I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Nancy. She was adopted as an infant, and her adoptive parents have been supportive of her search for her biological family. She has met her birth mother in person a few times as well as other key members of her first mother’s family and has obtained some limited information about her biological father as well but has not yet met him.
Carol has asked me to share my adoption story, any aspect I wish, but to me there is no way to share just an aspect of it. My adoption permeates my whole life. It is something that is so deeply a part of me that I forget about it until something brings it up: a doctor’s appointment asking for family medical history, talking about family, a friend’s pregnancy, a compliment; all of it reminds me that I am adopted, that I don’t just have one family; I have three. I have the family I was raised with and I am just now beginning to examine critically; I have the family that I have just met, and I am discovering what a genetic connection truly is; and I have the family I have yet to find but spend hours wondering what innate gifts they gave me.
I am the product of a loving relationship that did not last. I am the child of two people who are celebrating their 36th year together. I am a woman struggling to grasp what it means to be an adoptee.
You would think having a title since birth would mean knowing exactly what that entails; however, the dynamics of that title are constantly changing. As a young child, it meant I was special, I was chosen. As a young adolescent, it meant I had been rejected, that I wasn’t good enough to be kept. As a young adult, it has meant battling the false ideas I have ingrained in myself. I fight against my need to be grateful and apologetic for merely existing. I struggle to accept the love my maternal family has always held for me. I fight my urge to demand answers and instead let the process of learning be slow.
Being an adoptee is a struggle and an unchangeable fact. I will always be an adoptee but my hope is it will not be a fight.