Dec 19, 2012

My Experience with Being an Adoptee.

Twenty-Seven years ago I was adopted at just a month and 2 days old.  My mom has always told me the story of how she got the phone call from Pat, her case worker, and how I was brought home on a very rainy April 19, 1985.  I have been asked so many questions in my lifetime about being an adopee, from those who are curious about the whole situation.  Because of that, I thought that I would address them here for anyone who is also curious.

"Can I ask an adoptee questions?"
It depends on the person and how open they are about being adopted.  I always welcome questions from others and never felt shame about being adopted.  I actually feel incredibly special because I had two mothers who loved me enough to give me a great life that I may not have otherwise had.  I love to educate others on what it's like to be an adoptee.

Different Types of Adoptions
It seems as though some people don't know there are different types of adoptions.  My adoption was a closed adoption, meaning that my parents had absolutely no contact with my biological parents and didn't even know who they were.  All my mom knew was the very vague and small amount of information she received from the adoption agency.  She also receive some "Non Identifying Information" which is a small document with basic health and general information about my biological family.  

There are also open adoptions which became more of the norm in the 1990's.  This means that the adoptive and biological parents know each other and are allowed to share information about the child.  They are even able to get together with the child a few times per year, based on the legal agreement with the adoptive family.   I think this is a great option since the adoptees get to know about their biological family, why they were adopted and have access to all of their health information.

"Do you know your real parents?"
My "real parents" are the parents that adopted me.  Giving birth to a child makes you a mother and a father, yes, but not a "mom" and a "dad".  The love, nurturing and caring though the years makes real parents.  That is something that birth parents cannot do no matter how much they love their biological child.  

"Do you ever want to meet your biological parents?"
I met my biological mom and siblings back in 2003.  The adoption agency who placed me assisted in the search but I also hired a private investigator who specialized in adoption reunions to find another adopted sister.

All my life I had dreamed about how my reunion would be and when it finally happened, it was nothing like what I imagined.  I felt very let down and actually did regret the reunion for a few months.  I felt like the imagining was better than the actual outcome.  My biological mom was very quiet and never said that she loved or missed me, which is what I wanted her to say.  Now, almost 10 years later, I am thankful for the opportunity I had to meet her.  My biological mother and grandmother passed away in May and June of this past year and even though I never got a chance to know them too well and ask questions that I still had, I am grateful for the times I had with them.  I will always admire my biological mother for having the strength to give me a better life.

"Do you ever wish your biological parents would have kept you?"
While I do wonder what it would have been like to stay in that family, no.  I don't wish they would have kept me at all actually.  Meeting them and hearing how tough their lives were made me feel more thankful for what I actually had growing up.  I am thankful to my (adoptive) mother for giving me everything that my biological family wouldn't have been able to give me.

"Why were you given up for adoption when other siblings weren't?"
Believe it or not I have been asked this quite a few times.  I have a 32 year old brother and a 30 year old sister that my biological mom kept.  My other sister is 29 and I am 27.  My biological mother placed me and my older 29 year old sister.  Why?  Thankfully when I found out I had siblings I also found my non identifying information that explained to me what happened.  My birth parents were unmarried and my birthmom decided to try to parent the two older siblings.  When my sister and I were born, unfortunately, she didn't have the means to take care of all of us.  She decided to give my sister and I a better life.  The one thing I have never been clarified on is why they separated my older sister and I.  Both my mom and her mom said they signed papers saying that they are willing to accept other siblings from the same birthmom but my sister's mother never got a call about me.  That's the one question I have that has gone unanswered for years.