Meet, my person, Jeni. We have been friends for 14 yrs. We met online….she moved close….we lived life….she remarried Teemu….and moved to Finland LOL. She has 3 children (Joshua, Jeremy, and Lizzy aka J1, J2, and Tito). Her parents are Tim and Linda Kelley. Here is her story of being adopted, as an adult, by her step-father. I am blessed to know them all.
This is my friend and Guest Blogger Jeni Her Adoption Story. I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to find the words to convey my adoption story. I’ve read through the amazing stories on the blog & feel a bit humbled because my story is so simple & straightforward. In 2010, at the age of 36, I was adopted by my stepdad, Tim. Step-parent adoption isn’t all that unusual but I like to think we’re unique because he didn’t raise me & I didn’t meet him until I was an adult, married & pregnant with my 2nd child.
Why Now? Why Not?
I’ve had a couple of people question why I would ask a man who didn’t raise me, a man who I only met when I was 25, to adopt me. No, he’s not rich. I’ve had a good relationship with my dad, my children have grown up thinking of him as “grandpa,” and I watched him, love, & support my sister as she dealt with her personal demons.
During his time as my stepdad, he also loved & supported me through a suicide attempt, a very painful & drawn-out divorce, depression. I was not exactly at my best & yet I knew that I had his support. He’s loved my sister & me unconditionally. I don’t like to refer to this part but it is relevant so… In 2004 I learned of an incident that led me to cut all ties with my biological father.
Moving to Finland
In 2007 I married a truly wonderful Finnish man. My boys & I moved to Finland to start our lives as a new family. In 2010 I was filling out forms to renew our residence permits & when I got to the section asking for my parents’ information, it just hit me. I hated having to enter bio-father’s information because, in my mind, that person was no longer my father. Tim was. Tim was the one who loved me & my children the way a father should. I had come to think of him as my dad, I loved him as my dad, so I asked him to legally become my dad. I was nervous & felt a little silly about asking but I was so happy when he said yes.
That summer my husband & I flew to California so that our daughter (she was 16 months old) could meet my parents. During that visit, we all went to the courthouse & I was adopted. One of the things I remember most about that day was the judge telling me I could pick a stuffed animal to take home with me. I let my daughter choose & she picked out an adorable snow leopard. I think it probably goes without saying that she decided that she was keeping it.
In January 2018 I have to once again renew our residence permits. I’m looking forward to entering “Timothy Kelley” as my father’s name. This will be the first time I get to formally recognize him as my dad.