An East Texas woman is an advocate for adoption. Her reason for being an advocate began at birth.
"They did what they felt was best for me at the time in 1972 with them being unmarried and young." That was almost 34 years ago when Kelly Dillard of Tyler was put up for adoption.
"I have always known I was adopted. My parents never kept that a secret," says Kelly.
Her new family ended up adopting two girls, just six months apart. "It's been a very, very wonderful experience. I couldn't have asked for a better family at all."
But as she got older, Kelly always wondered about her biological family. "I just really wanted to know more about my roots."
She started searching on the Internet. She eventually discovered the key to her past was her birth certificate number. "So I was able to go to the Tyler Library, go down the birth index, match my birth certificate number, match the date, match the county and it gave me my biological mother's name," explains Kelly.
She later discovered her biological mother and father had married and were living just 45 miles from her in East Texas. "I made that phone call and the first words out of her mouth were, she had been waiting for this call for a very long time."
She began a relationship with her mother. Kelly found out she had a sister, living in Lufkin, and a brother, in the military. She was hoping to meet them, but that day would never come. "From day one my biological father wanted nothing to do with me, which is fine and I totally understand that. So I dropped it."
Realizing her dream would never come true, she decided to help others. So far, she has helped 8 people track down their biological families. "It inspired me because not a lot of people realize, understand or know that there is an easier way then trying to fight the court system," says Kelly.
Kelly and her husband, Robbie, have one child. They have been unable to have any more. "God has a plan I do believe and he has definitely put us in the right direction."
That direction has come full circle for Kelly. She and Robbie are now taking steps to adopt a child. "There are just too many kids right here that need a loving home and we want to provide that for 2 or 3 of them."
Kelly and her husband just completed the required parenting classes this week to become foster parent. They are now counting the days till they can bring another child into their home with hopes of adoption.