Air Date: 10.9.2015
You can read the transcript below or click HERE to listen to the podcast.
Blog Talk Radio.
Connie: Hi, and welcome to Adoption Focus. My name is Connie Going. I’m an adoption consultant and advocate. I consult with Adoption Associates, which is a [missing audio 00:00:46] agency out of Michigan. They are located in Jenison, Farmington Hill, Lansing, and Northeastern Michigan and they have been there since 1990. They specialize in domestic and international adoption and they are proudly responsible for over 5000 adopted placements.
They are committed to each and every child and parent. They like to care and walk them through the journey. And they are a Christian organization, but their services are open to clients of all faith. What I am most excited about that on this radio show we talk with different partners, different members of the adoption triad to help educate the adoption world.
Today, I am so excited because we have Glenda with us. And, Glenda, are you there?
Glenda: I’m here, yes I am!
Connie: Hi, how are you?
Glenda: I’m fine today. I am. How are you?
Connie: I am wonderful. Thank you for being with us. Glenda, because your family situation … I just found it so interesting and I want you to kind of explain how adoption has played a role in your life.
Glenda: How adoption … I’m sorry, I didn’t quite hear that sentence. I’m sorry.
Connie: That’s okay. How adoption has played a role in your life.
Glenda: Oh my. Well, my daughter, she gave up a child and I have a step daughter who also gave up a child. So it’s been very much in my family. My husband … I lost my first husband and I’ve been remarried to my husband now for 25 years. And he and his first wife adopted a child. And she is now my daughter, so, we have got a circle of this in our family.
Connie: So you’re an adopted mom? And a birth grandmother, times two.
Glenda: Right. Times two. Yes I am.
Connie: And [inaudible 00:02:53] pleasure [inaudible 00:02:56] daughter and how long ago did all these things happen? Because we’re trying to get a [inaudible 00:03:03] how adoptions have changed over the years.
Glenda: Oh, absolutely. Our first daughter who gave up a child, a little boy … It’s been I think about 21 years. And our daughter, my daughter, it’s been about 20 years, I believe.
Connie: So what was that like?
Glenda: And she also gave up a little boy, so we have two precious little grand boys out there somewhere.
Connie: And were they closed adoptions? Given that it was 20 and 21 years ago, what was it like to be the grandparent? The mother of the birth mom during that timeframe?
Glenda: Well, my story with my daughter … I didn’t even realize that she was pregnant. I guess that was the thing that was more alarming to me. My husband and I were going out of town and she was not feeling well and I said I need to find out what is going on. And so we took her in and lo and behold, I found out she was pregnant and was ready to deliver this baby.
So that was quite a shock to me at that time. I guess God gave me the grace not to know and to know what to do at that time.
Connie: Absolutely because [inaudible 00:04:33] suddenness [inaudible 00:04:35] absolutely [inaudible 00:04:41] had to have been shocked because she was either 17?
Glenda: Yeah, she was 16, yes.
Connie: [inaudible 00:04:50] pregnancy.
Glenda: And she hid her pregnancy through the whole time. She played softball. She worked. She did everything up to that time that she did not feel well. And when I brought her in … she hid her monthly things from me very well. I mean, it was obvious that she was doing and never thought, you know. At that time, it was winter … wore baggy clothes like all the kids do at that time. So, yeah, it was very much a shock to me and my hubby.
Connie: And when did adoption come [inaudible 00:05:26]
Glenda: I’m sorry, you’re breaking up really bad.
Connie: When did [inaudible 00:05:36] come into play?
Glenda: Well, Mr Dickson Dailen was notified and he was a great gentleman who worked with Sue and I and my hubby. And he also knew of a family that was in … had been searching for a baby for quite some time. So one thing just kind of lead to another. After he was born, it was just a couple of days and Sue had made her decision.
We left the decision to her because it was very important at that time for us not to say, “Oh, you have to give this baby away”. No, it had to come from Sue. And the gift that she gave is a gift that you would never in your life as I would give up one of my children. It was a gift that God gave her the gift to give to someone else.
Connie: And the strength to be able to make that decision and follow through with it.
Glenda: Exactly. Exactly. Especially being at 16, you know? It was a big decision for her. And for myself and for my husband it was like, “Uh, we’re giving a part of us also away”. So, it was very mixed emotions throughout this whole 3, 4 days in this [inaudible 00:18:09] time that this happened. Not only the shock of her having this baby … Having the baby and having to make the decision that we had to make. And especially for her, was very difficult.
Connie: Right. So, how long did it take her to make that decision? She gave birth, and then when [inaudible 00:07:23] She gave birth.
Glenda: Well I think after a day with her having the baby and having Dick come in, I think it was just a matter of time when she read the folder of the couple who wanted to adopt him. I think she knew that he would be brought up into a beautiful Christian home. And I think it was from the time she gave birth to the time we left the hospital, she had made those decisions. So probably within two days we had made that decision. She had made that decision.
Connie: And your relationship during that time, did it become closer?
Glenda: Oh yes. Oh yes. My heart was breaking as much as hers. And I loved my daughter and I just said, “For you to give this gift to someone else, is a gift that I will never understand giving because I’ve never had to do that”. But God bless her heart, I really … It was difficult for her when we left the hospital and we had to leave that little baby there. It was very, very difficult for her and for us to … In the days that followed also were difficult for her.
Connie: I can only imagine. How did this entire situation … Because it seems like about a year later, your stepdaughter was having to place a child.
