The greatest joy in my life has been standing by my husband as we raise six smart, caring, and energetic kids. While none of them carry our blood, they carry our last name and all the love that comes with it.
More often than not, women are stigmatized for their choice to place their child for adoption. In my experience, however, it was never a lack of love that led women to choose adoption, but an abundance of it. I have seen that it takes immense strength and compassion to choose life for a child and then to selflessly place them in the arms of another, with the hope of giving them a better life.
Because of these courageous women, my hopes and prayers of becoming a mother have been answered.
PAUL BATURA: THE BEST RISK MY WIFE AND I EVER TOOK
When we adopted our first son, I can remember sitting in wonder and awe as I looked down at the small life that I rocked slowly in my arms. The precious little boy that I held was not formed in my womb but was my son, nonetheless.
I sat in that moment thinking about how special it was, and my heart ached for my son’s birth family, who may never get to experience all that he was. It was then that I decided to have an open adoption. I wanted the brave woman who chose life for this little boy to experience the joy of his smile and the magic that emanated from his laugh.
After our first successful open adoption our family was blessed with another little boy. With all the happiness he brought into our home, we knew that we wanted to expand our family yet again.
Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a wonderful addition ended in a failed adoption. While I had not carried him in my womb, I had carried him in my heart and had looked forward with great anticipation the family that we had dreamed of. To learn that he would not become a part of our family after all was a feeling of such great loss and sadness for me, my husband, and our two young boys.
I’M SO GRATEFUL MY BIRTH MOM CHOSE LIFE
We wanted to open our hearts and home to new life again, but were fearful of having to hold another child, just to hear that they would not become ours. Despite our pain and fear, we took our family information to St. Gianna and Pietro Mola Maternity Home – a place that provides care and support for pregnant women and their children, while aiding in adoption processes.
One of the mothers being cared for there was unsure if she would be able to provide the best possible future for her child. She knew that she wanted to choose life but questioned what exactly that life would look like.
When she heard of our family, and the recent loss we had experienced, she felt a strong connection and knew that the growing baby inside of her was meant to be a part of our home.
My husband and I, who had the honor of naming our new daughter, decided on the name Everlee – for she would be our forever baby. She was the one to heal all of our past pain and encourage us to continue opening our hearts and home.
We soon adopted three more wonderful children and advocated for open adoptions for all six of them. Now, my husband and I get to stand on the sidelines of football games or track meets, or sit in the bleachers at hockey games cheering on our kids, many times with their birth families cheering alongside of us. Our kids are being raised with more love and support than I ever thought possible.
Through our adoptions I have learned many things. One of those things is that the love of a mother knows no distance. While my children may be hundreds of miles from their birth mothers, the love and assurance they receive defies all stereotypes of adoption.
Another is that the love of a mother knows no DNA. These six children are my sons and daughters and my feelings for them are not determined by blood, but rather the unconditional love that comes with being a mom.
Finally, each life is beautiful and precious and deserves the chance at experiencing love and happiness. Because of the strength of women like my children’s birth mothers, I am able to stand in my kitchen and see the world through my children’s eyes.
Because of these women’s decision to choose life, I am able to wear my title of ‘mom’ with immense gratitude and pride.