she made that brave choice to give me life. She endured the ridicule and embraced the stereotype of being a pregnant teenager. She carried me knowing that she would never know me or hold me; she would not watch me grow up, get married, or have children of my own. However, she carried me knowing that my parents would be there for all these events.
I always knew that I was adopted. My family never hid it from me, and I can’t even recall the moment that I was first told this news. I have just always known. Many people would think that this would change the way that I interacted with my family, or that I would feel different from them. My life is quite the opposite though. I have never felt alienated or different than the rest of my family at all. My parents are my parents. I have never viewed them any other way, and in my opinion, they are the best parents in the world! There has never been any disconnect with the relationship between my parents and me. We have the same love towards each other as any other parent and child. I am their child, not their “adopted child”; and they are my parents, not my “adoptive parents.” To me, instead of growing in my mommy’s tummy, I grew inside her heart. Like any other parent, my parents felt the same joy while holding me for the first time, felt the same pride watching me grow, shed the same tears at my high school graduation, and felt the same reluctance to leave me the day I moved into college. There is no difference.
I have never met or contacted my birth mother or family. It has definitely crossed my mind many times, but I am still not sure if it will happen. My birth mother opted for a closed adoption, and I do not want to bring any sad feelings to either her or my parents. Many times I have wondered what characteristics I have received from her, but there is one I am sure of. I received her loving and brave heart, which was further cultivated from my parents, who possess the same courage, bravery, sacrifice, and love that my birth mother does.
Many people use the term “unwanted” for a child received through adoption. This term is one that I find most ridiculous, because if anything, adopted children are wanted more. My birth mother wanted to give me a better life filled with opportunities that she could not provide for me, and my parents wanted me more than anything. They prayed for the gift of a child and rejoiced when I finally arrived. And I too have rejoiced at the gift that I received, the gift of life, and the gift of an amazing family that I love and cherish more than anything.
Adoption is the best option for any woman facing an unplanned pregnancy who feels that she cannot care for her baby. It devastates me to know that so many precious lives are ended each day when there are so many parents longing for a child. The average abortion procedure takes about 10 minutes, while the waiting list for adopting a baby can take anywhere between 2 and 10 years. Fighting for the unborn is not easy, but it is extremely rewarding. There is human life at stake, and you can help ensure that life blossoms to its full potential so that each baby can make their impact on this world. There is no neutral stance on the topic of abortion; everyone must choose their side. Do you cherish the beautiful gift life, or do you want to destroy it?
So, what is my response to someone who asks me, “What is it like to be adopted?”
My answer is simple. It’s a beautiful life.
* This testimony was written by Gabriella Fabish, a student at Westminster College (PA). Many thanks to Gabriella for sharing her story!