50 Stories of Hope #17: Matt’s Story

STORY 17/50: At age 18, Nancy placed her son Matt for adoption through New Life. It may have been a “closed” adoption, but she was never closed-off to Matt, and she always hoped he would reach out. She wondered about him every day for over thirty years until she finally reached out to New Life.

Matt’s adoptive parents, Herb and Jan, were open with him about his adoption and always told him that if he wanted to contact his birth parents, they would help him. While Matt was naturally a little curious about his birth parents, he never had burning questions until he found out Nancy wanted to contact him.

The adoption staff at New Life suggested writing letters to break the ice, so with great trepidation, Nancy wrote the first letter. She says that Matt’s response, “was the most joyful, heartwarming thing.”

Within six weeks, they scheduled a face-to-face meeting. Matt describes, “God’s timing was evident to me through the whole process… I had gotten married two years prior to getting her letter, and we had recently discovered we were expecting our first child. It just felt right to reconnect with my birth family as we were preparing to grow our own family.”

Leading up to their meeting, both Matt and Nancy were incredibly nervous. When Matt saw Nancy, he knew right away that it was her because they looked so similar to one another. Their worries lifted as they talked for hours, sharing photos and stories.

When Nancy invited him to visit her parents’ home, he saw that they had a picture of him on their refrigerator from when he was one month old. They had kept it there since the day they took it, over thirty years ago. Herb and Jan welcomed Nancy into their family as well. Jan says that she thought of Nancy often while Matt was growing up, and she prayed for Nancy every year on Matt’s birthday.

Nancy says that her wildest dreams for Matt came true: “He ended up with these fantastic parents. And he’s a happy, healthy, fantastic, smart, and kind man.” Matt says that he loves having another grandparent involved in his children’s life. His children call Nancy a special nickname, “Grancy,” instead of “Grandma.”

Recently, Matt and his family took a trip to Alaska with Nancy and her husband so that Nancy could show them where she lived for many years. They enjoyed a wonderful week of activities and time together. They also celebrate birthdays and holidays together every year. In Nancy’s words, “It has been an amazing journey.”