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Adoption: A daughter’s love

By Kristen M Kardos

What makes a mother? For each of us, the answer is different.  For me, it began while carrying my babies for 9 months and then welcoming them into the world while holding them tightly. For my mother, it was waiting anxiously for months, hoping both parents would sign the papers, and then finally bringing her babies home. mama. mom, me, nonni picture

I remember when I was a little girl, climbing into bed with my parents and asking to hear the story again and again: the story of my adoption.  “There was a mommy and a daddy who wanted a baby sooooo much.  And they saw this beautiful little girl with hazel green eyes…”  And so the story went.  I remember feeling so special and so loved when hearing that story.  That feeling has never gone away.  When I count my blessings, and there are many, my parents are among the first.  They have always offered me a safe, nurturing, loving home and welcome me to return home at any time.  In fact, my husband, son, and I spent two months living with them when we first moved to Rhode Island!  My parents supported me as I studied abroad, moved to the west coast, and settled in New York – although my mom cried every time I came home and left again.  I’ve always known how loved I am; and parents are still the ones I turn to in time of need.  My mom is there for me when I get sick (nothing cures me like her chicken soup!) or feel overwhelmed; and my dad still comes to the rescue when I’m having car problems or need advice.  I have the most fabulous mother and father.  My mother is more than just my mother, she is my best friend.

When I think about what makes a mother, I know it’s not about birthing.  It’s about making a child feel safe when they’re scared, being the person they can turn to when the world seems to be crumbling, giving unconditional love and being loved in return.

I also want to acknowledge the strength and selflessness of the birth mother.  I have never searched for my birth mother, but if I met her I would thank her for allowing me the opportunity to find such a beautiful home with two loving parents.

I share this because on Mother’s Day I celebrate myself as a mother, my wonderful mother who adopted me, and my birth mother who gave me away.  I want to tell the story of a well-adjusted, wonderfully happy adopted girl…so that all the birth mothers and adopted mothers out there might know that things can end happily ever after.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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  • Oh Kristen,
    I’m so glad you wrote your beautiful story here. You were a gift to your family then just as you are today….and they are such special people. You are ALL so fortunate to have each other.
    Love the pic!

  • Tears to my eyes! Thank you for sharing this. Your family looks SOOOO happy in this photo. I LOVE it!

  • Oh, Kristen, that was so beautiful – it brought tears to my eyes!! I hope you (and your mom) are having a wonderful mothers day! We miss seeing you guys- I hope you are well!

  • This is So Beautiful and a good antidote to the prickly, feelings-tangling article on adoption in this week’s new yorker.

  • Thank you Kristen for writing such a beautiful tribute to your adoption, your Mother and your Birth Mother. Adoption is such a wonderful blessing and I thank God everyday for my little blessing Jake.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you!