I had always planned on sharing my adoption story here on the ol' blog. Actually, I assumed it would happen sooner rather than later, but life always intervened or other more pressing subjects seemed to present themselves. I just figured my past wasn’t going anywhere and I’d get to it. Eventually.
Last week, “eventually” invaded my Facebook feed with
. I tried to keep scrolling after reading it, but I…couldn’t. I shared the story on my own profile and included a brief response, but even that wasn’t enough.
So, here it is, friends: My Adoption Experience.
I found out I was adopted when I was seven. For some reason, I was flipping through our filing cabinet when I randomly stumbled onto the cryptic file with my name on it. As I read its contents, I can’t say I was completely surprised by what I discovered. Seeing the evidence in black-and-white was jarring, but a part of me inexplicably intuited that I was slightly different from the other members of my family. Before I move forward, let me just say this: My family was --and remains to be--awesome. They never gave me any indication that I was biologically unrelated to them. I was always fully embraced and wholly loved. They are my “real family” and I am completely blessed to have them.
Now then, when I found the adoption paperwork, I felt overwhelmed. I was somewhat relieved to attribute my weird feelings to something concrete, but I also felt shame, embarrassment, and disappointment. (
Note: My mom is a former dancer and beauty queen, so having those genes would’ve been fantastic! Ah. well.
) The absolute worst part, though? Having to discuss this bizarre emotional jumble amid the spotlight of furrowed brows, misty eyes, and reassuring smiles. Blech.
I couldn’t fully process what new information meant, if anything, so I stuffed my sordid beginnings into a sack, buried said sack in the darkest recesses of my mind, and pretended my family and I shared DNA. This actually worked for a decade or so.
As I grew older, I started to embrace (some of) the things that made me different. Gradually, I began telling close friends my “secret”. It seemed silly to be ashamed of something beyond my control, and this certainly didn't define me. Most people were shocked, though a few observant souls were not. No one shunned me or stopped wanting to hang out. I simply answered a few questions and then naturally moved on to more important topics, like cute boys or the latest episode of
A few years later, God put it on my heart to make my story a testament to His goodness. One Sunday morning, I nervously--and tearfully--told my church about my past. After the service, a woman approached my family and I, saying my testimony had helped her decide to become an adoptive parent.
my narrative, one marred by misguided shame and embarrassment, shifted it into acceptance, and finally transformed it into divine triumph and truth.
Not only did I tell strangers, but I gave my family permission to share my life story with whomever they felt led.
The woman from the aforementioned article found her biological mother, only to be met with anger and resentment; my heart aches for all parties involved. I completely understand the feelings of disappointment, as well as the desire for adoption records to be open. There was a short-lived period in my life when I sought to know more, too. I filled out one form requesting my genetic medical history and sent it to the courts. Once I received that information, however, the search ended. What stopped me from devoting more precious time to solving the mystery of my birth? I no longer needed to investigate because I already had peace in my mind and heart. I didn’t need a mother because I had one. I didn’t need a family because I had a loud, crazy bunch to fill that role, as well. God had mended what was broken long ago. My life was, and is, joyously full.
To the woman who carried me around in her body, endured the pain of my birth, and allowed me the privilege of living, I am eternally grateful. I was born after the Women’s Liberation Movement and Roe vs. Wade, so abortion was an option. For reasons that will remain hidden, you chose to be a vessel, providing me with the one thing only you could give: my existence. For that, I thank you.
my gift to you is respecting your privacy and anonymity.
have no desire to reunite or cause disruption. Your part in my life, while integral, is over. Wherever you are, I pray you are growing and thriving, just as I am.