A WOMAN has opened up about re-connecting the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was just a baby.
Distraught Adrian Collins was a university student who couldn't afford to raise a baby when she found out she was pregnant.
Though she dreamed of being a mum one day, Adrian made the agonizing decision to give the baby away, only to reconnect and eventually adopt her later in life.
In a heart-wrenching blog post, Ashton wrote: "I’d always dreamed of being a mom one day. Just not yet.
"After months of agonizing over my choices, I made the heart wrenching decision to make an semi-closed adoption plan.
"My only comfort was a promise given by the adoptive parents that they would hold my daughter close and bathe her in unconditional love."
Adrian went on to marry her long-term, boyfriend and the two had three boys together, adopting another son from a family friend, but she always thought of her daughter.
She said: "While I revelled in motherhood, my thoughts wandered to my daughter. Ever so often, I’d pull a memory box from underneath my bed that contained photos and letters sent by the adoptive parents.
"At age six, my heart erupted in joyous celebration when the adoptive parents invited my husband and me to spend a day together at the zoo.
"Before saying goodbye, I tucked a strand of blond hair behind her ear and told her, 'I love you.' She smiled shyly and whispered, 'I love you too.'"
Adrian and her daughter went on to see each other over the years, but their blossoming relationship made the adoptive parents upset.
She explained: "We learned that the adoptive parents were no longer supportive of her relationship with us.
"She’d been instructed to choose between her birth family and her adoptive family. They accused me of conniving to steal their daughter.
"They questioned my motives and tore at my character. I sat flabbergasted. What have I done to deserve this?
"Days later, her adoptive parents removed all financial support from our daughter and said they regretted the adoption. They turned their backs on my daughter and disowned her. I felt betrayed.
"I had entrusted my daughter to them and now they’d abandoned her. The pain of watching my daughter endure loss was almost as unbearable as the day I left the hospital without her."
So Adrian and her husband stepped in to re-adopt their daughter.
"It was my husband who brought up the idea of re-adoption. 'We can take care of you,' he told her.
"While an adult adoption was somewhat common between parents and foster or step children, it was rare at best between a birth parent and birth child.
"After months of thought and prayer, our daughter agreed to be re-adopted into our family.
"My husband made the announcement to our four boys while inside a pizza buffet that they were about to gain a big sister. 'cool!' they cried out in unison before excusing themselves to grab another slice from the buffet.
"To them, she was already a part of the family. For me, I now wondered if I could be a good mom to her after missing the foundational years of her life.
"Today, as I sit across from my daughter, I still recognize traces of hurt. I wish I could heal her deepest wounds and erase the years of separation. Instead, I can only love my daughter unconditionally and tell her, 'I’m here.'
"We can create new memories in our still-growing relationship."
Adrian and her daughter are now working on building a relationship together and things are looking good so far.
She admits things didn't go to plan but she's trying to focus on the positives.
I’ve spent time in reflection about my decision to make an adoption plan. Did everything turned out as planned?
She said: "I can only embrace the journey and discover how I was changed because of it."
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