An Adoption Story: Helen A Birth Mother

Author: Linda and Gary Rickman


This Christmas, I am buying a present for a very special young woman. I never thought that I would get to buy a present for her. This may not sound extraordinary to you, but to me it is, because the young woman is my daughter, the baby girl I gave up for adoption twenty years ago and thought I'd never see.

I am writing this today in an effort to convey the joy I feel when I look at this beautiful young woman. I am very happy that she was adopted by two people who weren't afraid to help her find her birth mother. I am grateful to her adoptive parents, because they took this child and raised her, sharing their love and values, and enabling her to become the warm, loving young mother she is today. Not only was she raised without animosity toward the girl who gave her up, but her parents enabled us to find each other.

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I went through a great deal of self-doubt and regret in the years following my decision for adoption. I remember considering other options, suicide or abortion, very briefly, when I learned I was pregnant, but I couldn't deny my baby a chance to have her own life. Through the years since her birth, I often thought about my child, wondering where she was, what she looked like, what kind of person she had become, and even, was she still alive?

I feel very blessed that all these questions have now been answered and even more blessed because this young woman and I are becoming friends.

I gave birth to her, and her adoptive parents raised her, but this young woman has made a place for herself in this world. She had a right to her life and to become the kind of person she is. I believe she is an asset. As a wife and mother she is passing on her love and values to the people around her.

I am happy that I made the right decision for both of us twenty years ago. I am also happy to be able to give my child a gift this Christmas season. I hope that if there is another girl or woman who is pregnant and reads this, that she will understand and be proud to give her baby the greatest gift she can, LIFE.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 2, 1970, a baby girl was born. The labor had been long and difficult, and the young woman who bore the child did not know if it was June 1st or June 2nd, or whether she had had a boy or a girl. She did not get to see her child; the baby went to one floor and the young woman to another.

That courageous young woman was not married and knew she could not take care of a baby by herself, especially when her parents were upset with her and didn't want anyone else to know about it. But she carried that baby girl and gave birth to her. She gave her the most precious gift of all, LIFE, and she loved her little baby so much that she knew the best thing she could do was to give her up for adoption.

Linda & Gary, Adoptive Parents

The precious baby girl, the wonderful miracle, became our daughter! On a dark, dreary, rainy afternoon my day was brightened by a phone call wondering if we would like to make the baby ours. I had been fixing supper, stirring creamed peas at the stove. To this day, I still don't remember if those creamed peas were edible!

The next day, Thursday, June 4, was our 9th anniversary. Seeing our newest child was the best gift imaginable. She had lots of reddish-blonde hair and big blue eyes-she was so beautiful! But we could only look, we could not touch her or hold her, not yet. We went back to see her on Friday, too, thinking we could take her home that day, but we didn't have all the paperwork completed. We worked on those papers all day Saturday. (Anyone who has ever tried to get a lawyer to work on Saturday knows what a challenge we faced!)

Finally, on Monday, June 8, we brought our baby daughter home with us. Hope Eileen came home to a big sister, 8-year-old Faith, and a big brother, 23- month-old Rodney.

We had given birth to Faith, but we then lost 8 babies through miscarriages. Rodney had been our first experience with adoption, and he was such a wonderful child, just like his big sister, that we decided to adopt more.

Rod and Hope have always known that they were adopted. Though Rod never had many questions about his adoption, Hope was much more curious. She asked many questions, but we could only give her a few answers. We knew her birth mother's name and the area she was from, but that was all.

When Hope grew older, she still wanted to know about her biological history. We decided it was time to help her find some answers, but we all feared the possibility of rejection. So, without Hope's knowledge, her dad made some phone calls, and early on the morning of Saturday May 5, 1990, we spoke to the woman who had given birth to our daughter.

Helen was thrilled to hear from us and told us she had not known for sure about the baby's birth date or sex until we told her. She had wanted to try to find the child she gave up but had also been afraid of rejection. By 3- way-dialing, we got Hope on the line for a very tearful and emotional reunion. Through later phone calls, letters, and picture exchanges, many questions have been answered for all of us, Hope and Helen especially!

Since that very important call, Hope, Helen and we were able to finally meet. Helen came here to spend some time getting to know Hope and to meet 2 extra bonuses, Jacob and Zachary, Hope's babies and our grandchildren!

To anyone who is pregnant and considering abortion or suicide, please don't! Murder is never the answer. Adoption can solve a lot of problems. The child will have life instead of death. Rather than nightmares, you will have peace of mind and the knowledge that you did the right thing. The adoptive parents will have love, joy, and a child of their own.

Helen gave us a gift beyond compare when she gave us the beautiful baby girl who has since grown into a wonderful young woman. Thank you, Helen!

Linda and Gary Rickman have been actively involved pro-lifers for more than ten years. Gary is a member of the board of directors for Right to Life of Kansas. Besides their three children, Faith, Rodney, and Hope, the Rickmans have seven grandchildren.

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