“The Adoption Circle” by Susan Lynn Ferguson – Adoptee, Birth Mother and Adoptive Parent

On meeting the child she placed for adoption 17 years prior: “The smile on his face, and the warmth in his heart, brought me a peace that I didn’t even know i needed.”

Eighteen years ago, I contacted Durand Cook when I had an unplanned pregnancy, and not wanting to terminate that pregnancy, as an adopted child myself, I chose to give life instead.

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I pursued my education, and separated from the birth father – the love of my life. During that time, Durand Cook presented me with an opportunity to work for him as a birth mother advocate. I accepted. Not only did I have the privilege of being a part of something that I cared deeply about, but Durand also helped me to discover the identity and location of my birth mother, Carolyn Connley. The unanswered questions I harbored for all of my life were finally put to rest.

Five years later, and just before entering law school, I had a tubal pregnancy. As I was rushed on a gurney for emergency surgery, I was told that “everything would be done to save my tube.” Upon awakening, I was told that my fertility “may have been compromised.” I never got pregnant again. At the time, because I’m adopted, I thought of my parents. But mostly, I thought of my son. I wondered whether I had made a terrible mistake. At the time of the adoption, I never imagined that I would never get pregnant again. I always wanted children, biological and adopted. Now it seemed that I’d been robbed.

Several years later, by some strange fate, things took a turn and I ran into the birth father, Brent Vincent Berry. We fell in love again. We got married and adopted our second son, Vincent Lee, born to Ebony Smith.

When Vincent came to us, it had been seventeen years since the birth of our first son, Austin Robert Linnell. For seventeen years, I faithfully sent a birthday card to Austin. And for seventeen years, his mother, Leigh, faithfully sent pictures to me.

But it was in that seventeenth year, as I went on my journey to adopt, and Austin approached eighteen, that the magic happened. Austin wanted to meet us.

I was excited, anxious, hopeful, and fearful. How could I possibly explain the things that transpired? How could I explain the things that led me to place a biological child for adoption, and then adopt another? Austin traveled from Oregon to California and all my doubts and fears evaporated in the longest single second of my life, when our eyes met for the first time. He was brave, warm, charismatic, embracing, and happy. The smile on his face, and the warmth in his heart, brought me a peace that I didn’t even know I needed.

I wrote an article for Durand Cook eighteen years ago. In that article, I explained that my Dad believed I came to him by fate. And in that article, I called it luck. Now I know, that there is Fate, and there is Choice. Sometimes those things come together to create a beautiful harmony beyond anything that words can describe. I always wanted children, biological and adopted. I got what I wanted, and more than I dreamed of.

Thank you Dad; thank you Durand Cook; thank you Bob and Leigh; thank you Carolyn and Ebony; thank you Brent; thank you Austin and Vincent; and thank you God.