I was born Irina-Maria Moldovan.
At the time of my birth, the doctor told my biological family that I had muscular dystrophy and a heart condition, and my chances of survival were small.
My biological family was poor and couldn't afford the medication.
That’s why I was put up for adoption.
Still, one of the biggest challenges of my life was trying to understand why I was given up for adoption. Once I knew that it was a life-saving measure, it became much easier.
But, I do struggle at times. I have had anxiety and depression for many years and it wasn't until I met my biological family that I realized that my conditions were hereditary.
I have managed to overcome both depression and anxiety for the most part, but at times it can get the best of me. Drugs and alcohol were also big factors in my depression. I have been clean for quite a few years now and only drink occasionally.
On the bright side, I had a wonderful childhood! I am so grateful for my adoptive parents. They put me in every sport and dance class I wanted to be in. I played soccer for 12 years. I played for city teams and travelled all over Ontario for games and tournaments.
And, when it comes to my adoption, I think my quality of life probably changed significantly. I don't remember what it was like in Romania but, from the stories I have heard and the research I have done, I understand that it was an impoverished country and I would have never had the opportunities I had in Canada if I hadn’t been adopted.
I finally met my biological family when Ileana Cunniffe contacted a local newspaper in Romania who put my story in the paper and my biological family reached out to her. They connected us over a Skype call where I was able to see and speak to my mother for the first time.
I am sharing my story because it may change someone's mind when it comes to adoption.
If I can help save a life just by telling my story, then I feel like I've helped someone.
All I've wanted to do is take care of people my whole life, to help others.