Staring out the car window, Cole Machovsky watches the rows of green summer crops flit by, almost rhythmically. Most of his car rides to northern Iowa consist of thinking back over the past couple of years — about grades, friends, sports, more grades, more sports. Cole Machovsky thinks carefully, reminding himself that moms tend to ask a lot of questions.
Cole is one his way to visit his birth mother, Anna*.
Applebee’s isn’t exactly ideal for family functions, but considering they are in the middle of nowhere it’s alright. There, Anna joins Cole and his parents, and they talk. Cole talks about sports and adjusting to middle school. Anna talks about getting married, getting settled and managing her toddler.
The usual small talk concludes and then they say their goodbyes. As Cole gets back in the car to continue his trip to visit relatives in Minnesota, he thinks how easily his life could have been different, if Anna had kept Cole for her own.
At 15, Cole is already three years older than Anna was when she had him.
“She was young. Just young,” Jill Machovsky, Cole’s mother, said. “What’s so great about what happened is she decided to put Cole first and knew she wasn’t able to take care of him, and so she chose adoption. Abortion was never an option.”
Because Cole’s adoption terms are open, they have the opportunity to keep in contact with Anna.
Jill and Anna are friends on Facebook and have traded letters and pictures for years. She is always happy to see what Cole is doing and how he’s changing.
As for Cole’s birth father, the two have never met before. Cole and his family don’t know much about him, but neither did Anna when she was pregnant.
“We could probably dig a little bit but Cole hasn’t shown much interest in finding that information as of yet,” Jill said.
As soon as he was old enough to understand what it meant, Cole’s parents explained to him that he was adopted. Cole didn’t think much of it, and he never has much. Cole hasn’t shied away from talking about the specific details of his birth and adoption with anyone who will ask. He never expected or worried about being judged, and it hasn’t happened.
“There’s no reason people should. It doesn’t make me any different from anyone else,” Cole said.
Cole said his life doesn’t differ from that of non-adopted kids. He still gets out of bed in the morning and does normal teenager things.
“This is what I’ve always known,” Cole said.
Since birth, he has lived with his mom, dad, dog and cat. He plays baseball, basketball and football. He’s grateful for the opportunities he has and all the people in his life that care for him.
“My parents have always been really cool and they give me opportunities to play the sports I want to play.”
“He’s been with us since he was born, since the very get-go, and it’s funny because when he was born everyone thought he looked just like Scott. He’s stocky, he was a big, big kid, he was like off the charts with height and weight,” Jill said. “He has a lot of my characteristics as well just from living with us all his life.”
Cole’s maternal grandmother was adopted and is an only child, like him. Cole said that he could imagine adopting in the future.
“Although, I haven’t given much thought to it yet…” he said. “I think it’s a good thing for parents that can’t have children, and important for kids who don’t have good parents [to] get a good home so they don’t end up moving house to house.”
*name changed to protect identity