November is National Adoption Month which is so fitting being that Thanksgiving also falls in November. Thanksgiving is a time when we remember all our blessings and take time to show gratitude.
Our story has always meant the world to me, but now that I am a mother myself, the journey my parents went through is even more precious. My parents were married when my mom was nineteen, and my dad was twenty-one. They were excited and ready to start their little family but unfortunately faced many trials and tribulations. They saw doctors and tried different alternatives to hopefully, one day, start the family they so desperately longed for. This is the part that has such a soft spot for me now that I have a family of my own. Although our story has such a happy ending, my heart breaks for my parents knowing they tried for around seven or so years to have a baby. Can you imagine how patient and determined you must be to wait that long for something you want so badly? My parents’ faith was unwavering, and they knew that being obedient and following the course would bring joy. As we know, good things come to those who wait, and the God we serve always delivers.
My mom suffered a miscarriage, which as you can imagine flipped her world upside down. The one thing she wanted was quickly taken from her and my dad, but God’s plans are always bigger. My parents finally made the decision to consider adoption, and I am so thankful they did. My birth mom was nineteen and was not confident that she could care for a child. She hid her pregnancy for quite some time, finally telling her mom. She then made the decision to put me up for adoption. This is another part of our story that I beam with pride about. Although I do not know my birth mother, I am so proud of her. Can you imagine carrying a baby for 9 months to then say goodbye, possibly never hearing from, or seeing the child ever again? My birth mom was brave, and I am forever thankful for her selfless act. I always think about her on my birthday, and hope that she is proud of herself, as well as happy and content with the decision she made. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been for her, especially at the young age of nineteen.
I was born on July 11, 1992, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My birth mom chose my parents for me, and God’s plan for my life began. Everything my parents were hoping for was soon to be their reality. With my birth mom waiting a bit to acknowledge the pregnancy and her decision (adoption), I was placed with foster parents for a few days while things were being finalized. My foster parents went to the same church as my parents, which was such a sweet, full-circle moment. All I can say is God; He made all of this happen. I still have baby books, bibles, and a bracelet that my foster parents, Imma and Papa, gifted to me. During my time with Imma and Papa, paperwork was completed, and everything was finalized. On July 18th, I was finally introduced to my parents, Andria and Keith Thibodeaux, and my life was forever changed in the most blessed and loving ways. We still have the VHS tape of my mom and dad getting me for the first time, which is one of the most special moments. Seeing my mom’s face light up when she takes me into her arms is priceless. On April 21, 1993, we sat in court for our final adoption decree. The Thibodeauxs finally got their baby; at that time, they didn’t realize that she’d come with lots of sass and high-maintenance tendencies, but they’ve loved me through it.
My parents have always openly discussed my adoption which I am thankful for. The abundance of children’s books that I own that are written specifically for adopted children has reminded me of how many others share similar stories to ours. I’ve kept these books and have shared them with my boys.
I am now thirty, and every year during November, I think of the journey of my parents and all the individuals that played a vital part in writing our story. I pray that anyone challenged with infertility or anyone who is considering adopting reads this article and finds a glimmer of hope. My parents are a true testament of allowing God to fully take control, knowing that good things are to come.
I am Grace Speer, born in Baton Rouge but have lived in Lafayette since I was 2. I have an amazing husband, Eric, and we are blessed with 3 wonderful boys – Harlan (6), Harrison (2), and Hampton (1 month). I work full-time in the insurance industry and am thankful for a healthy work-life balance so that I can be present for my children and husband. We love football season – my husband is a die-hard LSU fan, and I am a graduate of UL and former Cajuns cheerleader. Geaux Cajuns and Geaux Tigers!