Sharing LGBT stories with StoryCorps: When did you and Dad decide to adopt?
As part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the March on Washington on April 25, 1993, the Task Force is joining with StoryCorps to share real-life stories about LGBT people as we approach that anniversary date.
Today we share the story of Jackie Miller who adopted her son, Scott, in the early 1970s. Scott grew up knowing about his adoption. Here, Jackie talks to Scott about her decision to adopt him.
SM: When did you and dad decide to adopt?
JM: We always knew from the time we first married and we must have talked about it even before that. You know, we are very methodical people.
JM: Now, this is something you don’t know. When I was seventeen, I got pregnant. And the light of my life is my father but he gave me 24-hours to leave town. And, I did have a son. I gave this baby up for adoption and said at that time that I will adopt a child when I’m able to take care of a child.
SM: Wow. I just wasn’t ready for that.
JM: I’m sure.
SM: Thank you for telling me.
JM: So many times I would think, ‘Gosh, is this the time to tell him?’ But I’m 73 now and it just seems like such a big secret.
SM: Well, I guess, um, speaking of secrets. Um, when I came out, I remember kind of saying to you, ‘Hey Mom, I want to talk to you about something’ and I stumbled just telling you I was gay. The first thing out of your mouth was, ‘I love you and I’m your mother.’
JM: By that time I knew. There wasn’t even any question in my mind. You know, just as you were this wonderful little kid with curiosity and couldn’t speak well you–(laughs)
JM: –You know, that was as much a part of you as any of the other things. It’s just…You! And I couldn’t be happier if you’re happy with your life. Plus, you help me with my hair sometimes…
SM: Yeah, it comes with its perks.
JM: There’s no downside for me.
SM: It’s kind of funny, I think of myself to be an emotional person but where you’re concerned, I try not to be very emotional and I worry that you’ll never know just how deeply I love you and how scary it is for me sometimes to imagine life without you.
JM: That’s something I can’t make better for you. I don’t doubt it’ll be tough but…you’ll be okay. The thing that’s been wonderful, sweetheart, is that we haven’t missed much, you know? We spend a lot of time together and you’ll have those memories.
You can listen to the full audio here.
Since 2003, tens of thousands of everyday people have shared their life experiences in a StoryCorps recording session. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and at storycorps.org. Since its start-up, StoryCorps has:
- Recorded more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 people nationwide.
- Visited all 50 states and hundreds of cities with our traveling MobileBooth, StoryKit Program, and Door-to-Door Service.
- Created the National Day of Listening to encourage people to record and preserve interviews with loved ones during the holiday season using our free Do-It-Yourself Recording Guide at nationaldayoflistening.org.
- Received a Peabody Award, the highest honor in broadcast journalism.