Adoption
I was very impressed with the maturity and unselfishness of Diana Giaccardo, the girl who gave her baby up for adoption (PEOPLE, April 21). I felt so much compassion, respect and admiration for her. Her ability to see past her own desires and to think of what was truly best for her baby was inspiring. She let us all know that giving up your baby is not giving up your responsibility or your love for your baby, but actually realizing your responsibility and knowing that you love your baby and doing what is right. She should be applauded for her courage and for the true love she holds for her child.
Eileen B. Condra
San Antonio

It's been 25 years since I made the same decision as Diana Giaccardo, and although time and the blessing of three children and a good marriage have eased the pain, I'll always wonder about the one I couldn't care for and watch grow. But it is a good and a wise decision she has made, so much better than the waste of a beautiful life (abortion). It is not often that we can give other people happiness out of our un-happiness or mistakes.
Anonymous
Manchester, N.H.

The story about Ed and Victoria Mc-Mahon's adoption of a baby broke my heart, as it illustrates the fact that money talks. I am 39 years old and have gone through every test, procedure and fertility drug trying to have a baby. I was 37 when I got married, and because my husband was married previously, most adoption agencies have turned us down. The policy is not to consider second marriages unless they have lasted five years. By that time, I will be too old, as most agencies use 40 as the cutoff. What do middle-class people do when they don't have the money to pay $11,000?
Linda Gale
Corpus Christi

I'm 15 and adopted. The only thing I've ever known about my natural mother is that she was very young when she had me. I've always wondered what she was going through when she had to give me up. I wondered if it was easy for her to do or the hardest decision she ever had to make. Diana Giaccardo's story made me see that it must have been very hard for her to do. I understand now that she just wanted me to have a better life than she could give me, with a mother and father.
Lindsey Robertson
Toledo, Ohio

I congratulate Diana Giaccardo for finding the courage and the deep love within herself to put up her infant son for adoption. Eighteen years ago, through a private agency, I gave up my beautiful baby girl. Like Diana, I was too young to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a child and, thank God, old enough to know it. Like her, I lived with the anguish of my friends and family as I found my way clear to the adoption. I kept in touch with my daughter through my social worker at the agency for the first few years until gradually I was able to let go. The year I spent coping with this situation shaped me as no other period in my life. As time passes, I hope Diana can feel proud and strengthened by her decision to give her son a good chance in life with prepared and loving parents. I've believed in my heart that I did the right thing for both my daughter and myself. And now I am completely sure. Just this year I received a letter from a happy 17-year-old girl with a sweet and positive outlook on life to tell me she's doing great. The letter was from my daughter.
D.D. McDonald
Santa Monica

Ed McMahon mentioned a poem he received from a friend on adoption. He only has half of it. The poem reads:

Neither flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
But miraculously, my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart but in it.

That poem was given to my mother 26 years ago, when she adopted me. I gave birth eight months ago to my own little girl, and she is as much my husband's and mine as I am theirs to my adopted parents. If I ever met my natural mother, there would be questions, but mainly thanks—for giving me two wonderful parents whom I wouldn't trade for the world.
Judith Lopresti Murphy
Yonkers, N.Y.

I was disappointed that your article on adoption only told part of the story. It did not include the options of accepting older, foreign-born or special-needs children. All of these alternatives are quicker and less costly than what was stated. What about those of us who didn't feel we had to have a healthy white infant to love?
Peggy Lauricella
Yardville, N.J.

I particularly sympathize with Diana Giaccardo's story. I gave up my daughter in Houston. She was born when I was 16. The very ironic part of my story is that her father and I remet and married some 22 years later. She is still very much a missing part of me that I long to find. Never a day goes by that I don't think of her. I'll never get over giving her up.
Dianne Dennis-Sclotzhauer
Simi Valley, Calif.

I want to thank you for telling truthfully the side of the birth mother. I've never read an article that showed so accurately how I've felt for 14½ years, since I gave up my son for adoption. Just like the girl in your story, adoption was my only real choice, but that hasn't made it any easier to bear.
Patti M. Courtney
Pacolet, S.C.

Tony Cimo
Hooray for Tony Cimo! I think his parents would be proud of his loyalty and feel bad that he lost three years of his own life for that loyalty.
Shirley Wright
North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

I find it quite ironic that Donald Gaskins can kill nine people, including a pregnant woman and a baby, and receive a sentence of life in prison. He then kills a convicted murderer and he receives the death penalty. Justice—American style.
Walt Brown
Garden Grove, Calif.