***My sisters and I are pleased to have a guest blogger, Jori Reid here on The Kusi Life sharing her story.
Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of being a mother like most girls. I could picture my handsome husband, perfect temple marriage, the house with the white fence and our four perfect children playing in the yard. That is not my story. My story is one of rebellion, mistakes, adoption, repentance and joy.
As a teen I felt lost. I felt like I didn’t know who I was and if I felt that way how could Heavenly Father know who I was. I attended college at a local university and played soccer there. Life was good or so I thought. I would play soccer and go to my classes during the week. On the weekends I would drink and party and then attend church on Sunday. I was living a double life. But those closest to me saw what was going on. I thought I could do what I wanted and be invincible. I thought the Lord forgot all about me. Oh how I was very mistaken.
My whole world crashed around me in January 2008 when I saw two faint pink lines on the pregnancy test I told myself I didn’t really need to take. I was devastated to say the least. Telling my family was one of the scariest moments of my life. My parents were disappointed but were completely supportive of whichever choice I wanted to make. The two choices I was considering were either to parent or place my baby for adoption. Now, I was not unfamiliar with adoption as I was adopted as an infant. I grew up knowing what adoption was and liked that it was apart of my story. I knew my decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, I had more than just me to think about. Little did I know the Lord’s hand was in it from the beginning, I just didn’t see it at the time. The same week I told my family of my unplanned pregnancy, family friends across the country were praying to Heavenly Father about adding another baby to their family through the gift of adoption. When that family friend called me and told me that they would be honored to raise my baby in their family that is when the light bulb turned on for me and I really started to consider adoption as a real option. Honestly I was a 20 year old college athlete with no job nor any money to my name. If I had chosen to single parent though I would have made it work. I wanted so much for this baby growing inside me. There was so much that this baby deserved that at that time in my life I couldn’t provide. I knew that I had to put my baby’s needs over the desires of my own heart.
In June of 2008, I had the most spiritual experience to date. I was sitting with our family friend and listening to him talk about his other two older children adoption stories. Just the week prior I found out I would be having a girl and I was having such an internal battle about my decision to place her for adoption and not sure what the right choice was for her and I. When it was my turn to talk, I couldn’t. The spirit filled the room and in the faintest whisper I heard “this is her family”. From that moment on there was no more doubt in my mind. I knew what the Lord wanted me to do and what the right choice was. So many people were blessed by Talia’s adoption. I grew up in so many ways. I was no longer that lost sheep. He found me. I knew I needed to go through this experience for my own growth and testimony. To this day I continue to see the blessings of that one right choice.
Six months after I placed Talia for adoption I reunited with my birth mother. It was a dream come true seeing as I had a closed adoption and that was rare. The first thing I told her when I met her was “thank you”. I thanked her for everything. For allowing her own heart to break so I could have the life she dreamed of for me. At that exact moment when we hugged for the first time I knew exactly how she felt because I just went through it.
My blessings didn’t end there. The month after I reunited with my birth mother I met my future husband. We were sealed in the Washington DC temple and 10 months later we were doubly blessed with twin girls. I had the honor of being a mother again at 24. We now also have a 3 year old son and a precious new baby on the way that is due in March 2017. I believe there is no greater calling than motherhood.
Talia, the sweet 7lb baby girl is now a 7 year old fun, athletic and spunky girl who I will have the opportunity to see get baptized later this year following her 8th birthday. It is a joy to watch her grow and to be a part of her life.
The experience has changed my life forever. She helped me see life in a whole new light and change the way I was living. I am indeed grateful for the experience that I went through because it has taught me numerous things. I know adoption is not for everyone but it has certainly blessed my life beyond measure. My whole life from the moment I was born to where I am today is not by chance. The Lord’s hand has been in every single detail, I only had to know where to look for it and trust him along the way. My life is a journey and adoption is a big part of that journey. Through the heartache, pain, tears, unspoken prayers, and answered prayers I have found hope, love, forgiveness, and grace. I pray that we may all slow down a bit in our busy life and recognize the Lord’s hand in our everyday lives.
Jori Reid is an adoptee and a proud birth mother in a open adoption to 7 year old girl. Jori reunited with her birth mother after 21 years. Jori and her husband currently have five year old twin girls, three year old son, and a new baby due in March 2017. Jori loves anything s’mores related, a good book, and long hot baths. Dover, DE is home for Jori and she loves all that the small state has to offer. She is LDS. Enjoys writing and sneaking in naps. She loves sharing her story of motherhood, uplifting and inspiring other women and moms. You can read more about her on her blog at From the Heart.