My name is Amanda, I was born in Colorado and I was adopted out of the Foster Care System when I was 4 years old.
Even though I was 4 when I was adopted, I had actually been living with the same Foster family (who eventually became my family), since released from the hospital at 6 months. You see, I was medically fragile and my parents have a heart for the “unwanted” children and adopted 5 of the 6 foster kids with whom they were placed.
I was born three months premature weighing 1 pound 4 ounces. I was not given a high chance of survival and if I did survive the doctors said I would be blind, deaf, mute, and mentally/physically disabled. I am perfectly fine! I have tiny lungs and pretty frustrating asthma but considering everything that was predicted by the doctors and nurses 36 years ago, I guess I am a miracle. I am so thankful that God has always known the plan for my life!
For as long as I can remember, I have known that I was adopted…I mean it was obvious that our family was different because none of us look like each other. But my parents did a great job of making sure that love and acceptance always prevailed.
In our family, adoption wasn’t really spoken about unless we had questions because we all knew we were adopted. I remember several of my siblings had visits with their biological families and I remember the heartache those visitations caused all of us. I was always afraid my siblings weren’t going to come back. I was always afraid that their bio parents would keep them forever and I would never be able to hug them again. It was hard and I didn’t understand as a child but, thankfully, that never happened.
I have amazing parents. They loved me and gave me family when no one else would. With that being said, growing up in a small farming/ranching community was hard. My family was different and everyone seemed to know it and judge us. None of us looked like one another, several of my siblings were in wheel chairs, we all had medical conditions that limited us in varying degrees and kids can be mean. They can be really mean when the norm in society is afraid of anything that is different or perceived as different…which our family was. Their parents didn’t understand my family and subsequently their children didn’t either. I have always felt that I needed to prove myself even more, simply because I was “different” in their minds.
However hard growing up was my parents were always there for us. Looking back I can see how hard life was for them and how hard adopting all of us was on them. I feel like I need to pay them back somehow but I know that is never possible nor do they desire it. They’re amazing and love me so much. I didn’t know it was possible but I love them even more now that I’m an adult and understand the great lengths they went to to love us. As a teacher, I can see how hard raising children is. I cannot figure out how my parents chose to take in and adopt children that no one else wanted. God’s plans are amazingly perfect and I’m so thankful that God chose my parents to be mine!
If I could speak to my biological parents, I would tell them, through tears, that I am alive, happy, and thriving. They made the best decision they could have possibly made. I would ask them if they have a relationship with Jesus and then I would tell them about all the many fingerprints of God that I have seen on my life. I would tell them that there may not have been as many miracles if they hadn’t made the decision to leave me. I would tell them that I am not angry at them for leaving me at the hospital. It was probably one of the hardest things they've ever done. I can only imagine being told that your micro-premie daughter is not expected to survive and if she does she will be basically a vegetable with severe medical issues. I would then tell them all about how God has been guiding my steps from the moment of my birth and how the doctors were wrong and, besides having asthma and tiny lungs, I am just fine!
If you’ve been adopted my advice, as an adult adoptee, is that your adopted children will probably always struggle a bit with their identity as a valuable member of your family. Society judges way too much and that doesn’t help us. Don’t get too angry when other adults ask ridiculous questions about your children or “their real parents”. It is a battle that will always be there. People just don’t know any better. It’s our job to educate them in a kind manner. If we don’t, who will?
I want people to know that adoption isn’t perfect all the time. It is hard, and sometimes messy, but it is so worth it. I want people to know that by seeking the Lord and walking hand in hand with Him all things are possible.
I’ve been told I am a miracle.
I don’t fully understand that concept but people need to hear my story to encourage them to not only adopt but to also encourage them in the knowledge that God’s fingerprints are everywhere and we need to slow down and acknowledge them.
I am who I am today due to being adopted. I wouldn’t be here without God and adoption.
To follow more of Amanda's journey, you can connect with her on Instagram: @alynbrunker