ADOPTION SPOTLIGHT - Susan Deibert


     Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I am SO thankful for all of you! You have no idea how grateful I am that you are here reading this! Because of you, I am where I am now and I hope this day fills you with joy and lots of turkey! 

     National Adoption Month is almost over! With your help, we are truly redefining the American Family and showing that adoption is an option. 

     For today’s adoption spotlight, I am so excited to introduce Mrs. Deibert. She is an absolutely wonderful human and in every way possible so I’m so excited to share her story and all that she’s doing because she truly rocks! I had the opportunity to talk with her and get her story firsthand and now I get to share it with you now! 

     Mrs. Deibert was adopted. At 3 months old on February 21st, 1971. Her parents had infertility challenges for 6 years, so as a result, they adopted her. Then, 6 months later, they had their own biological child who became her brother. 

     When Mrs. Deibert was conceived, her birth mother was young and was dating a guy at the time. When she told him she was pregnant, he said that they would get married and care for the child together, but it did not work out. Later on, they found out that he did this to their women in other states as well. When she was born, her birth mom kept for one week then put her up for adoption. During the 1970’s, adoption was a whole lot different than it is now and it was harder in its own ways. In fact, it was one year before the infamous Roe v. Wade court case that changed the way abortions were handled. This means that her adoption story could have been completely different if it just occurred one year later. During the 70’s , the process was not quite as long as it is today. Before she moved in with her forever family, she stayed with another foster family which was a year before the process was finalized. Additionally, when her parents found out that she was pregnant with her own child, the agency tried to see if they wanted to give Mrs. Deibert back for another family to have. Sort of in a way as if one were to return a package. This was hard on her because she felt like a little doll who people just handed around and could be returned. In her eyes, it was inhuman to do this to kids because they are not property and deserve a family that would love them forever. Once her parents won that dispute with the adoption agency, they had her for 6 months until they were finally able to finalize the adoption.

     Growing up, she always knew that she was adopted. Her parents kept an open communication with her as she grew up and told her that she was “chosen.” Also, she saw all of her adoption paperwork and process whenever she wanted. Mrs. Deibert knew her birth name as Donna Himmelberger which would come to play later in her life. Once in high school, her English teacher had come up to her parents and grandparents saying that she could see the similarity between her and her grandmother. It was funny because they weren’t related by blood at all, but it taught her that one doesn’t need nature to be a family.

     To carry on from that, in her 20’s, Mrs. Deibert felt that there was just a piece of her missing and that she didn’t quite know who she was. She felt that finding her birth parents would give her that closure and truly allow her to find herself. As a result, she began her search for her parents, but she did it half-heartedly because she knew that the odds of finding them were not too high. Additionally, if she didn’t find them, she would be okay because she loved her current family so much and knew that she would always have them. In the 1990’s, she looked on ancestry genealogy programs to find her parents. On one of the websites, she found a woman in Washington with the same last name as her and said that she would get in touch with her husband to see. However it wasn’t the same family. Nevertheless, she still kept looking and on another website she found her match. She found a result with her name and everything so she decided to send her a simple letter saying that she was looking for a family member. There was not a reply for a month. During this time, Mrs. Deibert told her parents about her search for her birth parents. After a week of silence, they spoke out saying that they were hurt, but they supported her in everything she did. They knew that she did it for personal reasons rather than in spite of her family. 

      A month later, her birth mom replied to her letter saying that it was really, really hard for her to reply. She made the decision that she didn’t want any contact with Mrs. Deibert and it was hard for her because she felt so bad. As for Mrs. Deibert, she knew that it was her birth mom's decision and had nothing to do with her and it was okay because she had gotten closure and realized the truth to her story. For years, she thought that her Cinderella story would be finding her birth parents, but her Cinderella story was being adopted in 1970. Her birth parents wanted the best for her. When they gave her up, it allowed her to write her own story without them; a story that would be better without them with more opportunities and chances. 

     Now, she works part-time as an insurance customer representative from home. She works from home because she wanted to be able to raise her kids since family was so important to her. Being adopted and being raised by her parents allowed her to see the values of family. Additionally, her mom stayed home to raise her and her brother when she was younger so she followed in her steps. Now she has her daughter, Sarah, who is in 8th grade and plays soccer. She also has Matthew, her son who is 17 and plays baseball. 

     There were also many coincidences in her adoption and to make sure I get it right, I quote her saying “My half brother (my biological mom’s son) was born October 19, my adoptive parents anniversary data. And my biological mom, whose first name is the same as my adoptive mom, was married August 10, my adoptive brother’s birthday. And she married Richard P. - my biological father is named Richard. There were simply too many “signs” to ignore which is why it wasn’t hard to imagine this was my biological mom.” That’s crazy cool right? If that doesn’t show it was meant to be I don’t know what does.

     Mrs. Deibert says to be careful what you wish for. She wished to gain contact with her birth parents and when she was rejected, it ruined her vision of of roses. Instead, it became thorny. However, these thorn helped her find and learn about herself and where she was from. This shaped her as a person and put her through challenges that would prepare her for the future. 

     She firmly believes that adoption should always happen in all forms; babies, kids, and teens because they all deserve a chance at love. She is very fortunate to have had that. She also believes that prices for adoption should be lower because it kind of demotes people from adopting because they could be amazing parents, but some people just don’t have the opportunity. On a personal level, she thought about adoption, but she had two of her own children already, so she wanted another family to have that opportunity. 

     Her story is so unique and interesting. Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone because it truly is making a difference in the world and raising awareness. Can’t wait to see everyone back later for another adoption story. 


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