My name is Lindsay Riezebos, and I was adopted.
My Mom and Dad were unable to have kids. They tried everything medically, but could not conceive. My father had a low sperm count related to having been very involved with sports. They’d been married 6 years, when they decided to adopt.
After countless interviews, a young mother chose them to adopt her baby boy, my older brother, Dan. About three years later, they received a phone call telling them that a baby girl was waiting to be adopted and asking if they wanted a second child. After much prayer and discussion, my parents decided to take that child. Me! My Mom said she only hesitated, because she didn’t want to take a baby away from someone that wanted a child and didn’t have even one.
My parents always told us we were adopted and were meant to be their children. No one ever knew that we were adopted, though, because both my brother and I so closely resemble our parents and family.
I was born in 1976, and at that time adoptions were closed, meaning the birth parents would have no contact after the adoption. I was in a foster home for the first 6 months of my life, because my birth father wouldn’t sign the papers to release me for adoption, and all I know about my birth mom is that she was a young teenager, around 16 years old. Today most adoptions are open leaving the door open for some contact.
A few times while in high school, I did think of trying to communicate with my birth parents. Not because I wasn’t happy, just curious. I wanted to know what my birth mom looks like, what kind of life she had. I really just wanted to tell her thank you and let her know she made a good decision. Although my mom always encouraged me, I feared that the search might hurt her. Her only request was to have me go through her best friend, who was like an aunt to me. The friend had all of the contact information. Many times I talked to my Aunt Judy, but I never followed through to finding my birth parents. The mom and dad who raised me are my parents, all that I need.
Now that I have three babies of my own, I can understand what an unselfish choice my birth mother made. Often I think of her and pray for her. I know what it is like to carry a baby for 9 months. You get connected from the day you find out you are having a baby. Even though I don’t know my birth parents, I think of them often, and I am thankful that they gave me life. I am also thankful for my parents for loving me. I am their child and always will be.
Adoption is a blessing for many families. I would encourage anyone who feels unable to give their child the home the child deserves to look into adoption. With the openness available today, contact doesn’t have to be lost. Adopted children have the opportunity to thank their birth parents for the gift of life and the blessing of a good, stable home.