Twenty-three years ago, I was adopted by the best parents a kid could ask for.
I learned about my adoption at a young age and always blew people away when I told them that I was. I looked like my parents, everyone said. Which is true, I share blue eyes and brown hair with them. My brother, five years my junior and my blood half-brother, is the odd one out. People never looked shocked when he said he was adopted. To this day, my friends maintain he looks so much like me. I can see it in our faces for sure, but I see the differences too. His skin's darker than mine and he has brown eyes and brown hair. Those eyes always glimmer with mischief, especially now that he's 18. A year away now from joining me on the post-adoption registry. He wants to meet our birthmother and his own birthfather very much.
When I was 18, I wanted nothing more than to meet my birthparents. However, that year, just weeks shy of my 18th birthday, the law [in my state] changed and I had to wait another year. In that year, I grew passive about finding my birthparents. I began to have dreams about meeting them and being faced with disappointment. What if they're not what I expected? What if they treat me poorly? What if they have a family now? So many what-if scenarios crossed through my mind. I guess I might have been scared when I was 19, in a way, and I didn't bother to put myself on the registry. I didn't do it until I was 21 and two years later, I still haven't heard anything.
A classmate once asked me what I did to make my "real" parents not want me. I wasn't sure how to answer it. I was a baby, after all, and what kind of a question is that to ask anyone? I've seen plenty of shows on television where children who are adopted say they feel a hole. Another person asked me if I ever felt that way. To be honest, I never have and I don't think I ever will. All throughout my life, I have had family and friends who love me. Blood doesn't define family. I certainly got my DNA from someone and I'm thankful for the life they gave me, but I'm mostly thankful for the fact they gave me a chance at a better life. They were 22 and 23 respectively and as I'm 23 now, I think I understand what they were going through a bit better. The wording in the papers about them tell me I may have been the product of a one night stand, if I'm honest.
They were young, though, and aren't we all a little dumb? I can't say at 23 that I'm very mature. I'm more mature than I was a year or three ago, but I'm not sure how I would have handled the decision they had to make.It was a big, monumental decision, wasn't it? At least they had each other to work through their options, I always think. While I may know very little about them, they have my respect. They gave me a fighting chance at life. And what a chance it's been. I've been to so many places, experienced so many things and if one day I do track them down, all I'll be able to say is thank you, thank you for my life.
However, they will never be Mom and Dad. Mom and Dad have supported me through all my failures, of which I've had many, and raised me as best they could. They gave me such unconditional love, even when I told them they should just take me back to the Ministry. Once I was really angry and I said, "You're not my real mom anyway!" That was the last time because I'll never forget the look on my mother's face. I never said that again because, at that moment, I realized she really was my mother. I won't forget where I came from, but at the end of the day, my birthparents and I only share biology. Mom, Dad and I share a life.
Photo Credit: Losevsky Pavel at Shutterstock.
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