No longer abandoned

Adult adoptee Ryan wrestles with the word “abandoned” on his birth certificate.

April 30, 2019

If you look at my birth certificate, you’ll notice something different, maybe even strange—it’s the word “abandoned.”

The year I came into this world, only 57 percent of children in South Korea were born—the rest were victims of abortion.

Perhaps my birth mother felt she couldn’t give me the care I needed and deserved. However, she did the most unselfish thing she could do when she felt she had nothing else to give to me.

She gave me the gift of life.

My birth mother surrendered her parental rights and chose adoption. Because of her choice, I had the best parents and childhood a kid could ask for.

The hospital where I was born has no records of my birth mother and I have no way of connecting with her. So I decided to take a DNA test to discover more about my ethnic heritage, susceptibility for illness, family lineage, and even food intolerances. As I await the results, I still can’t help but rejoice in my new identity formed through my adoption and the relationship I have with God.

Although there were times where I had to process the word “abandoned” and its meaning on my life, I didn’t let it define me. Instead, it has become just a small part of my story.

Family can make or break a childhood. It can express ultimate love or unimaginable hurt. Family can build up or tear down communities. That’s why we’re 100% committed to making families a force for good. Together, we can change the world through family. Ready to take the next step?

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