I want to impart upon you today, the importance of education when it comes to adoption.
I was born in Burbank California and am the youngest of three adopted girls.
My parents have now been married for over 30 years and decided to adopt when they encountered difficulty conceiving.
As chance would have it, they adopted my biological sister first. She’s 27 now.
My other sister was born in Sacramento, CA and she’s nine months older than me, making her 25 now.
I was one week old when I was adopted. I actually ended up going to a different family at first, but then my birth Mom changed her mind.
I was too young to know what was going on at that point, but in retrospect, I am extremely grateful.
My parents went through a private adoption agency and carried out an open adoption with my birth Mom, but my birth Father didn’t know of my existence until I decided to find him when I was 15 years old.
By now, I know plenty about both of my biological parents. I have always had a relationship with my birth Mom, and grew up knowing her parents, husband, and son.
As for my Father, I found him on PeopleFinder.com after typing in what little information I had to go on. I then started sending letters to the address listed under his name in the hopes that he was still there. Luckily, he was, and I received a reply in about a month’s time.
The rest is history, and now I have a great relationship with him.
Beyond that, plenty of things still challenge me daily.
One of the most challenging things is the general feeling of feeling unloved, or not fully accepted. I’m still trying to understand why a Mother would ever give up her child.
Overcoming feelings like these is not easy, to say the least.
But I have come to believe that you have to be able to find it within yourself to show yourself that love and acceptance when others don’t. At the end of the day, you always need to be able to count on yourself.
Since I was adopted as an infant, I didn’t realize the manifestation of these feelings until I was a good deal older.
But, adoption did create a life for me.
I was dealt these cards because I could handle them.
And everything I have endured throughout my relatively short life thus far has made me into the strong young woman I am today.
So I’m proud of the fact that I have knowledge gained from an adoptee perspective. Knowledge I would never have otherwise. For example, having two sets of parents means I am lucky to be able to easily learn about two distinct sets of cultures and receive two different sources of Nature and Nurture, from my birth parent’s DNA and from my adoptive parent’s caretaking.
That said, the emotional turmoil that results from being an adoptee is not easy to handle. I often wished I had a manual for dealing with my mixed emotions while growing up.
Currently, like many people around me, my goals are to become more independent.
Everyone faces obstacles that life throws at them. At least in that respect, I really am very much like everyone else, and in a small way, I feel more connected because of that.
I know my story is different. But what’s really important is to share my experiences – the highs as well as the lows, so other adoptees know that they aren’t alone in their struggles and that they deserve to voice those struggles.
I personally believe it all hinges on education. Whether you are adopting, being adopted, or know those people within your community, it is critical that we share our experiences and teach each other the importance of our stories.
When this goal is achieved, the world will become a much better and understanding place for adoptees like myself and those in my community.