Julianna’s Story- An Adoptee’s Journey

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I recently learned that just as quickly as I was born, my life ended for a short period of time. My birth mother had a traumatic birthing experience, but miraculously, I was given a chance at life as the doctors were able to resuscitate me. An adoption plan was made prior to my birth, and my birth mother had chosen my adoptive parents out of several other families. She really wanted me to have a brother, and my parents had already adopted my older brother. When I was just 2 ½ weeks old, after a short stay in a foster home, I was placed into the arms of a couple of whom I have always known to be my parents.

My adoption was never a secret, and over the years, I struggled with feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and depression. However, these feelings weren’t all directly related to my adoption. My parents were always very honest with me about my adoption, but I did not have a relationship with my birth parents while I was growing up. As a young child, it was hard for me to imagine my birth parents as real people- almost as if they were celebrities or fictional characters.

Fast forward through my teens and through most of my twenties- I received the gift of an Ancestry DNA kit from my aunt. I decided to go through with it, and even checked off the section that would allow for the company to match me with close relatives. I remember thinking, “I doubt this will go anywhere, but why not?” It was just about a year later when I received a message from someone who said she was very closely related. I was curious and began talking with her. She asked me a bunch of questions, and finally asked if I was born on a certain day, in a particular town. I responded “yes”, and she said “You’re my half-sister! Wait till I tell Mom!” The next 24 hours were a blur, as I began talking with two of my half-sisters, my birth mom, and my birth dad. It felt so surreal to finally be able to put faces and names to people that I had only imagined before.

Connecting with my birth family as an adult made a huge difference in my life. It was such a blessing for me to be able to say to my birth mom, “thank you for choosing life for me.” I still remember that feeling of peace wash over me that day.

If you are facing an unintended pregnancy and considering adoption, I can tell you that it will be one of the hardest things you will ever do, but your child’s life is worth it. My life was worth it. As an adopted child, I do not hold any resentment in my heart for my birth family. In fact, I have an immense amount of respect and love for them for choosing life and for making a plan for my future.

My journey wasn’t always easy, and there were certainly times that I struggled with my adoption story. While it can be hard at times, I can look back and see now how I am loved beyond belief. Jeremiah 31:3 says, “You are loved with an everlasting love.” My birth mother’s decision was made out of love.

God redeemed my story, and continues to in so many ways. I now have 2 children of my own, and my adoption has not at all affected my ability to fully love and parent my children. I have been blessed with tremendous family support over the years, and am also in a healthy relationship with a very hopeful future.

It’s important to note that adoption looks a lot different today than it did years ago. Open adoptions are much more common now, as studies have proven them to be beneficial for everyone in the adoption triad (10 Things that Scientific Research Says about Open Adoption | American Adoptions Blog |). If you’d like to learn more about modern adoption, visit our blog post, 6 Misconceptions of Infant Adoption for Expectant Mothers — Align Pregnancy Services.

Most importantly, if you or someone you know is facing an unintended pregnancy and looking for truth and information, please contact us to discuss your options at one of our pregnancy centers. You are valued, and you are loved.

Written by: Julianna Gerlach and Shannon Martin

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