[On the Rader : Tale of Two Mothers]


To this day Jennifer Kincaid doesn’t know why her phone rang 17 years ago.  She doesn’t know how anyone knew.  It was a private matter between her and her husband, Jared, but that was about to change.  She was working at Head Start in Bloomfield at the time when a woman, who was on another woman’s caseload at Head Start, gave her a call.

Jennifer, who lives in Linton, remembers it well.  “Woke me up.  The voice on the other end of the phone line said, I have a question for you,” she remembers.  What she was about to ask would turn Jennifer’s whole world upside down.  The unidentified voice continued.  “I heard you can’t give birth and want you to adopt my unborn baby.  My mother just died, and she didn’t believe in abortion, and neither do I.  I want you to adopt my baby.”

The woman said she already had one child but didn’t have a job or a stable place to live.  Jennifer asked if she could give her an answer the following day then hung up the phone and immediately woke up her husband to discuss it. Their answer was an enthusiastic yes.   

Elizabeth Brown, the 22 year old woman on the other end of the line, had one request, she said they could hear the baby’s heartbeat first, be the first to hold it and be there for hearing and weight check but she wanted to be able to hold her baby to say goodbye.  That request was honored, and the miracle went off without a hitch.

The two have stayed in touch. Sharing birth greetings, Mother’s Day cards and communicating via social media.  Jennifer recently posted this.  “Elizabeth, I have no other words but thank you and that will never be enough to show you how awesome you are.  It has been 17 years.  Thank you so much for giving me the chance to be a mom.  I will always love your devotion to stay clean and healthy while pregnant and to give the life inside you a good life.  We will always be grateful to you.  We love you,” she wrote.

Then just last week Jennifer got a second phone call out of the blue.  This time she knew the voice.  See Jennifer had promised Elizabeth that one day she would be able to meet her son for the first time since she held him in Bloomington Hospital. Jennifer honored that promise which led to an emotional reunion Saturday in Bloomington which Elizabeth described as “The ultimate blessing.” 

 Jennifer described it as awesome with a lot of crying and hugging. Zachary now 17 always knew he was adopted but had never communicated with his birth mother directly until now. He described the meeting as enlightening. 

Elizabeth said it helped to know “I had done the right thing.  He’s a wonderful kid.” 

Jennifer says she was not threatened in anyway because as Zach explained, “I have two moms but you (Jennifer) are my #1 mom.  You raised me, gave me shelter, a home and consoled me.”  And his birth mother he said, “Gave me life and gave me the opportunity for a better life.”

Then, as if to underscore the fact that he is where he most feels at home, he did what most 17 year old kids want to do, he went back to his room to play video games.

Click photo below to listen to transcript audio

Story by Kevin Rader
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