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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Alexandra's Story

It is with great pleasure that I share with you this story. Although it has been five years, my experience with American Adoptions cannot be forgotten. I cannot express how blessed I feel to have found an agency so genuinely sincere in their efforts to ease the process of adoption. And so, I write this in an attempt to express my gratitude.

I'm a birthmother that went through the adoption process about five years ago.  Shelly Riffle was my adoption specialist -- and that name is forever imprinted on my heart for all the support she gave me during that time.

I must tell you a little bit about myself in order for any of this to make sense... I have developed an instinctual ability to avoid any kind of intense negative effect -- and must force myself to confront things that are difficult in order to process such emotionality. I engaged in my own personal therapy last year for many reasons, but among them -- I did so in an effort to embrace, and not forget this experience that shaped my life and who I am today. It is through American Adoptions, that I first experienced an empathy so sincere and free of judgment -- that often I reflect back on how receptive you all were of me, and only hope that I can provide the same kind of service to others in the future.

I received a letter and pictures from my adoptive family about a year ago after not having had contact with them in four years; I found it in me the courage to write them back. I didn't even know where to send the letter -- so I e-mailed one of your specialists.  Her heartfelt response and eagerness to help, after all this time, reminded me of how much you all helped me, and has encouraged me to pursue doctoral degree in clinical psychology so that I can help others in a similar way.

I have found that the people you love and have impacted you the most live on within you -- despite the amount (or lack thereof) of contact that exists in the relationship. I can say with utmost honesty that not a day goes by that I don’t think of my son. There are some moments when I am saddened by the fact that I cannot see everything that the family I chose so lovingly describes for myself -- but then I look at the pictures and read the letters and can just feel how happy he is. That in and of itself, assures me to my core that my world is just as it should be.

With endless gratitude and love,

Alexandra

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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