I often get asked – why did you start the DKE Foundation? Why, when you are so busy already? 7 kids, 2 dogs, a cat…why? I believe all people have a purpose in life; this is mine. All the roads in my life have lead me to where I am today. I do what I love, but more importantly, I am giving back and leaving a legacy of my mother’s story. Life doesn’t often offer second chances or do-overs and in the death of Donna K. Evans, there is no second chance. But what I learned and we all can learn is you can take something tragic and difficult and turn it into something beautiful and magical.
My husband and I started the foundation because we believe in hope, promise and sacrifice. Working with pregnant women who choose adoption, knowing the emotional journey they are choosing and the future opportunities their unborn child will have has undefined value and heroism. These women deserve a second chance at their own dreams not only because of their selfless decision, but because of the legacy they leave behind. When she passed away at fifty-nine years from pneumonia, I knew something in the adoption world had to change. My mother’s life story is unfortunately not unique or rare, in actuality it is all too common. My husband’s promise to my dying mother that her life would not die in vain has materialized into the ability for the adoption world to understand that an adoption is not over after a baby is adopted, the baby and the adoptive parents are not the only two entities who matter and change has to happen and it has to happen now. Yes, people have to volunteer and donate, yes sacrifices on behalf of agencies, social workers, and individuals have to be made, but all in the name of aftercare services for pregnant women who make the selfless choice of adoption.
Not all heroes wear capes, they just wear smiles and my mother wore I huge one. I learned some valuable lessons. through my own adoption story:
- Adoption shouldn’t have been a secret by birth mothers.
- Society should accept the choice of others; we can be accepting of some decision but not others. Who gave us the right to stand on the soapbox of morality?
- Why couldn’t there have been adoption aftercare services in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s?
- Why are some cultures/areas in our country/ethnicities/religions accepting of the choice of adoption; while others are not?
- Why do birth mothers have to suffer silently because of fear of condemnation?
Living life wanting to believe that your life made an impact on others, a footprint that really improved the lives of others is the goal of most people. Sometimes people leave a footprint in the sand, others fade away without a legacy, yet a small handful leave a hole the size of the Grand Canyon. That was my birth mother, she has left a huge footprint and has paved the future for birth mothers now and in the future. Aftercare services for birthmothers will hopefully forever be tied to her name, making that her legacy. Since she lived her life without any aftercare services, she suffered and other family members suffered, but not in vain, in sacrifice. Their sacrifice wasn’t a choice or an offering, it was bestowed among them for lack of post adoption services.
My biological mother was a hero and never understood the gravity or significance of her adoption choice. She loved and lost without support, she dreamed and hoped without fail, and yet through patience and sacrifice she finally prevailed. The tragedy in my own adoption story is my biological mother will never have the opportunity of knowing the impact her life and choice had on hundreds, maybe thousands of other women.
Support women through adoption, with your donation, encouragement and support you are helping a woman find her wings and fly toward her dreams.
The Donna K. Evans Foundation is located at 8433 N. Black Canyon Highway Building 6, Suite 158, Phoenix, AZ 85021