I was born in January 1986 and my family was one of the first at our adoption agency to go through the entire process as an open adoption. After they came together following my birth, my adoptive and biological parents shared letters and photos through the adoption agency. After a year or so, they felt comfortable communicating directly with each other and the five of us met when I was about 1½ years old.
In 1964, my birth mom made a very beautiful decision to give me a better life than what she could offer. She was 28 years old, living in San Francisco and unmarried. My birth father refused to have a long-term relationship with her and she felt unprepared to give me the life that she wanted me to have.
There is a photo of me, at 1 year old, smiling -- no, beaming -- at my mother. In front of me is a cupcake with a glowing candle stuck into its middle. I'm wearing a pointed party hat and there is a balloon tied to my high chair. I'm happy. I didn't realize then that I had someone to thank for that moment, but I do now.
My parents tried for years to conceive, with no success, and finally decided to adopt. Apparently, they were told that it would take a very long time, and then, within days, they were surprised to find out that I was available, and they dropped everything to adopt me.
Hi, my name is Sydney, and I'm going to tell you a little about my life. I was adopted when I was born. I've grown up knowing I was adopted and that my birth mother had to give me up when I was young. I totally love my life with my adoptive parents. They are my mother and father, nothing less. I am their daughter, even if we don’t share the same blood. They took me in, and now I am their family and they are mine. And they always were.
The other day, I heard for the first time that in certain cases of adoption, a baby is adopted and grows up, never knowing who their birth parents are. That really surprised me. I would never be who I am if I hadn’t known who my birthmother was.