Anni was adopted by Mary Keane when she was 17 years old. Mary, a long time staff member at You Gotta Believe, identifies as lesbian and is active within the LGBTQ community in adoption rights.
Anni shares her experience of being adopted by a mother who identifies as gay:
In my case, good parenting made a difference, my mom’s sexual preference did not. At the age of 17, I moved into Mary T Keane’s home. I was a challenge because I did not want to let anyone in my space. I had been hardened by my past experiences, the hurt and pain that I had faced really made me distant. I’m saying this because I did not speak to my mom much for 8 months when I first moved in, yet she always asked me how my day went and how I was doing and this got through to me.
This was awesome because of her characteristics including persistence, concern, and commitment to my growth that made me open up for positive change in my life, not the fact that she was gay.
As I grew attached to her, my biological family questioned our relationship and it was then that I stood up for our bond. Mary’s personality and commitment to me enabled me to blossom as a person and this made her my hero. Her sexual preference was not a part of my judgment about her and my past was not a part of her judgment about me. This was hugely impactful on my siblings in our home as well.
Anni and Mary Keane now both work at You Gotta Believe advocating for more families to take teens into their life and use their own experience as examples. They have also been involved in gay rights in adoption. Read more about the Keane family and their work advocating for LGBT families here: http://nydn.us/1i1w6Fb and http://bit.ly/1n3Tnaj.