November is National Adoption Month. Stacy shares her story about finding a forever family and calls on all of us to open our hearts and minds to care for young people who have been adopted. Stacy’s mom, Phyllis, also wrote about her experience as an adoptive mother here.
By Stacy Hildreth Ortiz
My name is Stacy Hildreth Ortiz. I was adopted at the age of two along with three siblings, two sisters ages four and eight and a brother age six. My parents already had three biological sons ages 16, 14 and 11. When I look back at the past I try and wonder how life could have been different, but I can’t. There is not a day that passes I am not grateful for the unconditional love and understanding I received from my family and would not have wished for anything more. As a child I did not understand my sibling’s behaviors, and why many times there was nothing anyone could do about their actions. My mother tells us now she would have done some things differently, but looking back on my life I am not sure I would have changed anything. I was raised by a family who not only loved me as their own, but who also did everything in their power to make sure we were given every opportunity in life. My three big brothers treated me like a princess and looked after me. One died of Cystic Fibrosis at 30, but I am grateful I still have the other two. My three biological siblings love me in their own way, and my parents love me unconditionally. They would give me the moon if they were able.
I have had a very interesting life in a large family with people who love me so much. Who wouldn’t want that? So think about what I just said while you read the last of my letter. Being so young, I did not suffer the abuses my older siblings did, but I lived with their hatred and fear, which was often pretty bad. My parents gave up a lot to make sure we had it all. I have watched my mother have her heart broken over and over again, because unlike others, she totally believes that with love and maturity, they will one day be the people she believes they can be. In closing let me tell you what I have learned as a person and a daughter from my amazing mother.
Never judge what you cannot possibly understand, never give up on those you believe in, and above all else love with all your heart. Thank you for allowing me to share what being adopted has meant to me.