Every adoptee has their own story. If you were to put a group of us in a room and ask us what being an adoptee meant to each one of us, you would get a variety of stories, some good and some bad. Please know that while I share what being an adoptee has meant to me, I am not speaking for all adoptees out there. We are all unique and all have our own experiences and thoughts on the matter.
I was adopted at just a few days old. I came home from the hospital to my parents. I am a child of the 1980s. Looking at adoption history, I feel that this time period was the beginning of when things started to change in domestic infant adoptions. Where things used to be so secretive, a very slow progression of becoming more “open” was taking place.
“I never struggled with being adopted.”
My parents have always been open with me about being adopted. I never remember a time of not knowing. I remember always feeling special about being adopted. While I know now as an adult this is not the case I always felt like my parents got to “choose” me. As an adult and an adoption professional, I still feel special about being adopted, my perspective and knowledge has just changed some.
I never struggled with being adopted. I never remember having fantasies about who my birth parents were. I don’t know who they are. I have very little information on them. I know that they were teenagers, 16 and 19, and that is about it. I have never had a strong desire to search for them. I’ve started once or twice, but when it got a little harder then I thought it would be, I quickly abandoned it. I’ve done the DNA testing so I know my heritage but even that has not changed much for me. I may have a lot of question marks when it comes to my medical history, but I don’t care. I am confident in who I am as a person. I am secure in who my parents are. I am grateful and thankful for the two that gave me life and made a decision that changed my life.
I remember having a conversation with a friend in college. The fact that I was adopted came up and he was shocked. He stated that he would have never guessed that I was adopted. Was I supposed to act differently because I was adopted? That being said, it was a statement that I was thankful for because he saw me as “me.” Not as the “friend who was adopted.” I think that is true of many adoptees. We are each unique individuals who may have a different story of how we entered our current family, but for the most part are no different then anyone else.
For me, being an adoptee is just part of my story. It is part of my DNA, who I am. It has made me into the person that I am today. Had I not been adopted I truly don’t know if I would be in the profession that I am in today. I don’t know if I would have the privilege to work with adoptive parents and adopted children on a daily basis. Being an adoptee led me in finding my passion. Would I be doing what I am doing now had I not been adopted? Maybe, who knows? What I do know is that I am forever grateful for the decision that my birth parents made. I am blessed with the parents that I have. And I could not be more proud to be a child who was adopted.