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Your Adoption Journey

Dean's Story

Hi Mr. McDaniels,

My name is Dean Michael Cannon.  I am also an adoptee.  I first want to say thanks for sharing your adoption journey in the manner you did.  You are doing what I think is vital to making adoption a mainstream idea.  As a celebrity adoptee you have helped to remove the negative stigma that has attached itself to adoption and all involved parties (adoptees, adoptive parents, biological parents who place their kids in foster care for adoption, etc).  When I watched your documentary on VH-1 I was suprised at how eerily similar your story is to my own.  Throughout your story I would find myself predicting what would happen next, not because I have psychic abilities, but because you were also telling my story.  With the exception of when you found out you were adopted, many details were exactly the same:  being turned down by city hall due to it being a sealed adoption; going to your birth hospital to get info based on your birth date (although I didn't have my mother's name); I subsequently had an opportunity to see hospital records, which led to be being able to contact her by phone (she was only 45 minutes away); "The phone call"; the meeting; your adoptive mother's reaction: anxiety and fear of losing you to your birth mom, fear of you being hurt or rejected in the process;the indescribeable sense of completion you appeared to have felt despite growing up in a loving family.  

My story is, however, probably different in the way that it started.  My mom was a 20 year old single mom with a 2 year old son living with her mom in the projects.  Because she was trying to get her life together and because of threats from her mom regarding death if she were to become pregnant again, she attempted to conceal the pregnancy.  She later tried to induce an abortion by taking anti-malarial pills.  Fortunately for me, that plan was unsuccessful.  Instead, it induced preterm labor at 26 weeks gestation.  According to her, her "water broke" shortly thereafter.  She took a public bus to a nearby hospital where she abruptly gave birth to a baby boy weighing in at a whopping 1 lb 12 oz and immediately relinquished her parental rights. I was born 14 weeks early!  Due to a divine plan and purpose for my life, I am 100% healthy!  Glory to God!  I went into foster care until I was adopted by a wonderful family at 9 mon ths of age.  After becoming increasingly curious where and who I came from, I began my search in high school.  It wasn't until I was older  that I made that fateful phone call to my mother and reunited with her after 27 years.  While my life reads a lot like yours, I am not a rap star.  I did, however,hold RUN-DMC as my favorite rap group back in the day; partly because of your pioneering music, but also because my initials are D. M. C. (Dean Michael Cannon).  I remember feeling as if it were my group.  Since that time, I have been blessed to become a pediatrician and am currently the medical director of a clinic that serves as a medical home to children in foster care.  I am also developing a program to help raise the level of awareness of adption in the community at large.  I am elated to see that you are helping the cause. 

Thanks again for letting the world into your personal life.  I also would like to thank your wife and son for allowing us to share their personal space as well.  Take care my brother and may God continue to bless and keep you.

Dean M. Cannon

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