Special mothers celebrate special Mother’s Days
summit daily news
Aleda and Robyn Kresge
FRISCO ” Robyn was 9 months old when she met her mother, Aleda Kresge, at an orphanage in China.
“She was a healthy, bouncy little baby,” said Aleda with a giant smile as she told the story of the trip that changed her life.
It all began in 1990, when she started looking into adoption, but it wasn’t until four years later when a friend told her of an agency that accepted those who are single that she was able to make it happen.
On June 27, 1995, Robyn entered Aleda’s world, and two weeks later the newly formed family returned to Summit County. Now, the little baby girl Aleda brought home is in seventh grade at Summit Middle School.
“I am her real mom in every sense of the word, but she has real Chinese parents somewhere out there,” said Aleda who had always wanted to be a mom, but wasn’t interested in carrying a child.
Aleda loves every minute of watching her daughter grow up ” her first steps, riding a bike, soccer, becoming independent. She loves the hugs and the times Robyn says she loves her.
“Raising my child is the most important thing,” said Aleda who moved her financial planning business, Affinity Wealth Management Group, into her home so she could be there for her daughter.
She adopted Robyn, whom the orphanage called Nihaun, shortly after China opened its doors to foreign adoptions. In 1979, the country began a one child policy that left many baby girls abandoned in a location where they would be found.
The culture dictates that parents live with their firstborn son after retirement, said Aleda, explaining why the girls were left.
As Robyn has gotten older, she and Aleda have had more conversations about China. So, the two are planning a trip back there next summer to visit the town in which Robyn was found and the orphanage where she lived for a few months. They will be tourists in the country Robyn was born, and it is the first trip back since Aleda and her mom, Billie Kresge, traveled there to get the baby girl.
“I want to help her know where she is from. … It will probably be a tear jerker for us,” Aleda said.
However, Robyn will never know who her biological parents are. She was left at four months with a note written in Chinese explaining her birthday, Sept. 11.
“I choose to think she was with her mom or a caring somebody during that time,” Aleda said. “What probably happened was her husband’s mom, who has the power in the family, said, ‘You have to give that baby up. … But we’ll never find out what happened those first four months. There’s no thread to follow.”
SILVERTHORNE ” On Mother’s Day the Smits family has a few extra moms to be thankful for ” the ones who gave birth to their two beautiful daughters.
“We have a family because of them,” said Amy Smits as she began to talk about how she became a mom.
She and her husband, Kevin Smits, both come from large families and always wanted to be parents. In fact, “not having kids was not an option,” said Amy with a smile.
However, they were not able to get pregnant. So, the couple began looking into adoption, and two weeks after beginning the process, they went to the hospital for the birth of their first daughter, Delaney, who is now 6.
Mackenzie, now 4, was born 16 months later. At the time, the Smits had two hours to decide if they wanted another daughter, which they undoubtedly did. They were there for her birth as well.
“It was awesome,” Amy said.
When the couple began the adoption process they were told it would take two to five years. They went ahead with the mounds of paperwork and inquiry into their lives, and shortly after, heard of Delaney’s mom through a friend.
The two weeks up to her birth were exciting and nerve-wracking, the couple said. They had to prepare to bring a baby home, not knowing if would be a boy or a girl, and they had an added worry about the mother changing her mind.
But with both Delaney and Mackenzie, everything worked out perfectly. They were meant to be part of the Smits’ family.
And while the girls are still too young to really understand adoption, Amy and Kevin want them to know where they came from. They read books about adoption to the girls who also occasionally see their birth mothers.
Amy and Kevin love being parents, and with their easy going, fun-loving attitudes it is easy to see they’re good at it.
“Every mom wants their kid to think, ‘I have a great mom,'” Amy said. “That’s what I thrive for.”
Shortly after Delaney was born, the Smits visited Summit County and decided this would be a great place to raise children. So, they moved to Silverthorne about three years ago from Minnesota.
The couple works together in real estate, The Amy Smits Team with Keller Williams, and said they would be happy to help anyone wanting to go through the adoption process since they know what it’s like.
“Life is good,” Amy smiled. “That’s kind of our philosophy.”
They love having children and may someday expand their family. Also, they will begin training to be foster parents next week.
“All kids deserve a chance,” Amy said. “We want them to know there are people who can love them no matter if it is just for a day, week or month.”
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