Two Women Linked by a Special Gift: a Daughter

Stacy Cooper with Karen Smith at StoryCorps in Hartford, Conn.

hide captionStacy Cooper (left) with Karen Smith at StoryCorps in Hartford, Conn. Anna, in snapshot, is in the middle.

StoryCorps

Stacy Cooper was on her own in 1999 when she was pregnant. She didn't feel ready to raise a child.

At the time, Karen Smith and her husband were looking to adopt.

The two women agreed to an open adoption, an arrangement that encourages a level of ongoing contact between the birth mother and the adoptive parents.

Recently, the two remembered how the process began, and what has come since, as their daughter, Anna, has grown.

"I kept going back to your profile," Cooper said. "I just, I knew. It was something you had written in there," she said, about adoption being a selfless act. "That was one thing that really stuck with me.

"I definitely think we made the right choice," Cooper tells Smith. "And I'm real happy I decided to meet you. I don't think right now I could have it any other way."

"Well, Anna looks a lot like you, Stacy," Smith said. "Every time I see her eyes, in particular, and when she's got a lot of emotion, she has this way of kind of flushing that is so you."

Asked about how she envisions her relationship with Anna when she's an adult, Cooper said, "I want to see her grow up," noting the possibility of getting invited to milestones in Anna's life.

"I want you to know that every year, I remember just as plainly as the first day," Smith said, "just how grateful I am, being able to be a mother.

"You gave me a gift that I could just never, never thank you enough for," Smith said.

"That goes both ways," is Cooper's answer. "Somebody is raising the baby that I had. I mean, that's an incredible thing."

Produced for 'Morning Edition' by Katie Simon. The senior producer for StoryCorps is Sarah Kramer.

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