My name is Elley and I have a “unique” sitution which has landed me on both sides of the adoption issue. I was adopted at just 3 weeks old. Raised by two Christian, loving parents, I had a great childhood. I was giving every opportunity that a child could want. I have an older sister whom they also adopted, but from different birthparents. My mom and dad are the greatest people you could ever meet. They just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary! They raised me to think that being “adopted” was special. Maybe even somehow “better” than being born into a family. They told me, from a very young age, that they were allowed to “pick” me, whereas other parents didn’t get that privilege. Raising me to believe this was a great advantage for me. I grew up being proud that I was adopted. From a very young age I remember thinking that my mom and dad got to go into a room full of babies and they picked me! So I thought I was really lucky! Of course as I grew older I learned that it wasn’t quite that simple. But as a child, my parents raised me to have positive, wonderful feelings about adoption. I truly could not have hoped for anything better. Fast forward several years and I discovered that I was pregnant during my freshman year in college. I was devastated because I was determined to graduate and disappointed in myself because my foolish behavior had gotten me into this situation. I decided very early on in my pregnancy that I would place the baby for adoption. In fact, I met with the caseworker at the same agency that I had been adopted through many years ago. I did this before even telling my mom and dad that I was pregnant. In my mind, I wanted to have it “all figured out” before I told them. I’m sure they were disappointed, but (to this day!!!) they have never been anything less than supportive of my decision. I think back now and wonder how hard that must have been for my mom to let her first grandchild be placed for adoption. But she stood beside me through it all. In December of 2000, I gave birth to my 1st child, a son. I will never forget having to leave that hospital without my son. That tiny, helpless baby……….and I was walking away. Of course, I was also extremely confident in my choice of adoptive parents. It was just before Christmas and I felt as though I were giving them the best Christmas present ever. They had waited many years for a child, as had my parents, and were everything that I could have wanted in parents for my son. I knew that he would have a much better chance in life with two loving, stable parents. The only thing that got me through the next few months was knowing that I was doing what was best for him. Somehow I got through it and life went on. I DID graduate from college, went on to have three children, marriage, divorce, work, etc. Fast forward again and here we are almost 17 years later. I have been lucky to have some contact with my son and his parents through the years. I even got the opportunity to meet his mother several years ago. And just as I had suspected, she IS everything I could have ever wanted in a mother for my son. I always hoped that when my son turned 18 that he would want to meet me. I never kept him a secret from my other children or other family members. Everyone has always known that I had a baby in college that was placed for adoption. My children know that they have a half-brother that they may get to meet someday. Much to my surprise, I got a call from the agency just last week. My son, whose name Eric, will be 17 in a few weeks and wants to go ahead and meet me!!!! So the caseworker was asking if I would be open to this and I almost fell out of my chair!!!! Talk about a flood of emotions!!! Would I be open to that??? OF COURSE!!!! I thought I would have to wait but now I’m going to meet my son. That tiny baby that I walked away from………….who is not so tiny anymore. I should mention that he is a handsome, beautiful young man. Who looks just like his mother. So as I write this, I wait with anticipation to find out when our meeting will be. A letter and some pictures followed the phone call. A letter from his adoptive mother but one from him as well! What a mature, intelligent young man he has developed into. And he DID have opportunities that I, even 17 years later, could have never given him. He is well-traveled, in the honor society, and is already visiting colleges! What a lucky young man. He also shared with me in his letter that he has no negative feelings towards me. This came as a HUGE relief because I have often worried that he would be resentful that I went on to parent three children after giving him up. But his letter talks of only great respect, and an understanding of how hard it must have been for me. An understanding that is seemingly beyond his mere 16 years. What a lucky boy. And how lucky I feel, too, to have experienced what I have. Life has not always been easy. But I know in my heart that I did the best thing for Eric. I gave him a gift that no one else could. Much like my own birthmother………so many years ago.