Bekah Whittle

My Kappa Alpha Theta 'Adoption' Story

Have you ever heard from anyone who’s never been a part of a fraternity or sorority say, “All you did was buy your friends!” I want to dispel that belief by sharing my story.

I was born in Ukraine and adopted by my parents at the age of 3. My brothers, John and Joe, were also adopted from Ukraine. My parents came home to South Carolina with three little kids who didn’t know English, didn’t know each other, or weren’t aware that they had just been adopted into a loving family.

I grew up in a lovely southern home and grew to love Sunday church, the SEC, and the importance of family. But one day my dad got a job in Nebraska, so we packed up and headed to the heartland. As I lived there, I grew to love the Cornhuskers, and learned to find beauty in the vast plains that cover the state.

My next adventure was college. I got accepted into my dream school, Colorado State University, and headed to CSU this past August. I had discussed recruitment with my parents and close friends, but when the time came, I was unable to. However, my dreams of wearing all-Greek letters, secret handshakes, and screaming every time I saw a sister were to be fulfilled! I heard about the re-establishment of Kappa Alpha Theta’s Beta Gamma Chapter and immediately decided to go for it.

Bid day came quickly, and I took tons of photos with women I didn’t know and “threw what I knew” – or at least what I thought I knew! After a few weeks, I began to form relationships with these amazing women and connected with them immediately. In just a few months, I knew I had found some of my best friends in Theta.

Earlier this semester, I suffered seven seizures in the course of 30 minutes during a Monday chapter meeting. Three of my Theta sisters were right by my side, calming me and supporting me through those scary moments. Two of them stayed the night in the hospital with me while my mom drove all night to see me.

It was intimidating, scary, and nerve-racking to be in an unfamiliar hospital. But, I didn’t feel alone. My mom wasn’t there nor my dad or brothers, but my new sisters Ally, Maddie and Sarah were. My sisters were right beside me through it all. It was a sister who kept me calm, took me to the hospital, and informed my family and other friends what was going on. It was my sisters who stayed the night and watched me cry and told me everything was going to be okay. It was sisters who came by the next day and gave me stuffed animals, food, laughter and of course Starbucks!

My point is: I had family all by my side during an awful situation.

So, yes, I have to pay fees to be a part of Theta, but I didn’t buy my friends. Just like my mom and dad had to pay to bring John, Joe and I home, they didn’t “buy a family.” Family is created through support and unconditional love. I was adopted into an amazing family, and my dreams of having sisters finally came true once I pledged Kappa Alpha Theta.

So, what’s your “adoption” story? Share with us in the comments section below.