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Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you..

John C. Maxwell

Choice. Choose. Chosen. Those are very powerful words. Those words have been a defining factor in my journey through every part of my life. It is not just the choices I have made for myself that have paved my future. It is all the choices of all the people who have loved me that create the stones that are cobbled together to form the road I have taken.

My birth mother had the most difficult choices to make. She could have chosen to keep me. She could have chosen to terminate her pregnancy. But she didn’t. She chose to give me up for adoption. And by doing so, she made the best choice for me.

My parents also had choices to make. They could have chosen to look the other way. They could have easily chosen to remain a family of four. They could have chosen not to open their hearts and their home. They could have denied me. But they didn’t. They chose me.

Either way you look at it, they all chose ME.

That probably sounds a little egotistical, but I truly mean that from the most unpretentious place in my heart. There is something very humbling about the realization that, if just one choice had been different, I may not be here. Or I may not be the person I’ve become. Just one divergent opinion acted upon, and I would have a completely different life. Or no life at all. No life at all, not even one day. That is as sobering as it comes.

I have been asked the same question countless times over the years. It seems to be one of the most popular questions to ask an adoptee, like myself. People try to approach it delicately, quietly, gingerly, as if they are walking on a patch of thin emotional ice. They proceed as if the ice might crack under the weight of my answer. Some do not want to approach it. Inevitably there are always those who are curious enough to ask. Do I hate my birth mother for giving me away?

The answer, has been, and always will be a wholehearted and absolute NO. I do not hate, nor have I ever hated my birth mother for surrendering me. I am not, nor will I ever be angry at her for the choices she made. If anything, it is the polar opposite. She made the most selfless decision she could. She chose to give me life. Consequently, she chose to provide me with the best life possible, even if that meant she would have to say goodbye for all time.

Selfishly, she could have chosen herself by keeping me. But she didn’t. She chose me by giving me away. And I have come to realize there isn’t a more selfless and loving act than that.

– Jolene


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