Disclaimer: These are the confessions of an adoptee through the eyes of a private, closed infant adoption and Arms Wide employee. Arms Wide Adoption Services exclusively works with children in the Texas foster care system who have experienced abuse, neglect or abandonment and are in need of safe and nurturing forever families. If families are willing to take a risk with Emergency Foster Care, they can foster an infant at birth, although adoption is not a guarantee.
Part 4: Closing Time
This is it, guys. The final of the four. The last one (for now, at least). If you haven’t read the first three, you can read Part 1: My Adoption Story here, Part 2: “These Are My Confessions” here, and Part 3: Parental Advisory Warning here. In the meantime, I’m going to figure out how I can wrap this thing up.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Closing Time by Semisonic
Never in a million years did I think I would be quoting Semisonic in an adoption blog, but for some reason, this line of the song speaks to me. I am product of a new beginning sprouted from some other beginning’s end. To my adoptive family, I am a proclaimed miracle. I was the way my parents could grow their family, a new beginning for them as parents, a new baby sister to my older sister, and overall, the new kid on block. And yet, this came in some heartache, some heart break. My biological father abandoned my mother and me, and my biological mother, despite wanting me to live, knew she would be the end for me. The end of being her daughter was also the beginning of me becoming a Daigneault. As an adoptee, it’s something I live with every day. It’s something I carry with me always.
I’ve mentioned this many times, but I’m proud to be adopted. I’m lucky to be adopted. But being adopted has meant many uneasy moments for me. Writing this blog series was one. It’s hard wearing your heart on your sleeve. But if writing this series makes it a little bit easier for an adoptee or even an adoptive parent out there struggling, I feel good about it.
Some proud moments for me: Prom, graduation and moving into my dorm at the University of Florida. Moments I may have never had if I weren’t adopted.
Make Adoption A Priority
This leaves me to my last topic of discussion: Adoption doesn’t have to be a last resort. I get it, it’s science (which you know by now is my LEAST favorite subject, but I can at least accept its importance): We want to make biological children with our partners. We want to see what our children’s Punnett Squares will look like – what traits we’ll pass on. It’s in our DNA. Even as an adoptee, I’ll tell you I’m excited to experience the joys and pains of pregnancy and being a biological mom if God wills it. But as an adoptee, I’m also going to tell you adoption is in my family plan. My husband knew this early on in our relationship, and knows he’ll be an adoptive dad someday – and not just to our dog, Regal.
The importance of being an adoptive parent is even more apparent to me after working at Arms Wide Adoption Services for a year now. I know the need:
1,000 children in Houston, 6,000 children in Texas, and 108,000 children in the United States are WAITING to be adopted – meaning parental rights have been terminated… They have no one to call their family.
You Can Show Them Love
Make adoption part of your family plan, if it’s right for you. I’m not saying don’t have biological kids. I’m saying if you want three – have two biologically and adopt one. There are so many kids out there who aren’t as lucky as me. They won’t be proud to be adopted. They know so much more about their biological parents, because they lived the opposite of love every day, which is why they’re currently in foster care waiting for a forever family. But what they can know more of is love. You can give them that love. Despite their trauma, despite what they’ve been through, they’ll know you still want to provide them with a safe and nurturing home. They will finally know what it means to be family.
Some more happy memories because of my family.
We Can Help With Your Journey
From my blog series you now know being an adoptee isn’t easy and being an adoptive parent isn’t easy either. Adopting from foster care – adopting a child who has experienced abuse, neglect and abandonment – will definitely not be easy. But if you have the love to give, we have the resources to help you and your family through your own personal adoption journey.
Start The Journey: Take the first step in getting started to be a foster or adoptive parent.
That’s All, Folks!
You’ve heard my story, my fears, my advice and now, my plea. Boy, it’s been one heck-of-a ride. I’ll say it for the last time, thank you. I appreciate your willingness to be part of my intimate storytelling. Shout outs to my husband, my parents, my sister, my friends and my Arms Wide family for giving me a platform to speak my mind. Thanks to my bio parents for giving me a better life. I’ll leave you with a quote from my dad’s toast at my recent wedding:
“There are so many ways to become family. Blood doesn’t make you family. Love makes you family.”
Until next time. XOXO,
Melissa Daigneault Neeley
About The Author
As the Development and Marketing Coordinator, Melissa Daigneault Neeley tracks donations, creates communication pieces, and brings awareness to the mission of Arms Wide Adoption Services. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she discovered her passion for nonprofit work.
Learn more about Melissa here.