This photo captures the first time I was held by the woman who would adopt me. Sonya Westerman, my mom, traveled to the Heart of Mary Villa, a home for unwed mothers and orphanage near Manila, in the Philippines, on Thanksgiving 1988. She brought me back to the home she shared with her husband, Vernon, in rural Kentucky.

This photo captures the first time I was held by the woman who would adopt me. Sonya Westerman, my mom, traveled to the Heart of Mary Villa, a home for unwed mothers and orphanage near Manila, in the Philippines, on Thanksgiving 1988. She brought me back to the home she shared with her husband, Vernon, in rural Kentucky.