This guest post is by Mallory Baker, an adoptive mother.
My son, Anikyn was born in February of 2016. When he was three days old, I received a call from the Seneca Nation Child and Family Department that a relative of mine had a baby and they were looking to place him with family, per ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act).
ICWA is a law that was created to ensure that Native American children are placed with family or within the tribe so that they still would know the culture.
Choosing to pick him up that day, with nothing but love to offer him, was by far the best decision I have ever made in my life. He is truly a gift.
My husband and I at the time had been married for 10 years. Just before he turned two years old we divorced for various reasons. I was heartbroken for my son.
We had given him a whole family complete with two big sisters and now it was all crumbling.
I felt intense guilt…if someone else had adopted him he would have a whole, complete family and now he is growing up without a father.
My ex-husband moved over an hour away and rarely sees the kids and will now be moving across the country.
I was dropped into this “single mother” life that I had never known. It is by far the hardest thing I have ever gone through and continue to go through.
I was prepared for the divorce. I was not prepared for the abandonment of my children; especially my son, who deserves a father and male figure in his life.
I felt like I failed him as his mother. It’s been one year since the divorce and I am so proud to say that my kids are healthy and whole and above all, happy.
My wonderful mother and I have worked very hard to make sure my kids stay protected from the sadness of their father’s choices.
Anikyn, being only 2 1/2 years old, is of course not very aware of what is happening and I am grateful for that. I hope someday to fall in love with a man who can also love my three babies.
I am so grateful for ICWA otherwise I may have never known my son. He could have been adopted out of state and lost his birth right.
I am so proud to raise him in the Seneca culture. He danced at our Pow Wow this summer with such gusto, he stole the show! His personality is tremendous and shines in everything that he does.
He has this wild, spiral curled hair that captures everyone’s attention along with that million dollar smile.
I have moments where I stare at him and think…what did I do to deserve this amazing child? He is simply wonderful.
Before I adopted, I always thought that people couldn’t actually love someone else’s child fully the way they would their biological children.
Having two biological little girls before he came along has squandered that theory. I absolutely love him as much as my girls, Alayna and Avery, and they love him so very much.
He is simply their baby brother that they spoil rotten with their love and attention. He changed our whole way of thinking and of living.
He brought something to our family that I didn’t even know was missing. He made us whole. Will he have questions about his adoption when he’s older? No doubt.
We plan on openly sharing his story, how he came to be with us and how much we love him. Am I a little sad that eventually he will want contact with his birth family? Yes and no.
Our adoption was closed, we aren’t required to have visits or send pictures. This is a blessing for me because he feels like ours 100%, I don’t want to “share” him.
But like most adoptees, I am sure his curiosity of his birth family will come about and I need to be ready to answer his questions and support him with whatever he chooses.
Ultimately he is mine to raise, not to keep and it will be his decision what he chooses to do. I hope he knows no matter what, we are his forever family and his home.
Mallory Baker is the mother to two beautiful daughters and a handsome son who joined their family through adoption. She raises them in Salamanca, NY along with their selfless Gramma, Monica.
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