Reel Moments Submission to Glamour’s contest (a few years back)

Posted on January 6, 2008. Filed under: My Adoption Story |

By Joy A. Kennelly

I’m taking blogs I’ve written over the past year on my other blog – Pure, Unadulterated Joy and uploading them here to show my journey to date. Then, when the spirit hits me, I will add new thoughts and feelings for you ok?

Here’s one I wrote October 17, 2006:

A friend had recently sent me a link to the Glamour site for their Reel Moments contest, but I didn’t begin to think about it seriously until watching the Oprah show. My friend had suggested telling about my adoption story and at first I was like, no they’ll change it, but then after sleeping on it, here’s what I’m going to submit.

I woke up and journaled this first since I’m doing that more instead of blurting out everything to the world.

Tell me what you think:

Madonna’s adoption is getting, I thought I’d share my adoption story too.

While running my short film festival, I became pregnant by one of the volunteers who’d intrigued and seduced me one night after we’d met to discuss his book he was writing. Due to lack of family support, his support and money, I chose to live in a maternity home (a shelter) with other unwed mothers.

I focused on running my film festival for the first few months totally denying the radical turn my life was taking. A friend, who had chosen adoption a few years earlier, decided to volunteer at the shelter once she heard I was living there.

We became closer and she began sharing her open adoption experience with me. I began to consider it as an option. I researched everything I could. I read adoption books; I went to counseling; I spoke to attorneys, adoption agencies, and other birthmothers ultimately deciding it was right for me too.

After my festival was over, I began to seriously look for a couple to raise my son. I had made a top 10 list of the qualities I wanted, but after 4 frustrating months I narrowed it down to three.

One day while I was volunteering with A Window Between Worlds, a non-profit arts program which uses art as a healing tool, they asked me to participate in an art demonstration for a news show.

I began doing the guided exercise when all of a sudden I began to sob uncontrollably. They stopped filming and took me aside to compose myself. I began journaling my feelings and poured out my pain and frustration over the difficulty I was having finding the right family. I then surrendered to God and said if you want me to raise this child as a single parent, then I will. It’s not what I want to do, but if that’s your will Lord, I surrender. It was a month before my son was due.

That day, I came home and received a package from Amy & Jeff, the couple who would adopt my child. They were Christians, inter-racially married, young, attractive, financially secure, creative and intelligent. Later, when I looked back at my list, they’d fulfilled all of my requirements.

Within a month they had gone through the home study, completed all the paperwork, been investigated, and were approved to adopt Elijah. Looking back now I realize what a miracle that was.

He’s seven now and it hasn’t always been easy, but I have peace in my heart that I made the right decision and this is the family God chose for us. We have an open adoption which means I can visit, call, write, and send Eli gifts to express my love for him.

I will always look back at that moment when I completely surrendered and realize that God wants to give me the desires of my heart if only I’ll trust Him for the outcome.


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    Emotions I feel surrounding my adoption, books I read and other experiences in life


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