As my child began to grow and move inside me, I sensed her presence, and considered that I had nothing to give her apart from my love. I wondered, “Would that be enough?” I knew that she deserved more: two parents—a mother and a father, a loving couple—who would love her and who were prepared to give her a life with stability and promise.
When I learned of a young couple in their late twenties who were desperately seeking to adopt a newborn baby, I thought this might be the perfect arrangement. Although the adoption would be closed and I would not be able to meet the prospective parents, they came highly recommended, and I quickly gave my consent.
My daughter was born just six days before Christmas at Methodist Hospital, the same hospital where I had been born eighteen years earlier. I was discouraged from seeing her by the nurses and hospital staff, but I do remember catching a glimpse of her before the nurses took her away. Only three days after her birth, I knew that the happy young couple was just down the hall, anxiously waiting to take their newborn daughter home. As I was being discharged from the hospital, I signed the final release. Unable to hold back my tears, I sat on the edge of the hospital bed and prayed that I had made the right choice.
Over the years, my baby girl stayed in my thoughts, especially on her birthday and Christmas. I wondered if she knew about me and whether she would one day find me.
Many years later, in August of 2003, I was thrilled to receive a letter from her. As I looked through the enclosed photographs, I asked God, “Is this really my daughter?” Her name was Melissa, and she was beautiful! My heart was overwhelmed at the sight of her big brown eyes and beautiful smile. Tears flowed down my cheeks as I read the sweet words she had written to me:
“I have always known that I was adopted, ever since I can remember, and I have always thought that I would want to search for you someday so that I could thank you for my life. I was adopted by wonderful parents that I believe were chosen especially for me by God. I was even born on my mother’s birthday! I have had a truly blessed life.”
In that moment I knew with no uncertainty that I had made the right choice in giving Melissa to that young couple twenty-eight years earlier, and in return they had given her everything that I could not. God’s gift to me now is knowing her and being a part of her life. I believe in giving.
Keri Freeburg has lived on Kodiak Island, Alaska, with her husband, Charlie, the love of her life, for the better part of twenty years. Ms. Freeburg is originally from Texas, where she was reunited with her daughter, Melissa, in 2003. Although they are separated by several thousand miles, they still write and stay in touch.