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School counselor Stef Loveland shares her experiences with being adopted
November 30, 2020
On July 15, 1988, Steve and Anne Taylor received a phone call from William Newton Hospital in Winfield, Kansas informing them that their daughter, school counselor Stef Loveland was born.
After nearly eight years of striving to conceive along with several miscarriages, the Taylors OB/GYN Doctor J. Kent Winblad connected them with another patient of his, Jamie, who was looking for a couple to adopt her unborn child.
“My mom had gone through three miscarriages and was working with an OB/GYN. Throughout the process, he knew how badly my parents wanted a child and the pain that they endured along the way. Which led to him asking my parents if they would be interested in adopting me,” Loveland said. “Although my birth mom and adoptive mom never met face to face, it’s almost as if all of their stories became interwoven because they were at the same place at the same time.”
Several months after Loveland began being in the couple’s care, on Sept 12, the court deemed the Taylor’s to become her adoptive parents.
“Adoption for us was no different than having a biological child. Our love for her is so big and it could not be any bigger. Starting from the first day she came home with us, having her in my life has been such a great experience,” Steve Taylor said. “She brought out traits in me that I had no clue I had: love, caring, protectiveness, and amazement. She’s made me laugh and enjoy life even more.”
Despite not being biologically related to her parents, Loveland felt sure from an early age that they were meant to be together.
“I never felt a moment in my childhood where my parents weren’t meant to be my parents. The three of us fit so well together and made sense,” Loveland said. “My parents were always so sure of me and of us and I think that at the end of the day, that’s what made me so sure that they were meant to be my parents.”
I never felt a moment in my childhood where my parents weren’t meant to be my parents. The three of us fit so well together and made sense.
Since her adoption, Loveland’s parents were open about it to not only their daughter but the people around her as well.
“My parents have always really believed in the fact that family is family, regardless of how it’s built and they were really open about me being adopted. When I was little, we talked about it as though it was the most normal thing in the world,” Loveland said. “My parents having that conversation with my friend’s parents growing up really helped out in the end.”
Despite all of the positive things that came out of being adopted for Loveland, she has faced some challenges as well.
“My whole life, I haven’t really known a lot about my medical history because I’m adopted and since it was a closed adoption, my parents didn’t know anything either,” Loveland said. “There are parts of my story that I don’t have.”
When Loveland was a freshman in college she decided to reach out to the state to find out more information about her parents.
“I remember when we got in the mail and sitting at the kitchen table with my parents when I opened it up. My dad was crying and my mom was the happiest woman you would ever meet in that moment,” Loveland said. “In the documents, I was able to find their names and back then, I was learning about my own life and it was such a big moment for me and my family”
After Loveland’s mother passed away in May of 2017, Loveland decided to reach out to Jamie two years ago in order to express how much putting her up for adoption meant to her family.
“When my mom died, I felt the need to thank my birth mom because I needed her to know how much my mom appreciated her and what she meant to our family. I had written the letter to my birth mom, but I held onto it forever because it never felt like the right time and she didn’t respond until a year later,” Loveland said. “We’ve been corresponding through Facebook ever since. I’ve learned about my biological siblings, my birth mom’s life, and a little bit about my birth dad, but not a lot.
When Loveland was attending John Brown University, she began giving speeches at adoption conferences in order to share her story.
“I was in college and there was a lady that sat behind me in a class. She knew that I was adopted and she ended up going on about an organization that was created by a team of adoptive moms,” Loveland said. “One weekend every year I get to speak at conferences, hear other people’s stories, answer questions, and even tell my own.”
Due to her own experiences, Loveland and her husband are planning to adopt. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption process was postponed until recently.
One weekend every year I get to speak at conferences, hear other people’s stories, answer questions, and even tell my own.
“When I got married, [my husband] West and I decided that we wanted to adopt, but before we started the process we got pregnant with Shep,” Loveland said. “We are currently in the very beginning of the adoption process where we have to deal with some paperwork, figuring out what we need to do in our home to prepare and how our son is going to react. COVID slowed us down a little bit in March.”
For the past two years, Loveland has been writing a novel about her own experiences with being adopted.
“I began writing my own book about being adopted two or three years ago. Right now there’s a lot of rough drafts and after my Mom died, I put it on hold, but I think that the healing process helped me more with my writing and want to get it out there more,” Loveland said. ‘I’m hoping to get it published within the next three years.”
Being adopted and the effect her mother left on her are some of the main reasons why Loveland became a school counselor.
“At first, I wanted to specifically work with adopted kids and their families, but when my Mom died, I felt like being a counselor was maybe the better route for me since she was a counselor,” Loveland said. “I want to communicate most with adoptive kids is that wherever they are at that moment — whether they want to meet their biological family, feel distant or scared, or even if they simply want to know more about their story, it is okay.”