One of the many ways AdoptED is shared with high school students is through school field trips to Gladney in Fort Worth, TX. During these field trips students participate in an interactive and educational AdoptED lesson, a tour of our Adoption Museum, lunch and hear from a panel made up of an Adoptive Parent, Adoptee, Caseworker and a Birth Mother.
For this particular field trip we had an Adoptive Mother, one of our Birth Parent caseworkers, an adoptee from China named Ellie, and a birth mother named Muthoni. Ellie had already spoken on a few of our panels for previous field trips and one of the stories she would always share was about her father. She tells how when her father learned that they had been matched with Ellie and saw the first picture of her, he ran to the nearest print shop and had her picture printed on T-Shirts for the whole family. From hearing this story we already adored her father so we were excited to meet him when Ellie brought along her parents to listen to her share her story.
During the panel portion of the field trip Ellie’s father raised his hand from the back of the room and stood up. For a moment he didn’t speak. As we all turned to look at him we realized he couldn’t speak. He was overcome with emotions. We all chuckled a little as he tried to speak. He was so emotional, with tears rolling down his face he looked at Muthoni, cleared his throat and managed to say “I think you are beautiful. I won’t ever get to thank Ellie’s birth mother so I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.” At this point there wasn’t a dry eye in the room including Muthoni at the front of the room, as we looked to her she said “I couldn’t hear what you just said but thank you!” We all burst out laughing, tears rolling down our faces. In that moment Ellie’s father was so vulnerable and raw with his gratitude for not only Muthoni’s brave decision but also for Ellie’s birth mother, whom they may never meet. It was a touching moment we were privileged to be apart of.