There's a new TV show on the TLC network called Long Lost Family, that I can barely sit through without bauling my eyes out. It always involves family members who have either never met due to adoption, or have been apart for many years. It's a great show but, if you feel like crying for some reason, by all means tune in.

An Adoption Story...

It all started 25 years ago. It was Spring, 1992. She was just 16 years old, and she had just walked out of Planned Parenthood in Downtown Duluth, with a sheet of paper that would change her life forever. POSITIVE. One word. One big word. She sat there on the bus ride home, numb. Her mind was racing. "What am I going to do, what is my Mom going to say. I can't be a mother, I'm 16, she is going to kill me."

The inevitable angry conversation followed, "what were you thinking?", "what are you going to do now?", "I'm not going to raise it!", "you need to learn responsibility!" For the first month or so, it began to settle in that she was indeed going to have this baby and become, (gulp) a mother. And even the soon-to-be grandmother was starting to come around. She even wound up purchasing some gender neutral onesies for the new baby.

But, soon the reality of situation began to set in. You see, it's relatively easy to be pregnant, it's when they come out, when the real work starts. And that's what was beginning to sink in. You might be asking where is the baby's father in all of this? Well, this is a person who is basically a ghost. There one night, gone the next. Last known residence, prison.

There is a bright spot in this story, the girl's older sister. She and her husband had been trying for quite some time to have a baby but were unsuccessful. So, one night the girl and her sister talked about adoption. It seemed to be the best option for everyone. They would get the baby they had been trying for and she would get to start a new chapter of her life.

Delivery day finally came, 13 hours of grueling pain. Everything was normal, and the baby was healthy. A girl. Two days in the hospital and then it was time to go home. And, go their separate ways.

That was the most difficult day of my life.

When my sister and her husband took their new baby home, and I went home to my empty bedroom, I cried for days. I'm still fighting back tears to this day as I write this, and it's been 25 years! But, I don't have any regrets, because they have been able to give her so much more than I ever could have. They still live in the area, and I still get to see that little girl who is now going on 25 this fall.

That's why it's so hard for me to watch the TLC show Long Lost Family, because it truly hits home. I can relate to how they're feeling. What I'd like people to take away from this story is that there are options out there. There are so many people out there that are eager to adopt, if you just give them the chance.

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