Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bones
But still miraculously my own
Never forget for a single minute
You didn’t grow under my heart but in it
This lovely little poem, often referred to as the Adoption Creed hung in my room growing up. A reminder that even though I was not physically related, I was loved.
My parents would often tell the story of my adoption. (I called them to hear it again and make sure I was getting the details right-good thing because there were parts of the story I’d never heard before)
My story begins after I was 2 weeks old, because that is all I know. All I’ve been told. All I have sought out.
When I was born, my adoptive parents were in their late 30’s/early 40’s. Married later in life, family and friends encouraged them to adopt. They went through the adoption process with Lutheran Social Services, and then they waited. After 3 years of waiting, my dad became discouraged and they withdrew. My mother never gave up hope, even when everyone around her did. After a year had passed and a note from LSS came to my parents, my dad turned it over to The Lord and felt the Holy Spirit changing his heart and willing him to try again. They went back on the list to adopt and then waited another year before they received that first phone call.
The first call my parents recalled was a boy with special needs who they did not feel qualified to care for, and ended up passing away before he could ever feel the love of parents.
The second call, only a few days later, was about a little baby girl in foster care who had a serious heart defect. Before my dad even hung up the phone he knew this little girl was the one. He could feel himself being guided by the Holy Spirit, and the serious health concerns were of no matter. That baby girl was me.
The next morning the weather was nasty and rainy, but there was too much excitement to be concerned about it. They dressed up for this important occasion, my dad in a fancy blue suit. (If you know my dad you know its a big deal for him to dress up) They jumped in their old beat up car and headed to where I was- five hours away. That night they stayed with my cousin, eager for what the next day would bring.
The next morning at the adoption agency all of the final pieces of paperwork were discussed and filled out. My parents recall sitting in a conference room when they brought me in and I was handed to my dad, a moment that brought him to tears. My mother recalled a small altar in that room with candles lit, where they prayed over me that day.
I was around two weeks old when my parents brought me home. The only thing I know about those first two weeks is that I was in a foster home and they called me Brandy. My dad was under the impression that this was a family who often took in infants while they waited to be adopted. What a blessing that family must be.
The weather hadn’t let up by the next day and it was a rainy ride home. The importance of car seats had not been discovered yet, and so my mother held me all the way home. My dad wouldn’t let her smoke in the car- a habit I had forgotten she ever had because she quit before I could remember. They stopped in a small town along the way to warm up a bottle for me, and I thanked my dad by spitting up all over his fancy blue suit.
All of my dad’s brothers (including himself) names start with an “R” as well as many of my cousins. So that is where they began when deciding on a name for me. Along that road home they saw a town called Regan, and they liked it, along with the fact that Reagan was the president at the time. A friend of theirs had spelled their daughters name with an “Rh” and that is how I got my name. A name I much prefer to Brandy (no offense to anyone with the name Brandy).
We finally made it home, late in the evening, the rain still pouring down, only to discover we had been locked out of the house. My dad struggled with a back window, breaking into our own house. That night I slept in a homemade wooden cradle given to my parents from some friends. My dad recalls reaching over and rocking me when I would fuss in the night. The next day he could hardly wait to be done with work to come home and see me and see how things had went. My mother recalled laying a large blanket on the floor and laying with me as I squirmed around.
A few weeks later my Grandmother had a family dinner at her house and I cried a lot. They laid me on one of my uncle’s chest as he was laying on the couch and I finally quieted down. I was baptized at my Grandmother’s church and the church ladies put a program and baby shower on for my mom.
I always remember growing up feeling loved, from my parents to my extended family. Were there difficulties? Yes, there are in every family, but I always knew I was loved and a part of this family. And I thank them all for that. I hope they can understand that they are an irreplaceable part of my story. And I hope they can understand that they aren’t the whole story and that someday I would like to know the rest.