November has been National Adoption Month. Adoption was a unique opportunity I was given at birth to live a normal productive life. I am thankful for the unconditional love I was given by my adoptive parents; I am quite sure at times I was undeserving.

As I have grown older, my gratefulness for life continues to show in my daily activities. I realize it could have ended differently.

During my high school years, my mom had me read an article that appeared in the Sunday news magazine of the local newspaper. A single, unwed woman had given up her son for adoption at birth. She never heard another word about him, but on his 15th birthday she made him a cake, and prayed that he was doing well.

I never heard from my birthparents, but I long ago made my peace with the silence. My birth mother demonstrated her love for me when it counted the most. A friend reminded me recently of the sacrifice she made on my behalf.

My adoptive parents were very open with us about our adoptive status. My circumstances were different from those of my younger brothers. However, we did not fully understand it until years later, and each of us dealt with it differently. We did find common ground that our parents went out of their way to love and support us.

Growing up, I was informed that President Gerald Ford was adopted. It was then, that I started to understand that being adopted was not something I needed to keep a secret. Recently, I read on social media that New York Yankees rookie superstar Aaron Judge was adopted. He had a great rookie season, and I became a fan, but I had to remain loyal to the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.

Other people who were adopted include: George Washington Carver, Steve Jobs, Art Linkletter, Nelson Mandela, Dave Thomas, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

I want to personally thank all the adults who are adopting children. Personal experience tells me that your actions will benefit the adopted children for their entire lives. The greatest gift you can give another human is unconditional love; adoption epitomizes that love.

As I write this, I think of all that I missed out on because I would not accept the risk. Adoptive parents are faced with similar circumstances, but felt that the benefits outweighed the risk. I, and all other adopted children, should be thankful for our parents act of courage.

Gregory Samford lives in Galveston.

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(1) comment

Diane Turski

Surrendering a child for adoption has often been an act of desperation. Closed adoptions were the norm during the twentieth century, and they were meant to prevent the reunions between adoptees and their natural families. These reunions have become more common during the past twenty years as attitudes have changed. I advocate for more support for the natural mothers at birth in order to be able to raise their own children within their own families. All adoptions are not automatically successful integrations of a child into a different family, therefore I believe that adoption should be a last resort option.

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