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Understanding Adoption After 84 Years

  • Chief saw 23 years of active duty.

  • He toured 39 countries.

  • His travels included safaris in Africa and law enforcement duties in Ukraine and Moscow.

  • He was assigned bases throughout the middle east, including four years in Guam.

  • He was a police officer in New Jersey and carried mail for the post office in downtown San Francisco.

  • He worked on construction crews at Disney World in Florida.

After all these experiences, the 84-year-old found himself seated on the floor of an empty living room, cradling a delicate newborn. The overwhelming magnitude of that moment left him grappling for words to convey the depth of his emotions.

“The baby was so tiny,” Chief said. “She was the length of my hand, the tip of my fingers to my wrist. Laid in the cradle of my arm.” Chief’s voice choked as he spoke. “The experience was beyond what I can tell you on the phone.”

The experience had started more than 24 hours earlier when Chief had accompanied his notary public wife to notarize adoption papers.

The first day, Chief and Lydia met the potential adoptive mother. Sayoko. The husband and wife notary sat with Sharyn from Heart to Heart Adoptions for several hours, waiting for the birth mother. She never came.

Chief watched the potential adoptive mother. He heard her speak of her love for another birth mother who had placed a child with her and her husband. Chief felt her anxiety.

Through a phone call, the birth mother swore she was still planning to place her child for adoption, and she would come the next day.

For five hours, Chief watched Sayoko.

“I realized what my mother must have gone through,” Chief said and then explained that he was adopted at three months old “by a couple that made my life so wonderful, I can’t find the right words. Watching Sayoko put me in touch with what I never knew about my placement. How two women loved me, but especially how much my mother, the woman who raised me, loved me. The emotional ups and downs I witnessed with the adopting mother made me understand my life better.”

Finally, the small group—Sharyn from Heart to Heart Adoptions, Leda as a Notary Public, Chief as a supporter, and Sayoko, a potential adoptive mother—went to the birth mother’s home.

“We walked into the apartment. There was a TV on the floor in the corner—no other furniture. The only place for my wife to sign papers was the kitchen counter,” Chief said. “Something clicked with the birth mother and me. When I said, ‘May I hold the child?’ She said, ‘Yes, I would love that.’ I sat on the floor and held the little girl. A lot of paper went from hand to hand and back and forth. I just held her. It was a very moving experience.”

Chief was impressed with how easily and quickly the adoptive and birth mothers bonded.

“They texted that night, and then we all met the next morning again. On the last day, the last hour, we met the husband and their little boy. We’re already talking about going to see them. This incident made me reflect on what my adoption must have been like. This incident put a lot of things to rest in my life.”

If you missed Sayoko’s story, read them here.

Airport Security allowed the potential mother to leave.

Two women love a baby and trusted one another.