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Birth Parents
Adoption Stories Touch the Heart
by Imal Wagner

(FeatureSource) On October 3, 2004 I was fortunate to witness the tremendous power of love. This was the day of the Orange County Children's Book Festival in Costa Mesa California. My company, Adoption Tribe Publishing, showcased its first book for young readers on adoption: "The Tummy Mummy."

It is a monumental moment in the life of an author when you come face to face with the audience you are trying to reach. The day began at 9:30 in the morning and I soon found myself speaking with beautiful children of adoption. Their excitement over the book was evident. Smiles and exuberance filled the air.

The children I met that day were of all ages, races, and backgrounds. As I looked into their faces I saw myself. I was once a little girl in need of a permanent and loving home. That is, until a loving couple from the United States stepped forward and said to a social worker in the United Kingdom, "We want to be her parents."

Adoption gave me parents to love forever. Adoption presented my mother and father with a little girl to adore for always. As I thought on these facts, I began to look into the faces of the adoring adoptive parents who had stopped to visit my booth during the festival. They beamed with pride as they watched their children delight in the story and illustrations found within the pages of "The Tummy Mummy."

"We adopted our baby boy from Japan," explained one mother. Her little one smiled and waved to everyone around. "My daughters were adopted from foster care," said another proud mom. Her girls couldn't have been sweeter or more enchanting.

I was delighting in the happy families all around me when I noticed a young woman who had quietly slipped into the booth. She was gently flipping through the pages of the book as she commented how beautiful it was to look at. "Are you personally connected to adoption," she questioned me in a soft voice. "I am adopted," I replied. I then asked, "Are you adopted?" There was a slight pause.

Courageous and heart broken at the same time, this young woman - a stranger - looked up as she turned the book's cover toward me. With tears streaming down her face, she pointed to the title and said, "I am one of these."

I got up from my chair and approached her. "Please take this book," I said. "Oh no," she replied, "my husband is here and he has the money to pay for it. I want to buy it." I whispered, "Sometimes it's not about that. Sometimes it's about saying thank you. I hope you find comfort in this book. I hope you feel the tremendous gratitude it expresses for your gift of life." "Thank you," she said, "and thanks for writing this book." She then quietly slipped away.

I may never see this young woman again. I don't know specifics on her life but I do know that, at some point, she made a very selfless decision as she created an adoption plan for a baby she loved but could not raise.

"The Tummy Mummy" expresses great respect for everyone involved in the adoption process. As we move toward November, National Adoption Awareness Month, I pray our society will begin to see birthmothers as they truly are: givers of life. Life! There is no gift as sacred as this.

Author: Imal Wagner

"The Tummy Mummy" was written by Michelle Madrid-Branch. Contact: imal@comcast.net

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