Woman Born in East Texas Seeks Birth Parents
TYLER- Unless you are adopted, you cannot fully understand the need to know where you came from and your history. Unless you are adopted, you have probably never considered how hard it can be to find your birth parents. Jessica Hernandez Miller was born in East Texas a little over 32 years ago, and she recently began a journey to find her birth parents. MYETX reached out to Miller after seeing her photo circulating on Facebook and we want to help spread the word for her in hopes of a happy ending to this story!
Miller was born at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas on November 14, 1980 at 7:07 a.m. Both of her birth parents were 23-years-old. She was placed with a foster family at three days old, straight from the hospital, and was adopted by a loving family less than three weeks later.
“I always knew I was adopted. As soon as my new parents brought me home, they told me “adoption means love.” Obviously, I didn’t understand as a baby, but this way, there was never a “great reveal.” My parents always tried to be open and honest with me and answered my questions as best they could. To me, adoption was totally normal and just another way to make a family,” Miller said.
There is a range in the types of adoptions that are used in the United States today. An open adoption is where birth parents are involved in selecting who the adoptive parents will be for their child. The birth parents and the adoptive family typically speak prior to, and even after, the child is born. They may speak on the phone or have face-to-face visits. In some cases, the adoptive parents and the birth parents may even agree to periodic visits as the child grows. In some cases, they agree to exchange pictures and letters over the years.
However, not all birth families and adoptive families have this relationship. In a closed adoption, the adoptive family and birth mother remain confidential, with absolutely no contact. The birth mother allows a third party (either a public state-run agency or an independent private agency) to select the adoptive family. Being adopted in a closed adoption increases the likelihood that your adoptive parents likely will not know any identifying information about your birth mother or father.
In Jessica’s case her birth parents opted for a closed adoption, which has made it impossible for her to find information that might help her in her search. Miller always wondered about her birth parents. Recently she decided to use Facebook as a way to spread the word about her search.
“I did always wonder about my birth parents. Especially when my third child was born with blue eyes. Both my husband and I have brown eyes. Anyway, I saw someone else’s poster on Facebook, and I thought it might work for me, too. I have very limited information. Plus, I don’t want to search out my family if they don’t want to be found. I thought this would be a great solution,” Miller said.
If you have seen Jessica’s photo circulating on Facebook then perhaps you are wondering why she does not reveal her face. While she is a shy young lady, she also had valid reasons for choosing not to disclose her face at this time.
“My parents never met me. In fact, they don’t even know they had a girl. On my hospital records all identifying information has been blacked out, and on every page it states “does not want to know sex of baby.” I don’t believe my family will recognize me. Also, since my parents have never met me, IF my picture does reach them, and IF they decide to contact me, I would like our first meeting to be in person. I don’t want them to see me for the first time on Facebook, Miller said.
Hernandez also said she doesn’t want people to mistake her for anyone simply because she may look like someone they know. Furthermore, she does not want her birth parents to see her on Facebook but feel like she does not look enough like them and therefore not contact her.
Jessica has high hopes of meeting her birth parents, but also said, “even if I never meet my birth parents, I would really like them to get my message – that I’m grateful to them and that I have a good life.”
Jessica could have never imagined the outpour of people willing to help her spread her message. Her Facebook photo has been shared over 3,600 times and is still circulating.
“To everyone who has shared this, thank you for every share, your words of encouragement, and your thoughts and prayers! I’ve been overwhelmed by your kindness, especially those of you who don’t even know me. I’m sorry I’m behind on my messages. I’m trying to answer every one. Please keep sharing,” Miller said.
If you have information that you believe could help Jessica in her search for her birth parents, or questions please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Miller is passionate about adoption and enjoys talking to others about her experience. She has started a blog, which she hopes will reach others like her who are on a journey to find out where they came from. You can also follow her journey by reading her blog which she recently started www.wonderfilledlife.com.
A Note to My Birth Mother from Jessica Hernandez Miller
If this reaches you, and you decide not to contact me, I understand. More than anything, I want you to know that I am doing well. I have an amazing family, and I love my crazy busy life. I have always admired you for your strength and bravery in making such a difficult decision. My family and I truly appreciate the sacrifice you made! – Jessica Hernandez Miller