20-year-old placed her son for adoption, but his new family made her a big part of his life

Giving your child up for adoption is a difficult decision. You must let go of a being you nurtured with your own body while remaining realistic about your inability to raise them properly. Schauna Austin had a similar experience when she gave birth to her son at the age of 20. According to CBS News, she did give him up for adoption, but his adoptive parents decided they wanted to include Austin every step of the way.

Austin claimed she gave birth to the boy, named him Riley, and held him for 72 hours straight. She stated, “It was perfect. I knew I would have him for a short time, so I made every minute count of it. I didn’t sleep for three days.” Another family adopted the child and named him Steven. Closed adoptions conceal the identities of both the adoptive and biological parents. However, in Austin’s case, this only lasted about a week.

As a result, they sent Austin stacks of photos and bound books describing Steven’s big and small accomplishments every year. According to the Schoebingers, they did this so that Austin and their child could pick up where they left off whenever they were ready.

Steven’s parents decided it was time to introduce him to his biological mother when he was seven years old. They formed a lovely bond and have been making lovely memories ever since. Austin even taught Steven to fish, and the two are still in each other’s lives. “I was blessed beyond words.” Steven added, “I kind of got the best of both worlds, for sure.”

Steven, now 26, is married and the father of a son. He named his child Riley after the name Austin gave him. Chris stated, “I think the lesson we learned is that sometimes we create barriers where barriers don’t need to be. And when we pull down those barriers, we really find love on the other side.” 

Deanna Shrodes, an ordained minister who was adopted as a baby, found her father 56 years later in another emotional adoption story. Shrodes met her biological mother, Sally King, when she was 27 years old and developed a close relationship with her. However, King died in 2019 without ever revealing Shrodes’ biological father’s identity. Shrodes went on her own search for him. She only knew two things about him: he was Greek and he came from Richmond, Virginia. Shrodes registered with several DNA registries and formed a Facebook group with friends and volunteers to track down the man.

In May of this year, she received a DNA match with a cousin she had never met, putting an end to her search. The cousin revealed that her father’s name is Gus Nicholas, and he is 92 years old. He was in a nursing home when Shrodes met him and struck up an instant friendship with him. She now pays him regular visits and cares for him as he nears the end of his life.