Glenda: Yes, that was a year prior to my daughter.
Connie: Oh, okay.
Glenda: Yes. So we had gone through that. But at that time, she was older and could make those decisions on her own. And she did the same thing as gave that gift to someone who really, really wanted to have a child. So, yes, we had gone through it with her. We got to see him, hold him and you automatically find that bond with that child with both situations. You take that first look of that baby and you’d say, “I gotta keep it”. As a grandmother, as a mother, my heart is breaking. Can you imagine what these girls were going through? I couldn’t imagine.
Connie: I think [inaudible 00:10:06] that it’s so important for our audience to hear this is that there are other grandmothers out there that may feel differently about adoption. And we want them to understand that it’s so important to support your child’s decision.
Glenda: [crosstalk 00:10:33]
Connie: And that they’re the ones making the decision, but your support is so essential for them.
Glenda: Oh absolutely because … Exactly and we supported both of their decisions. Whatever decision would have been, we would have supported them very much so.
And it’s just a very difficult decision to make because it is part of them and it is part of you. But at that point, my daughter was very young and she knew at that point in her life that she wanted to make sure that he was given the life that she couldn’t able to give at that time.
Connie: Right. You know, I’ve [crosstalk 00:11:22]. I have worked as a birth mother social worker with birth mothers who’s families played a huge role. Sometimes not in a good way. To the point that they would [inaudible 00:11:40] pregnancy intentionally. Not just because they didn’t want [inaudible 00:11:49] pressure. It’s not that they were in denial of the pregnancy. They didn’t want any of their extended family to know because they felt they would be pressured into a decision. And I think since those days what we see now are much more open adoptions where the [crosstalk 00:12:06] family [inaudible 00:12:09] the grandparents. [crosstalk 00:12:12] It’s a much more open arena to have conversation dialog and relationships become … family becomes extended family.
Glenda: Right, right. Back then, we didn’t have that choice. We chose to have a … my daughter had five or six months that she could write letters and I know they were sending pictures back and forth for a certain time. But after that, it was pretty much done. I know she does send a birthday card when it is his birthday just to tell him that she does love him and someday maybe we will have that choice. But I think as parents, that was something we needed to make her make that decision because I didn’t want to say, “You have to do this” because that would not have been a good situation.
So together, we prayed about it, we talked about it and I know I stayed with her throughout that whole time at the hospital. It was a decision that she made and she knew that at that point in her life, both girls, that they wanted them to be in a home that was filled with love. And they knew who it would be.
Connie: [inaudible 00:13:46] Your love for your children in that it really, it is something that you make a decision [inaudible 00:13:49] But ultimately because you [inaudible 00:13:54] so much, you let them make that decision. You knew how important that was for them.
Glenda: Right, exactly. You know, you love unconditionally. No matter what the situation is in your life, you love your children and you go with the decision, especially in that kind of a situation. What her decision was to make … like I said, it is a gift from … that I don’t know if I could’ve done that back when when I was having my children to give one of my children away. But that gift is a gift that is given with unconditional love.
Connie: And I think that that really is because adoption is surrounded by law. But it is done with love. [crosstalk 00:14:46] And to do it right [crosstalk 00:14:50] And I think that what a blessing that you were both your girls’ mom because you were able to give them that. In the long run, that makes them such more healthy adults. Now, how many grandchildren do you have now?
Glenda: I have thirteen grandchildren. I have one great grandchild. So our house is filled with love. It is. They are all very precious and I look at them and I’m like, “Aww God is good” because, yes, we do have thirteen. But out there we still have two special little ones that are given the love that they deserved at that time. And I know that they are loved, so that makes a big difference too.
Connie: [inaudible 00:15:38] I wanted to thank you for being here and sharing your story[inaudible 00:15:48] and what [inaudible 00:15:51] as our listeners [inaudible 00:15:52] or they want to tune in and listen, as it’s going to be recorded [inaudible 00:15:56] they open their hearts and they share the message that adoption is truly a loving, loving choice, and the most unselfish thing that you can do. And that as grandparents, as mothers that we have to come together to support our children in these decisions.
Glenda: Absolutely. Absolutely. [crosstalk 00:16:22] And I would just speak to all the girls out there that are considering having their babies out for adoption: there’s so many people out there today that are so loving and so giving and can’t have the children that their hearts desires and to really consider the adoption of these precious little children.
Connie: I agree with you so much. My admiration for birth mothers and families that [inaudible 00:16:52] children and for adoptive families, I’m an adoptive family. I think it is an amazing journey and the ch[inaudible 00:17:01] ultimately just [inaudible 00:17:05]. Glenda, thank you for giving us this time time Friday and I wish you the best.
Glenda: Well thank you very much.
Connie: And enjoy that fall weather in Michigan.
Glenda: We will. Thank you.
Connie: Have a great day.
Glenda: Yep, bye bye.
Connie: Bye bye.
I want to thank everyone for tuning in. You can reach Adoption Associates at www.adoptionassociates.net or 1-800-677-2367. Again, if you are interested in [inaudible 00:17:49] adoption [inaudible 00:17:50] or international, please reach out to Adoption Associates. They’re located in Michigan. They cover Jenison, Farmington Hills, Lansing and Saginaw Michigan. They have [inaudible 00:18:00] and they would love to take yo[inaudible 00:18:05]. Thank you for tuning in.