I recently posted this question on Facebook: “What would you like me to blog about?” One of the responses surprised me. Someone I’ve known for a long time responded that they’d like to hear about my adoption.
At first, I was hesitant. Not because I’m ashamed of being adopted or anything like that. But my blog is about every person’s identity as a gift to the world and how to live that identity. Why it was not immediately clear to me how well adoption ties into the idea of identity, I don’t know. But I couldn’t not blog about it since I asked what I should blog about. I decided to just do it. THEN I realized, duh! Being adopted has everything to do with identity!
Part 1 (this post) will be about my childhood experience. Part 2 will be about my experience in contacting my birth mother (which is quite recent). Part 3 will be exploring my sense of identity a bit.
Here we go…
I was adopted straight from the hospital where I was born. My current name is the name on my birth certificate. It was a private adoption.
My parents did not tell me I was adopted. I never knew or even suspected that I was adopted. One fine day when I was 9 years old, a friend down the street told me. No kidding.
I don’t remember this incident. But I have been told the story several times, so I know what happened.
First, I argued with my friend. “Am not.” “Are too.” “Am not.” “Are too.” Arguing was simpler back then.
Then I ran home crying to my mom. I asked her if it was true. She told me it was.
I never remember it being an issue again. I never felt like I was treated any different than my three siblings (who are all children born to my mom). My parents never mentioned it. My brother and sisters never called me “adopted boy” or anything like that. (They called me names, just not names having to do with being adopted.)
I must have thought about it once in a while because I remember my grandma telling me that I was special. She said that my parents had no choice about the other three, but they had chosen me. Even then I think I knew they didn’t choose me for any qualities I possess because, after all, I was a newborn baby. But it made me feel good, nonetheless.
I don’t know what my parents’ plan was regarding when to break the news to me that I was adopted. But I think it worked out really well. Even though I had an afternoon of pain and disillusionment, I think it was good that I didn’t know I was adopted until I was 9.
I didn’t grow up during my early years wondering why my birth mother didn’t want me. It didn’t occur to me to compare how my siblings were treated compared to me.
All-in-all, I think finding out after doing a little bit of growing up was best.
Next time I’ll write about my recent adventure in finding my birth mother.
You are God’s gift to the world. Believe it. Own it. Live it!