KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A woman gave her son up for adoption and then was told he died just after he turned one. In a strange turn of events, almost 16 years later, the two were reunited.
Sonya Artis has a book called Vanessa's Choice which she hopes will help others. She says she made a lot of choices she now regrets but hopes her story will help others realize there's always hope.
"I was tired, frustrated, depressed," Artis said.
Her book is a labor of love that brought love back into her life. She thought her son she'd given up for adoption was dead.
"When I was 23-years-old I was a single mother, who had one daughter and ended up pregnant again," she said.
Without much direction in her life, she decided to move to Texas. Then, serious complications with her pregnancy put her in the hospital for two months. Friends cared for her daughter, but another child seemed like too much to take on. She was homeless, broke and down on her luck.
"When I had no where to go, I called the adoption agencies," she said.
Artis gave birth to a healthy baby boy on October 16, 1992. He was adopted and then about a year later the agency told her that her son was dead.
"That's what set up my chain of depression," she said.
Artis says she blocked out that period of her life, writing it off like it never happened. She literally began writing about it in what would become her first book. Then just days after she finished the book she got a letter that led her back to her son.
"He was not quite 16 when I found out he was alive," she said.
She went to meet him and his adoptive family but she was scared of how we would react.
"I remember he was playing football and I went straight to his football game and he had never seen me," she said. "And I'm looking at all the kids, I knew him as soon as I saw him. I said that's him right there that's him."
She was right. She now has a relationship with her son and his adoptive family.
"It's made a huge difference in all of our lives," she said. "You don't even realize you're missing a piece of the puzzle sometimes and now it just fits. It just fits. What people don't realize, no matter how traumatic your life is, it can change."
Artis' life is a testament to that. Her next book which tells the rest of her story is due out in February.