Sheri Samson Janis and Corinna Scott share their continued closeness as mother and daughter.

Sheri Samson
Janis and Corinna Scott share their continued closeness as mother and daughter.

If the destiny of our lives is made by choice, then Jim and Janis Scott made two wise decisions as they adopted a son and later, a daughter. The Scott’s had a devastating experience when Janis, at 24 years of age, delivered their stillborn daughter and was told she couldn’t bear another child. As tough as this was, they knew they were destined to be good parents, so the choice of adoption was an exciting option for them.

“After I lost my child, we pulled it together and used the local Hawthorne Welfare Department to sign up as adoptive parents. The worker told us it would take five years and sure enough it did. When they called us to go pick up our seven month old son in Las Vegas, it was such a beginning of family for us.”

When the Scott’s were raising their new son, Brian, the thought was there to apply for one more – secretly hoping it could be a girl. Once the application was in, the Scott’s waited another five years to meet their new daughter, Corinna Dawn. She was just 31 days old, born Sept. 28, 1981.

“Jim loved the Pat Boone song, “Corinna, Corinna” so we had dreamt of naming a daughter that. As soon as we saw her, that name fit. We picked her up in Reno, where she was born,” said Janis.

As this mother and daughter shared their story, an envelope of a few small keepsakes was laid out. A delicate rice paper had a typewritten outline regarding Corinna’s birth parents. The single page of information was sketchy, with not a lot of details provided by the welfare worker. The facts regarding the birthmother far outweighed the bio-father’s facts, except to say his career was “a singer.”

Because it was Reno, this led one to believe, they did not appear to stay together, as he may have come through town as a performer, but one would never be sure. A few facts did stand out, including the fact that this birthmother was pursuing a nursing career, which aligned with the career that Corinna had chosen for herself. There were a few health issues jotted down, along with her nationality on the birthmother’s side, but many other questions still remained unanswered.

Many years ago, only fragments of recorded information seemed sufficient for the future of the inquiring mind of an adopted child. Unfortunately, it’s those lost facts that can play havoc on the mind of a teenager and into adulthood.

“I wasn’t always the easiest child to raise, especially in my teen years. Maybe I had a rebellious streak because of truths I felt I was lacking. I remember saying, ‘you’re not my real parents’ and hurtful things that I didn’t really mean to say to my parents. Now that I’m a parent and I’ve gone through a lot of growing up, I still have questions that I’d like answered. When my son was born with club feet, I did wonder about other genetic issues coming from my birthparents. You can’t help but wonder about a lot of their details because that’s who you’ve come from. I still wonder if my birthmother thinks of me on my birthday,” said Corrina.

The Scott’s have vivid moments when they told their children they had been adopted. With Corinna it happened when a family friend was pregnant and the question arose to her mother, “Did I come out of your belly?” That seemed like the right time to present the adoption message and even at around five years old Corinna seemed to comprehend it. As questions came up, the discussion was never handled as a mystery or as a secret, as both kids knew it was a special choice made on their behalf.

Apparently Brian doesn’t have the curiosity which Corinna does, but both of these adoptees have their parents full support should they chose to do a search, as there is no insecurity within their relationships.

Corinna and her mother agree that the parenting label is earned by the ones that parented. They also agree that life has strange turns and what is supposed to be will be. Should a search lead to a find, they both realized you must be prepared for the facts on the other side and sit firmly in the knowledge and gratefulness that adoption was a wonderful answer toward making their own family come to be.

This National Adoption Month has brought a series of heartfelt articles from our local community. Hopefully their personal stories have brought about dialogue and enlightened thoughts about a subject that some adoptees feel is hidden from society. Adoption is not shameful, nor is it “less than” any other choice one makes to fulfill a family.