I was born in Kolkata, India.
Presumably, I was "abandoned" by my "birth mother" during the first week of life, but that still remains inconclusive.
I was adopted at three months old. I am the oldest of my three adoptive siblings.
My adoptive mother adopted me, as she could not have children of her own. At the time, her first husband was abusive and had two children. She loved being a stepmother, but their marriage didn’t last long.
She couldn’t let the abuse continue, so she ended it. We do not always get along, but I have a lot of respect for her because she made a difficult decision to leave and start a new life with me.
She remarried when I was about five years old. During their first year of marriage, they adopted my brother and sister. My stepfather - whom I call my dad - also had a lot of problems and grew very distant from me during my adolescent years.
I have a good, but often strained relationship with my adoptive family, as their ideas of adoption and American exceptionalism are very different from the worldview that I have. My parents and I are now on better terms, as my dad is a cancer survivor and his health struggles have led us to reconcile. I know that my mom and dad love my husband and me.
I believe my mom and dad do not have access to a lot of information regarding the challenges of adoption, which is not their fault; however, it has led to problems in our relationship.
They never exposed me to Indian culture, believing it to be inferior to Western culture.
They did not foresee the challenges that came after their children were adopted.
Growing up I only heard negative things about India and didn't meet any other Indian person until I was in middle school. It was almost as if my biological family or cultural origin never existed.
I had my first Indian meal when I was in college. I still try to learn about my native culture as much as I can.
There is a belief in many transracial or international adoptive parents' minds that they are saving their adoptive children as an act of ministry, which may be true, but sometimes it creates an unhealthy mentality of them as a savior or that the child owes them for their wonderful act.
My brother and I are quite different. He is a United States military veteran who is very nationalist. Our views differ quite a bit; my husband and I are political independents who do not think that constant interventionism by the US military abroad is a good thing.
My husband and I have never discussed our political position with my brother, but have written about it. My brother and his wife do not speak to us; they’ve told his in-laws strange things about us. I hope that one day we can all reconcile with my brother because he has close friends who he respects that hold the same views as my husband and me.
Both my brother and sister have the option to get to know their biological families but have no desire to meet them or interact with them. Often adoptive parents are not aware that they depict their children’s biological families in a negative light.
Only recently I began to feel proud of whom I am. Lots of times I feel like I stick out because I am different, but it has taught me to feel empathy for others.
I’m sharing my story because I want adoptees to know that it’s normal to be curious about your biological family or your past.