When a young girl learned about her adoption, she was devastated. She loved her adoptive dad for sacrificing everything to raise her but knowing that her mom abandoned her at three left a void in her heart and identity.
Adoption stories are proof that the world is full of kind-hearted people. However, the struggle adoptees go through is real and often ignored. Nicole Koharik from Cleveland, Ohio, shares a similar story of loss, abandonment, hope, and love.
One day, back in the 1970s, Koharik was with her babysitter, a young Marine just back from the Vietnam war. Her birth mother was initially with her until she left and never returned.
ABANDONED AS A TODDLER
Koharik's adoptive father told her the story at a very young age. He explained how Koharik's biological mother left her with him to babysit and disappeared. Her dad was a man of sacrifice and had earned several laurels during his service.
He was a model adoptive single parent who adopted Koharik in June 1978 to give her a stable home. As a single male veteran in the 1970s, he ensured his adoptive daughter received the best education and felt loved and protected.
Koharik shared a healthy relationship with her dad, who left his corporate job in the late 90s and became a priest. Despite having a loving father, Koharik couldn't shake the feelings of abandonment. Her mom's disappearance left a massive void in her life.
THE NAGGING QUESTIONS
Growing up, Koharik often blamed herself for being abandoned by her birth mom at three years old. She felt like an alien because she didn't look like anyone in her family. People asked her questions about herself in social gatherings, and she had nothing to say.
He thanked his adoptive parents for their continued love and support and called them "angels on earth."
Not knowing who she was, where she came from, or why her birth mom left her were questions that always haunted her. She never shared her feelings with her father out of fear that he might abandon her too.
Koharik struggled as a teenager at school and lacked confidence. Her concept of self-identity was distorted, and she didn't know how to believe in herself. Even her adoptive family's love was insufficient to erase the loss of her birth family.
Fortunately, she found an empathetic college professor who helped her carve a promising career for herself. Koharik found her niche in marketing and volunteered for a non-profit organization supporting adoption.
Through her volunteer work, she redefined adoption as "a complex, lifelong, and intergenerational journey with ongoing impact for all those whose lives are touched by it." She reinvented herself after connecting with other adoptees and learning their stories.
BECOMING A MOTHER
Koharik realized she wasn't alone in her journey and began healing and loving herself. On March 8, 2000, she gave birth to her son, Brayden. Her self-doubt soon subsided, and her heart was filled with joy, pride, and genuine love for her child. She told LoveWhatMatters:
"I was not doomed to repeat history. Instead, I committed to being the mother I never had to my son because I never wanted him to doubt my love for him."
She continued to excel professionally and completed her M.A. in Communications Management in 2003. However, she experienced separation anxiety when, in June 2018, her son left home to serve in the U.S. Navy.
FINDING LOVE AGAIN
She also shared: "I was extremely proud of my son's choice to serve, but I was not prepared. Several months later, with the support from my fiancé (now husband) family and friends, I recovered and began feeling like myself again."
Koharik's mid-life love story came true when she married her fiancé, Brad, on March 13, 2021. Her adoptive dad performed the ceremony. After several failed relationships and a divorce, she finally had a partner who loved her and connected with her son.
She ordered a DNA kit to find answers about her unknown past, and the results led her to several new relatives worldwide. Through the power of love and family, Koharik healed from the wounds of loss and abandonment.
THE BEST ADOPTIVE PARENTS
Like Koharik, another man from Asunción, Paraguay, was abandoned by his birth family in the late 1970s until he found a guardian angel. On January 6, 1977, a 27-year-old woman, Edith Decoud, found a newborn wrapped in a blanket outside her home.
The baby was only three days old when Edith found him. She was married and had a son, but she opened her heart and home to the infant without second thoughts. After that, on January 3 every year, Edith celebrated her son's birthday and named him "David Decoud."
David grew up in a loving home with his elder brother and parents. At 12, his mom told him that she found him at a hospital and took him in. At 24, he learned the whole story about himself at a family barbecue.
ANGELS ON EARTH
However, David was never mad at his adoptive parents for hiding the truth. Instead, he felt love and respect for his parents for welcoming a defenseless child abandoned at their doorstep 44 years ago.
While David faced trouble during his teenage years and was teased for being a different color to his parents, his adoptive family always supported him and gave him the confidence he needed to excel in life.
David became a successful sound engineer and vowed to care for his mom after his father died. He thanked his adoptive parents for their continued love and support and called them "angels on earth."
ABANDONED AND DEFENSELESS
It seems Koharik and David weren't the only ones abandoned by their birth parents, who later found loving and caring adoptive families. In 2019, baby Milo, merely days old, was left at the doorstep of Talethia and Harold Edwards' home in Tallahassee, Florida.
Talethia and Harold already had seven children, ranging from four to 14 years old. Still, she wanted another child to complete her family, and when Milo came, she couldn't believe it. Milo was entrusted to Talethia by a troubled, homeless woman battling addiction.
Talethia took Milo's photo and posted it to Facebook, asking for donations. Her community supported her and offered baby essentials and wire money transfers. However, she was surprised when the woman returned with Milo at her door again.
THE COMMUNITY BABY
The woman gave Talethia a handwritten note that said, "I, being in sound mind, give my son to the care of Mr. and Mrs. Edwards." Soon, it became clear to Talethia that Milo was the last child she had always wanted.
Talethia was president of the Bond Neighborhood Association and mentored students at elementary schools. Her husband taught environmental science at Cairo High in Georgia and worked toward a doctorate in educational leadership.
The Edwards used their voice for the right cause and gave Milo a safe and loving environment. He later became known as the "Community Baby." Indeed, the adoption stories of Koharik, David, and Milo teach us that love can heal even the deepest wounds.
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