In many ways, adoption saved me. I’ve always been a curious person. A person who wants to know as much about her history, because I believe a lot of where you come from defines how a person turns out.
I have multiple friends who are adopted and will sing the praises of thankfulness for days, but their childhoods were different than mine. In many ways, it was easier for them. They didn’t have to grow up so quickly in ways that I did, and I think that partially enabled them to view adoption in a brighter, more positive light. Overall, I was thankful for being adopted, but other times, it was one of the things that made me feel more worthless than anything else.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my story because there have been struggles in my adoptive family, struggles that I’m admittedly still working through, and in the darkest moments of those struggles, I was SO angry at adoption. So angry at the system and so angry at the family I felt abandoned me. So bitter, so upset, and so unwanted. I was unable to really feel wanted by my adoptive family because I was given up by my biological family.
After meeting my biological family this summer, my view has changed a bit. Meeting my mother was a very emotional and slightly stressful experience, but I am overwhelmingly grateful for those days we had together. I’m glad I got to see who she is and how she interacts with her son. I’m thankful I was able to learn more about hers and her siblings’ home life, and to understand that at the time, putting me up for adoption was the most motherly thing she could have done for me, even if she didn’t really want to give me up.
I want to stress that I do know how fortunate I am to have been adopted, and I do know that I have two parents that love me, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. But for a person who views adoption the way I do, they aren’t my only family. I have my parents, the first family that I even knew…but I also have family halfway across the country. I have family in Washington, in Oregon, and especially in Idaho who care just as much as my family in Texas does.
The most beautiful part of the adoption process for me has been the marriage of those two families in my life. Being able to connect all the dots of why I am the way I am after getting to know more of my history has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life so far.
I’m happy that adoption is becoming a bigger part of normal culture and life because it gives so many children chances to be saved from an otherwise very dark future. However, as I do whenever I write or talk about adoption, I want to stress that while their adoptive life is a very positive change in most children’s lives, their past should not be ignored. Their history should be addressed in some capacity when they are ready and willing to face it. In a sense, adoption is about healing, and nobody has ever been able to completely heal without dealing with all of the ugliness of past hurts.
listening to: Sylvan Esso