Growing up I always knew I was adopted and it was never a topic in our family that was off limits. Several of my family members have their own adoption stories. Each very different than my own. Mine began at birth, but for me it starts with a very specific memory. I’m not sure how old I am, but I am sitting on our piano bench across from my parents in a dress (so it must have been a Sunday because I would not be wearing one otherwise) telling me I was adopted, explaining to me what that meant, and asking if I have any questions. My only response, “Nope! Can I go play now!?”
Over the years, I was curious and had questions. My parents always made themselves available to answer my questions or made sure I knew I could go to anyone in our family. My parents never forced the subject, but my mom always seemed to know when to bring up the subject and talk about my adoption even if I didn’t want to. My parents always had positive things to say about my birth mother and her family. They were always honest, caring, positive, serious and provided humor when it was needed. I think their attitude has provided me with the same outlook and a realization that my adoption doesn’t define me. It is a part of my history they have helped me to embrace.
Years ago, I was able to exchange emails with my birth mother and biological brothers. My parents helped me realize that I have two mothers – one that gave me life and loved me so much she was selfless enough to give me the opportunities she couldn’t provide, and a Mom and Dad (plus a bunch of siblings and extended family) that could provide me not only love and support, but a happy life and the opportunity to pursue anything I wanted.
While I didn’t pursue a relationship with my birth family, I am grateful I was able to tell my birth mother ‘Thank you!’ Thank you for the amazing parents, siblings, and extended family she gave me. I was able to share with her that I travel all over the world, live in one of the best places in the world, play sports, graduated college, among other things. I had a pretty great childhood growing up. That I was never loved less than my siblings or cousins that were biological, but loved equally.
And just like any other kid growing up, I had my arguments, fights, frustrations, punishments, and ups and downs with my parents because there were some of those. I know I have always been right where I was supposed to be.
I hope my birth mother still knows how grateful I am to her that she chose adoption for me.