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Donna, 52, Campbell, California

On January 19, 1999, we were chosen by a birth family to adopt their child. We had been trying to create our family for 18 years and had been blessed with an adopted son who was 7 years old. We took the baby home from the hospital and named him Steven. We rearranged our lives to love and care for our new son.

Two-and-a-half months later, we received a call that the birth family had changed their mind, and that the birth father's mom would raise the baby. We took Steven back to the adoption agency and kissed our son goodbye.

I was in a state of anger. I thought there would never be real joy in my life again. I realized I had to forgive the birth family, or I would not be able to go on. I imagined how it would feel to be the birth father's mom. I had to put my victim story aside and get a heartfelt experience of her situation. This helped me to feel compassion for her and have peace of mind.

At Christmas, we decided to send the birth mother's family a card. We wanted to let them know that we were doing fine and had no bad feelings towards them. We didn't want them to feel guilty about what happened. They responded very quickly and thanked us for writing. It felt good to not have bad feelings toward each other.
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