Hello my name is Skyler and I am 19 years old. I was abandoned as a newborn in a cemetery in November 1995 in Champaign, Illinois. Luckily someone called 911 and said that there was a baby left at Mount Hope cemetery, unfortunately the caller had given the wrong name and the police and EMTs couldn’t find me. An off duty volunteer fireman who was out working on cables (his regular job) was listening to the scanner. When he heard that they were not finding the baby he thought about another cemetery nearby called Mount Olive and left his coworker working on the cables and went to search at that cemetery. He looked around but didn’t see anything and was walking back to his truck when he thought I will take one last look he heard a whimper and up under the branch of a pine tree he found me. He took off the duty jacket he was wearing, wrapped me in it ,got in the warm truck and handed me off to the paramedics who he met enroute to the hospital. That was the last he saw me. I was then put into foster care, and then adopted by my family. A year after my family adopted me, we also adopted my brother (not biological) who was abandoned in Bloomington, Illinois. So my family is made of of my mom, dad, brother and dog.
In May of 2014, I was reunited with the man that found me. My mother had been looking for him on social media for several years with no luck. When she was working on my graduation announcements she thought she would look again and was able to contact him. Charlie came to my graduation, my parents knew he was there but I didn’t. Then he attended my graduation party two days later and we were reunited. He presented me with several gifts that day the most special being the duty jacket he had wrapped me in he had kept all these years. Charlie and I keep in touch and I am sure we will continue to do so.
Because of my birth and adoption story, I did not know anything about my DNA or cultural background. Through working with Mixed Roots, I was able to get my DNA tested and finds out that I am British/Irish, which was very interesting to me! I also found out that I have no rare genetic diseases which helped ease my mind for my future family.
I am now in college in Chicago, Illinois, majoring in Communication and minoring in Theology. After undergrad, I plan to attend Seminary to become a Pastor for the United Methodist Church. My Adoption Story has remained a large part of my life and has lead me to connect with other students who were abandoned. The most challenging part of my adoption was accepting that I was abandoned in a place where many are laid to rest. Adding that to the feeling of being unwanted, I had a long process through middle and high school of learning who I was and what plan God had for my life. For me if I didn’t have a Christian outlook on life, I am not sure where I would be right now. I am always excited to meet and share with other adoptees and hear about how adoption has impacted their life. I loving seeing when families that I am close to are united through adoption to be forever families.
Because of my life story I am very passionate about letting people know about the safe haven laws and safe abandonments. I want to let birth mothers know that there are other options than leaving your baby in an unsafe place. I also want to let other abandoned kids that they are not alone and even if they didn’t start their life under the best circumstances they can still do positive and great things with their life.
Recently I have worked with an organization called Project Cuddle. (Project Cuddle.org) I am proud to work and volunteering with them to promote safe and legal alternatives for abandoning babies. This is a huge passion of mine and I am so excited to work with others who are so passionate about this cause Project Cuddle is a non-for-profit organization that has saved over 720 babies from abandonment in the US and Canada. I have I am so excited to be working with the Mixed Roots Foundation! Working with Holly through my 23andme process was so nice to have someone by my side. I know that through working with Mixed Roots, I will meet so many amazing adoptees and hear their stories. Each of us has a story that is important to us because it makes up who we are!