AFTH Scholarship Recipient
The Fall 2019 Birth Parent Scholarship recipient is Lucy Amidon. Since a very young age, Lucy has been exposed to the adoption world. An adoptee herself, Lucy was born in Reading, PA. She was adopted at birth and spent the first 5 years of her life in Virginia with her family. They later moved back to Pennsylvania in the Lancaster area.
For fun, Lucy enjoys reading, photography, and crocheting. “I enjoy doing anything inside that will allow me to also watch Netflix,” joked Lucy. Admittedly, she is not an outdoorsy person at all. She’s very passionate about parenting her 3-year-old son, Atlas, who is also her best friend. She wants to succeed in school and grow professionally. She was having financial difficulties with school and felt like her “success plan”, of receiving her bachelor’s degree in four years, seemed impossible. Even with this financial setback, Lucy was still determined to be successful. She dropped all her classes except for one because that was all she could afford. “I was going to graduate. I was going to do it even if it took me several years,” said Lucy.
One day while Lucy was at work, she received an email from Adoptions From The Heart (AFTH) stating that she was the Birth Parent Scholarship Fund winner. She applied for the scholarship a few weeks back and never thought she would have been the lucky recipient. “I immediately started crying because I was so happy. I called my boyfriend to tell him and I was shaking. The world finally felt like it was finally falling into place for me. I thought to myself, this doesn’t have to be a 7-year thing anymore. I can graduate in 4 years. I’m going to be successful,” said Lucy.
This success moment meant more to Lucy than it might to others. Lucy has undergone troublesome times for many years. Lucy was a struggling alcoholic when she became pregnant for a second time. “When I found out I was pregnant, I was on the verge of being homeless, I was unemployed, and broke. I had nothing. My pregnancy with Avery was something that changed and saved my life. She made me want to be a better person,” emphasized Lucy.
Lucy discovered she was pregnant very early at only 7 weeks. She knew that something was off with her body. “Since I was already pregnant before with my son, I was familiar with the feeling,” Lucy explained. She went to A Women’s Concern for a free pregnancy test and it read positive. At this point, Lucy knew she needed help. She decided to check herself into a rehabilitation center. The center assisted her towards her path to sobriety and worked with her to come up with a pregnancy plan. Lucy knew placing for adoption was the best choice for her and her baby.
Another local adoption agency paired Lucy with a social worker by the name of Miriam. Miriam went above and beyond as Lucy’s social worker. The rehabilitation center was located over an hour away from Miriam, but she still visited Lucy regularly to work with her and be her support system. Miriam completely changed Lucy’s perspective of adoption. Before meeting with Miriam, Lucy wanted a closed adoption because that was all she knew about. After meetings with Miriam, Lucy knew open adoption was the way to go. Open adoption allows for some form of communication between the birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents. This can range from pictures, letters, and phone calls to contact through an intermediary, to open contact between the parties themselves. Also known as “cooperative adoption.”
At this point, Lucy had a support system and an idea of what her plan was going to entail. She began the process of looking through adoption profiles of prospective adoptive parents for Avery. Adoption profiles are platforms adoptive families use to showcase themselves to expecting parents considering adoption. These profiles may include information about their family, photos, hobbies/interests, etc. The process can be overwhelming. She looked through many profiles and had a pile of “yes” and “maybes” until she came across this one particular family. “They must have just got these portraits done. All it took was one look at the mother and I instantly just felt this connection,” said Lucy. She then knew she found Avery’s adoptive parents.
A Perfect Fit
Avery’s adoptive parents went above and beyond for Lucy. Lucy had a few requests upon the adoption. She wanted them to educate themselves on alcoholism and the effects that come along with that. Avery’s adoptive parents went to classes, read books, and attended meetings all in preparation upon Avery’s arrival. Their dedication to preparing for Avery was something that Lucy was extremely appreciative of. She also later discovered that Avery’s adoptive parents had been waiting to adopt for 10 years. Their long wait reminded Lucy of her adoptive parents. “My adoptive parents fostered many children and had them taken from them many times. They waited forever to adopt and eventually adopted me,” said Lucy. Learning about this new layer of information made her feel even better about her decision.
The day after Lucy gave birth, Avery’s adoptive parents came to see them in the hospital. There was an instant connection between my parents, my son, myself, Avery and her parents that put me at ease. It felt like we all knew each other our whole lives, and that this was all supposed to happen,” said Lucy. Though this process was one of the most difficult times Lucy endured, she knew that she made the right decision for Avery.
Lucy has advice for other recovering addicts struggling with their sobriety. “Take it one day at a time. If that’s too much, take it moment by moment. By doing this, your avoiding disappointment. Sometimes when we plan too far ahead, we set ourselves up for disaster,” said Lucy. Lucy also has advice for her children when it comes to surviving and overcoming hardships. “Even when things seem hopeless, it gets better. You need to have patience and trust, and with that, you can overcome anything,” said Lucy.
“This is a photo of my son and I. This is a relationship I got back because of my adoption placement. I get to spend every day with him and got a second chance at being a mom, while Avery’s adoptive parents got a chance to be parents. My placement was such a gift to both of our families and I still get to see her,” Lucy shared.
AFTH’s Birth Parent Scholarship Fund has helped Lucy immensely. “Having this scholarship allows me to succeed at work and school, while still making it home to tuck my son into bed at night. I can do all of this at ease, without having to worry about getting a second job,” Lucy said. Year after year, the scholarship will continue to help birth parents further their education, move forward towards success, and be the best versions of themselves.