Yamile is in her twenties now and is a new mom with a newfound empathy for her biological mother. “When I found out that I was pregnant, I was nervous and excited simultaneously,” says Yamile. Her adoptive mother had given her a good roadmap for being a loving mom, but, like all first-time moms, Yamile was still apprehensive. After all, this was going to be uncharted territory for her. As she was ecstatically preparing for the birth of her beloved child, she was also battling some jitters. “And then, I started feeling her kick,” says Yamile. In an instant, her entire perspective shifted.
When Yamile was growing up, it was difficult for her to understand why her biological mom would give her up. It was even more difficult for her to imagine that her birth mom could give her up for adoption and love her – that she could give her up because she loved her. When Yamile was pregnant with her daughter, she understood the depth of a mother’s love.
“When I had my daughter and my husband and I were holding her, nothing can prepare you for all those emotions that come,” says Yamile. “When I was younger, and in foster care, I couldn’t understand why she’d stopped visiting. When I did become a mom, I was a little bit more understanding of my mom if I were in that position.”
Yamile and her husband were excited to begin their parenting journey, but they also knew how fortunate they were to be in a position where they could give their children what they needed.
“I understood that my mom wanted a better life for me, a chance maybe to someday have a family,” says Yamile. “Now, with my own baby to care for, I imagined my mom’s position. I asked myself, ‘what would I have done in her position? Would I want to risk my child’s life?’” Yamile knew her answer.
“I understand now that a mother’s love is unconditional and we’re gonna do whatever we can to protect our children,” says Yamile. “We want the best for them, even if that means giving them up.” As a young mom, Yamile brings together the lessons she’s learned from her biological mom and her adoptive mom. “My parents knew how to discipline and were guided by Scripture,” says Yamile. “When they adopted me, they were very loving, and our faith was very important to us.”
When Yamile grew up, there was a window of time where she wasn’t attending church but has since returned and hopes to introduce her children to their faith. “I also want to keep our ‘Gotcha Day celebration,” Yamile says. “Every year on August 18th, we celebrate the day my parents adopted me with cake.” Her face lights up as she remembers her first Gotcha Day. “My mom and I baked a cake, and I passed it around,” she says. “I want to continue that tradition.”
Yamile will not be alone as she experiences the trials and joys of motherhood. Aside from her husband and parents, she will have the support of her childhood best friend, Laura – who is now her sister! “Laura ended up also being in the Kidsave program in 2013, three years after I was adopted,” Yamile says. “My parents saw her in one of Kidsave’s emails and knew we should be sisters.” Throughout the years, Yamile had never forgotten her best friend. “I even named my American Girl doll after her, so I wouldn’t forget,” says Yamile. When Yamile’s parents saw Laura, they recognized her immediately. “They asked me ‘how would you feel if we adopted Laura?’ and of course I was excited,” Yamile says. And as they say, the rest is history!
Now Yamile’s journey has come full circle. “I’m grateful that I’ve been able to find a very loving community,” says Yamile. “I thank God for that, and I’m so happy.”