The month of November may come as a surprise to many of you, as a month with many reasons to celebrate. For starters it’s National Adoption Month, and National Adoption Day is the Saturday before Thanksgiving. There is also Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and this year also marked the official launch of FamilyRemixed! But there is one other lesser known celebration that is as equally important, at least to me: my daddy’s birthday. On this day, 69 years ago, the man I’m blessed to call my daddy was born.
So in honor of many of the aforementioned celebrations in November, I’m going to share why I’m so thankful for my adoption, my family and I’ll highlight why my dad is so special.
Clearly my birth wasn’t planned, but I’m so grateful God still had a plan for me anyway. From what my family knows, my birth mother was a freshman in college and based on my birthday, it was her first semester of her freshman year. (Woah!) I know very little else about her. I know even less about my biological father. We know he played baseball at the university my birth mom attended but from his lack of involvement with the pregnancy, he didn’t seem to be too interested in me. I only know this because my birth mom’s nurse, Nila, served as the liaison between my birth mom and my parents. Nila, was also the one who made the ultimate decision on approving my parents to adopt me. Crazy twist to follow…
Now I am my father’s only daughter. And yes, I am absolutely daddy’s girl. (I mean, I’m 32 years old and I still call him daddy for crying out loud). I knew my parents, who already had adopted one son (my oldest brother, Kevin) and were waiting on their second son (Rob), wanted to have a daughter. And it wasn’t until recently that I came to realize how badly they wanted me, specifically. Don’t get me wrong, I know they’ve always loved me since they brought me home. But it’s a different feeling to know that you were wanted in expectation prior to your birth. Especially when you’re an adopted child, who spent far too much time as a child worried why my birth parents “didn’t want me”.
But it was a bittersweet moment when my dad told me the story of the interview they had with Nila in order to be my parents. See, when my parents first met with Nila, she didn’t know they already had a son and were waiting for another. When she found out, she thanked them for their time but didn’t think that it would be right, appropriate, fair, etc. to allow my parents to take me home. She told my parents “No” to adopting me. N-O! NO!
I just found this out a year ago, so you can imagine how quickly my entire 31 years of life flashed before my eyes. Immediately, I got seriously emotional as I imagined all of the alternatives. My dad says, “Oh yeah, we almost didn’t get you.” (Ruuurrrr-uuupp!) Hold the phone!
I shrieked, “Dad, what do you mean, you almost didn’t get me!?” He repeats in a tone that was far too casual for my liking, “yeah, we were first told no when we asked to adopt you.” While my dad was all nonchalant about it, I was very much freaking out!
Like, I need all of y’all to understand that one of my biggest fears in life was to not have my parents adopt me. As a kid I thought parents could reverse adoption and I was terrified of that idea. I was terrified of not having them as parents; of not having my life. And I am so beyond grateful that:
1) I am even alive.
2) That I didn’t end up in a very likely, struggling of a situation if my birth mom tried to raise me herself. (Much respect to single parents who make it work!)
3) That I was adopted at all.
4) That I wasn’t adopted into any other family than the one I have!
So to find out that for even just a few brief moments my entire destiny was held in the balance… best believe I was freaking out when I heard this.
Fortunately, reality started to creep back in as I wiped the tears rolling down my cheeks and said, “well, dad, how did it work out?” I started to breathe again as I remembered that clearly they still took me home.
And my dad says, “Well, we were really excited about having you as our daughter. And we told her (Nila) that we understand where she’s coming from but we just really wanted to be your parents. And we couldn’t wait to have you as our little girl. Can she please, please reconsider.”
My parents, really, really wanted me. They really wanted me. Nevermind my birth dad, who was apparently not interested in me at all. Nevermind the fact that my birth mom was so upset about my conception she didn’t even tell her parents about it. Nevermind all the “Nos” that were set up against me before I even took my first breath. Because when my parents were told “no” they fought for me. They pushed to have me. And daddy, I’m so grateful to God that you did.
Because you did, I got to hear you cheer me on as I crossed the monkey bars for the first time in North Carolina.
Because you did, I got to hear you boast about how “neat” your daughter is to all of your friends because I’m “not afraid of anything and just as tough as the boys.”
Because you did, I’ll never forget you coaching me at softball as a kid and us laughing about my batting stance. And even when I got bored of the sport you bribed me with pets to play for just another season— two years in a row!
Dad, you have always believed in me. You taught me to be nice to those who are less fortunate and to treat everyone with kindness and respect, no matter their background or where they come from.
You taught me to always give my best and to see commitments through.
Thank you for teaching me the value of a no-quit attitude. And when it mattered most, thank you for not quitting in your fight to be my father. Because getting to be your daughter, is absolutely priceless.
I love you. Happy Birthday Daddy!
Do you have a can’t miss ,or near miss adoption story? What has your dad done to make you feel especially important? Let’s all show our dads some love! Make sure to like, comment and share if you can relate!
Liz is a forever optimistic, creative, & intelligent woman. She credits her Christian faith for so much joy in her life. She loves her family and is excited about creating a family of her own with her husband (biological and otherwise). Liz is also a NY Giants fan and award winning ice-cream eating champion!