Welcome Home, Klaudia
“When you adopt a child, you consider them your own and treat them equally. The love and the bond are no different whether by birth or adoption, and I think it’s essential to let your adopted child know his or her origin story from the very start.” — Jocelyn Tamayo, businesswoman and a proud single mother of two, shares some of her thoughts on adopting her now twenty-year-old daughter, Klaudia.
Every adoption story is unique, each one bearing a kind of love worth sharing. With the stigma and many challenges associated with adoption today, Jocelyn and Klaudia Tamayo proudly embrace their story and display how every part of the journey is worth the surpassing joy of a child’s life.
At the time she adopted, Jocelyn was a single mom to her eldest daughter, Ashley. She knew about the stigma associated with adoption and encountered struggles, both emotionally and financially through the process, but even so, she had no hesitations in taking Klaudia in. “I never prayed for another daughter but when the Lord gave me an opportunity to have one again, I did not hesitate. I felt excited and overwhelmed with joy because I knew I was helping and giving life to a child by giving her a family.”
When asked about how she dealt with the adjustments of adopting a baby, Jocelyn recalls how she would talk to Klaudia about both her adoption story and birth story from an early age. “I made sure that Klaudia understood her family background and talked to her about her needs and fears. I made sure to explain that her birth mother made a loving choice by placing her up for adoption and that she had a plan for her future. I continually reminded her of this so that she does not feel abandoned or angry about her birth mother’s decision.” She said that this allowed her to gain Klaudia’s trust and helped Klaudia find her sense of identity.
The trust built between the mom and daughter shines in the way Klaudia proudly tells her adoption story. She shares in all honesty, “My mom’s best friend had a maid who was pregnant at the time. When she finally gave birth, she offered the baby to my mother, saying that she could not afford to take care of me as she had a lot of sons and daughters to also take care of, who she also ended up giving away for adoption.”
The loving embrace of a new family was something she already sensed even at a young age. “My adoptive mother willingly took me in and introduced me to the rest of her family. My sister was very excited as she always wanted a little sister, which gave my adoptive mother another reason to keep me.”
One of the unique things about Klaudia’s adoption is how the relationship between her biological mom and adoptive mom allowed her to know and understand her background later on. “My biological mother and my adoptive mother had gotten close, and she told her all about her background. My biological mother was from Ilo-Ilo, and she mentioned that we were 9 brothers and sisters in the family, with me being the second to the youngest. She was short and fair—traits that I got from her—while my father was tall and dark. My adoptive mother was able to meet him too when she and my sister visited their home in Ilo-Ilo while on vacation. There, they lived a simple life in a very small house—not enough to fit nine children in—and were considered poor. After getting to know my biological mother more, my adoptive mom finally decided to work on all the papers.” For now, both of them don’t know where Klaudia’s birth parents are as they have legally cut ties with them. “My mom does not have any contact with them whatsoever, but she is willing to help me find them in the future.”
She also recalls her mom giving her a book entitled “Why Am I Adopted?” as her earliest memory of adoption. “I was a little confused at first because I was very young. I think I was around 6 to 7 years old. “Adoption” was a big word for me so I didn’t understand what it meant until my mom told me the story of how she got me.” Through the book, her mom’s stories, and the honest communication they were able to establish, Klaudia gained a deep sense of appreciation towards the special way she was welcomed into her family’s life.
Just like her mom, Klaudia believes that every adoption experience is worth being shared and heard; that every kid shouldn’t be afraid to ask about their origin story. “So many children like me get new chances in life and that’s something very beautiful.”
When asked of the joys of adoption, Klaudia shared, “Never did I ever feel that I was adopted or left out. I am so blessed to belong to such a loving and caring family. Not all kids will have the opportunity to be with a family so for me, just being in one is something that I really cherish.”
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER Q&A
The inspiring mother and daughter also answered a few questions to share more about their adoption story.
What can you share with others thanks to your journey and your story?
J: As a parent of an adopted child, I really want to deal with the stigma by telling people that every child is treated evenly like a biological child. The love and the bond are no different whether by birth or adoption. I think it’s essential to let your adopted child know his or her origin from the very start. It’s important to tell the child that she or he is adopted. Help her/him accept the circumstances because she/he was adopted through the love and guidance of Jesus Christ.
K: Do not be afraid to ask your adoptive parents your story! We deserve to know the truth and any information about our biological family. For adoptive parents, please don’t hesitate to answer us when we ask about our genetic connections. We want to know and want to connect.
Would you have any advice for readers who are on the fence about adoption?
J: Make sure you are completely prepared and a hundred percent committed to adopting a child.
K: I think that adoption isn’t a bad thing at all. So many children like me get new chances in life and that’s something very beautiful.
What would you like others to know about adoption?
J: Do not be afraid and be ready to spend nights talking to your child about their birth parents. They deserve to know about it and all children have emotional ties to their past.
K: As an adoptee, you shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed to share that you are adopted. I think it’s something to be proud of because we are so blessed to be a part of a family. Each adoption experience is worthy of being shared and heard. Also, we shouldn’t just believe everything we see in movies or TV shows regarding adoption. This is why many people have a stigma towards adoption. All children who are adopted are worthy of love and safety. I hope everyone that is planning to adopt or are already adoptive parents, become our advocates.
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