My name is Amy Byrd, and I was adopted in Hawaii while my dad was stationed there while serving in the Navy. I’ve always known I was adopted. At home it has always been presented as a positive attribute of mine from comments such as: “My beautiful adopted baby girl.” When others found out I was adopted, I would hear terms such as “you were chosen”. In my mind, I had this process pictured as my parents entering a grocery store of babies and hearing them say, “We pick this one!” There was never any doubt I was loved by my (adoptive) parents. I knew my mother was unable to have children of her own, and they greatly desired to raise a family. My mother has called me a gift from God. They would speak of being blessed with the opportunity to receive my baby brother and I to raise from mothers who couldn’t / wouldn’t. I knew it was not possible for them to love me any more than they already did. That was never questioned. My brother was also adopted and I remember at age 4 going to pick up my baby brother from the adoption agency in Chattanooga. He was 9 months old and in a baby bed crying when we walked in to the room to meet him for the first time. I asked to hold him, and when they placed him in my lap, he stopped crying!!! I felt very special and that somehow he knew I was going to be there for him.
As we know, children can say cruel things. The only times negative connotations for adoption would be presented would be from “friends”. My younger brother was also adopted from a different family, and as younger children we were often bathed together. One “friend” told other friends that I bathed with Jamie (my brother), and he wasn’t even really my brother. This of course highly offended me because there was no doubt he really is my brother. I definitely clarified this to them, but... Others would often have questions about why my (biological) mother would give me up, and I didn’t have good answers. Other times people would throw out the “real” parents comments as well.
As a little girl, who was enthralled with babies, I did think more about how/ why would my biological parents give up their baby (me)??? Did they not want me/ love me? Were they unable to care for me for some reason? There is no way I could imagine having a baby and not keeping him/ her. When I asked my mother about this, she thoughtfully answered: “Well, they loved you so much, they wanted to offer you the best life possible that they knew they couldn’t offer you at the time.” Keep in mind, adoptions were pretty much all closed at the time of my adoption, so my parents were told very little of my biological parents. I wrestled with this question some but still over all, I have always felt incredibly blessed to be loved so unconditionally by my parents.
One wonderful realization came when I truly began to understand salvation is a picture of God’s adoption of me into His family. I’m not just a being he created, but he bought me back through Christ and grafted me into his family tree. I’ve been doubly adopted. Another blessing I have of being adopted is helping other young children work through some of the same questions I had at their age concerning the process of adoption and what this means for our identity. Most years as a 4th and then 5th grade teacher, I’ve had adopted students in my class, that either just found out they were adopted or just began to work through the implications of what being adopted means. For me, it means love and acceptance in its purest sense. It means a gift I can never repay. I thank the Lord that He saw fit to give me to a Christian couple, who has loved me so completely. I see God’s blessing on each family He unites and grows in such a special way- particularly if it involves a Christian family seeking to develop His kingdom for His glory.