Giving Kids Up For Adoption

By: J Cruikshank

AdoptionThis is a topic that rarely sees the light of day, adoptions.  When court records get sealed the government’s position is that it’s over.  The reality is that mothers, who give up their kids for adoption rather than subject them to a life of hardship, are suffering heroes.  They live their lives never knowing what happened to their kids.  Other mothers who are reading this will know how painful it would feel to hand over their babies.  But, there are mothers who have the strength to do the right thing, and they are selfless. They are the ones who would jump in front of that bus to save their kids (because that’s pretty much what they do).  Desperate times call for desperate measures, and these mothers have the mental fortitude to do the right thing knowing they are giving up a lifetime of sanity for the long term well being of their kids.  I can’t imagine having to give up my kids.  But,  people do it every day – and their sacrifice doesn’t get enough recognition.


 My biological mother and I reunited a few years ago despite California’s lame attempts to keep us apart (never trust the government to keep anything secret).  I don’t like being told no, so I found out for myself about my biological parents. I was adopted with my twin sister.  I left a loving family to live with another loving family, and I don’t remember anything about it.  But, my older sister, who I left behind, and my mother vividly remember those days.  This is my biological mom’s story.



Our Story

By Janice Cruikshank


It was the 70′s and life was different. In some ways it was better, in others worse. We were free, loose and lazy. I had a 2 yr old daughter, and I was pregnant again.  Abortions were the acceptable solution for our lifestyle; but, while I was wrestling with this thought, John Denver sang “Sunshine on my Shoulders”.  I realized that, no matter what kind of life I could or couldn’t offer this baby, there would be days that it would, with or without me, smile and be happy.  The decision was made – life won.  Although I knew who the father was it made no difference; he was more useless than I was.  I once again shamed my family and grew as big as a cow. I went to an OB/GYN and he took one look and said “multiple birth”.  Yikes!  Now what?  That very night I went into labor.  The next day I delivered a son and a daughter — in that order. They were 6 weeks early and needed help.  They stayed in the hospital for nearly a month and were then released to their fate.

People came to ooh and ahh then went home.  My mother tried to help me, but she worked and didn’t have much time.  Months passed, then a year, and life was getting harder.  There were things that they needed that I couldn’t give to them.  Denial was rapidly dwindling with the ticking clock.  I was their mother and the responsibility for a solution was mine alone.  I sought advice and professional counsel, but I quickly realized that I approached the hardest and most important decision of my life, alone.  Again, the arts supplied my answer.  This time in a quote by Oscar Wilde, “Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.”  I had no right to drag my children into the gutter with me.  They didn’t ask to be my children.  They needed more than just love.  They needed shoes and would probably need braces to face the world with a smile.  They needed the chance for a college education and family vacations.  I had no right to keep them from a good life.  The decision had to be made before they would be burdened with the memory of us.  I called an adoption agency to start the wheels turning.  I decided to transition first to foster care because the thought of an instant break was unbearable.  The agency asked what I wanted in a family, and my wishes were few.


1. Christian (even though, at that time, I was not)

2. That the twins stay together (so they would always have each other)

3. A large extended family (so that they would build many memories).

I was assured that they would have a stay at home Mom.  I was offered money to offset the immediate loss of welfare but to accept a penny would mean that I sold them.  It was done, and they went to their new home with their new family at Thanksgiving time.


There was nothing easy about it. The pain swept over me like a tidal wave and I shuttered.  My only comfort was that I loved them more than myself, and I proved it.  The new family wanted their pictures but my selfishness had it’s way; I kept the pictures.  I could not give up everything as if they never existed in my life.  No, they were mine!  Although I knew they would have no memories of me and their older sister, we would never be able to forget them.  There is a strange comfort in doing the right thing and it must carry you through.


Read the continuation at Giving Kids for Adoption – The Void


Lot’s of information on Adoption can be found here.

12 Responses to “Giving Kids Up For Adoption”
  1. Dennis Yu August 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm #


    Looking forward to the continuation of an amazing story!

  2. Laura Sneden August 3, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    Janice – I look forward to hearing more of your story.

  3. J Cruikshank August 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    Thank you so much for your kind encouragement.

  4. Joan August 3, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    As a mother of 2 adoptive children and a mom who experienced 6 years of infertility and a failed adoption of a beautiful baby whose birth mom changed her mind when we got to court :( (and the little girl went on to have a very hard life .. she turns 18 on August 19th of this year) I was very blessed to read the first part of your story and cannot wait to hear the rest.

  5. Ashley Cruikshank August 4, 2009 at 1:50 am #

    Mum, You could not have given your side of the story any better. This captures what the experience was like from the biological parent’s perspective and truly what a difficult decision it was. Your decision was made from the heart and no one can fault you for that.

    For those reading this post, I am the older sister in this story. As the older sibling, this was my first experience with loss….the loss of not one, but two loved ones, my brother and sister. Despite the number of years that passed, my memories of them never faded, nor did a year go by that their birthday went unnoticed. They were always in our hearts. I always held out hope that one day we would be reunited and after 30+ years, my prayers came true.

  6. J Cruikshank August 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm #

    Joan, thank you for sharing a piece of your story. Your children are very lucky to have such a loving mother. I hope life with work out for the girl. There are times that children learn what not to be by example. I just finished my story and hope you will find comfort in it.

  7. Yolanda (Ybarra) Imamura June 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    Janice, it’s me Yolanda! I saw your last name on a tv program and thought of you and came to Google to see if I could find you…..I know this is you. Joey and I went to your place in El Segundo and saw the twins in a crib together just a few months after you had them. We were moving to Oregon and I had come to say bye and saw you and Ashley for the last time – I still have a picture of Ashley Marie Cruikshank!!!!! Her blue eyes will always have you behind them. Oh, she’s married already… time flies. If you ever get to read this, please contact me. I love and miss you soooo much. Living on 118th Street in Hawthorne and having a stupid crush on your brother Butch and kissing his cheek (a dare from you and Amy!). We were playing LIFE, I remember. Please contact me my dear friend. Love, Yolanda

  8. nancy October 20, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    quiero dar en adopcion a mis mellisos estoy de 4 meses de embarazo y por mi situacion economica no puedo tenerlos contactarse por mail . gracias


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