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.
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.