So, in my family I was adopted when I was three months old from Calcutta, India and I was 10 lbs. 3 oz. when I came at three months old. I was adopted by two people, Marlene & Tom Jacob, and they’re both Caucasian. They had adopted two kids before me. My brother, Matt, from Korea and my sister, Amy, from Korea. What kind of spurred the adoption was when my parents had their first born son, he was profoundly handicapped and my mom had my brother, David, shortly thereafter and then she wanted another but the doctors weren’t sure if it skipped a pregnancy. It was right around Vietnam and my mom was seeing a lot of babies being rescued and so she thought about adoption. So, they adopted.

They had a failed adoption that failed with another child and they adopted my sister, Kimberly, from Korea too. She and I are actually eight months apart and at that time she was also pregnant with my sister, Mary, but she kept it a secret because she didn’t want the adoption agency to say she couldn’t adopt my sister. So, there’s seven of us and we’re all married and have children now, so it’s always been interesting because since I am darker skinned people always want to make comments like, “Oh, what about your real family?” No, this is my real family. It’s just different. Every family is different. I wouldn’t say they’re not my real sisters. They ARE my sisters.

So, I married an African American man. Adoption is a unique thing in the way that a family opens up their home to a child. It’s very costly, but you can foster to adopt in the U.S. and at the forefront of what happened in N.Y. with legislation, It really hits home because I could have easily been a baby who was aborted or left behind in India, but I was brought into an orphanage and adopted and granted a better life. My life in India may have been good…I don’t know, but it has afforded me many opportunities

I have three siblings adopted and three siblings who are my parents’ biological. My oldest brother who was profoundly handicapped, passed away when I was in sixth grade, but all of us are close. I mean we all have our differences, but we have jokes. Sometimes we joke about being the United Nations. There’s always different things that happen. My Mom one time, had my sister who had some physical disabilities, so growing up she went to Easter seals. My mom was there one time and the lady looked at my mom and then looked at us and then said, “Oh, they must all look like their dad.” My mom was so offended & told her “no, they’re adopted!” My dad later on told her, “Oh, you should have said, you don’t know their dads.” So like, my Dad is more witty than my mom.

My Mom is a big proponent for adoption and open adoption. She actually talked to a couple people about open adoption because their teenage daughter was pregnant and she’s like, “She doesn’t have to not be a part. It’s just another step.” Every Christmas, I always got a gift from somewhere in India. Something from India. So, I have dolls, I have books, I had candy, saris, jewelry, so that’s something that’s special that my Dad always did. We also went to culture camp, which people laugh, but it was an adoptive camp with other Indian adoptees and we learned about our culture and we ate Indian food. My parents don’t like Indian food, but they would take me to go eat Indian soon because I liked Indian food. So, they would do it despite them not liking it. So, they did a lot to try to not shy away from our culture. They wanted us to know our culture. I think that’s a big thing. I got my girls each a sari for Christmas this year because I feel like they connect with their dad’s side of the family, but they needed to connect some with my culture.

I was definitely granted a lot and a lot of opportunities, so I feel like even with foster care, when people open up their homes to foster care or to adopt, they are affording an opportunity to invest in someone’s life and my parents chose to invent in my life, so as a result, I was able to be fortunate and have a good life. Adoption is a unique a beautiful gift.

I have three children and they’re stair steps; 14, 13, and 12. All three are all precious gifts. All three had high risk tendencies. I was a high risk pregnancy and my doctor had said; your life is important and your baby’s life is important and we have to do what’s best for you and the baby. Luckily, everything worked out, but in light of everything, I am a strong advocate for adoption.

I saw a quote this week and was thinking yeah, that would be amazing….it said; “Instead of abortion, what if the U.S. would fund adoption?

Because there are SO many people that want children and adoption is so costly. And yes, do the background checks, do the home checks, but if we would fund for kids to be in foster care and but all the funding in place, then may be we would be saving a life, instead saying it’s okay to hurt a life.. Death affects the people around you, but it also affects you. People I know who have had abortions, it’s been very hard on them and there’s different things they’ve had to walk through. No judgement, but I just think if we said to a teenage girl who is being kicked out of her home, so she’s choosing abortion because she has no place to go, if we gave her a home and an ability to have an open adoption or the ability to learn how to be a mom, or the ability to say that we’re going to help her and give her the tools to be supportive with the child, but we’re going to let you choose.

If we could match young moms with older moms and grandmas because I think they’re is so much to be said. My mom has given me so much advice in parenting. when you have young people who are missing a parent, or maybe their parent is suffering with different things, if you’re able to invest in them and mentor them, like a young mom, then it’s going to impact their life and have a chance to be more successful in the end. It’s just something I’ve thought about. It’s my dream to have a home where teens could come in and they could have a baby and learn all the skills they need to learn.

They could learn how to do diapers, and more, so maybe one day. May be I could have a couple of homes where they could have the ability to have other people to mentor. I think moms have a lot of knowledge and there are some moms who are empty nesters and they could share that knowledge to young girls. So I think it’s a valuable thing.

Reprinted with permission from Facebook “Humans of Calvert County”

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...