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By JoNel Aleccia

Kerry and Jed Silverstrom of Los Angeles adopted their 8-year-old son, Gus, after his birth mother delivered him in a hospital bathroom and then legally abandoned him through the local Safe Surrender program that provides anonymous legal amnesty to desperate women who know they can’t keep their newborns. This is Kerry's letter to the young woman who gave Gus life  and gave them a family.

Gus Silverstrom was a day old when his birth mother abandoned him through the Safe Surrender program run by Los Angeles County. He was the 41st baby rescued in a program that has saved 119 since 2001. Today

To the birth mother of our son:

We know you safely surrendered Gus to better the situation for you and your family. In turn, your safe surrender allowed us to have the one thing we had worked for since our marriage two years earlier, indeed, what I had been working towards even as a single woman: a child.

It is heartbreaking to me in this day and age that there are women and even girls who may feel lost, afraid and alone in their pregnancies without the comfort of knowing there is an option available to them. We’re so grateful you knew about the program, which allows birth mothers to leave their children within the first 72 hours of birth at a medical center or fire station. "No Shame, No Blame, No Name," as the program's motto goes.

Kerry and Jed Silverstrom with their eight-year old adopted son Gus, in their home in Los Angeles, June 22, 2014. Ann Johansson / Today

Although we had only 20 minutes that day to decide if we wanted to become his parents, eight years later, I can honestly say I would do the same thing all over again.

Let me share a few things about what it means to raise our son:

  • He knows what it means to be adopted, and once he began to understand, he became fixated on pregnant women, often pointing out one or the other and asking if he grew in her belly.
  • Our son is adorable, with his big brown seductive eyes. And I can say that because it’s not a compliment about my own genes.
  • He’s got gorgeous mocha skin, not our pasty flesh.
  • He is able to wish for his “real parents” whenever he’s mad at us — all too frequently, I might add.
  • No matter how many mistakes we make (no different than all parents) we know that we are doing our utmost to give him everything you could have wanted for him when you chose to leave him on the day of his birth.

Gus Nathan Silverstrom has a special name. His first name means “exalted” and "revered" and his middle name means “gift of God.” He is revered by us and I consider him a miracle, a blessing a gift.

Soon, the tale of his adoption will be his story to tell and it will be time to hold my tongue. But, first, I wanted to let you know we were so happy to bring our son home from the hospital and have been so happy to have him with us every single day since then. I know we will feel that way for the rest of our lives. 

All of our dreams came true when he was born. Thank you.

Kerry Silverstrom