I've been thinking a lot since my debut post about adoption. My brother and I talked about it (he actually divulged he has now lost that once irresistible desire to meet our birthmother and his birthfather), both wondering about people who thought adoption meant your parents didn't want you. What these sort of people don't seem to understand is that it's a very difficult decision.
If you're already a parent, think about holding a child in your arms and admiring how beautiful they are until you realize that this child isn't going to be taken care of by you, that someone else will be raising them. Effectively, your job is done. There's a likelihood that you may one day see this child again, but what will your life be like then and what if they don't want to meet you?
On the flipside, adopted adults and children think these things too. We constantly ask ourselves why. Yes, we're given some information, but with a closed adoption (like mine was), you don't get much to go on. If they give you too much, you might try to hunt them down before you're supposed to. (There is an option called post adoption openness that the adoptive parents fill out in their children's stead.)
I did see my birthmother when I was five years old. I know it wasn't a dream because my mother remembers it too. We were picking up my brother from the hospital and there she was, just down the hall, watching. I didn't realize who she was, of course, until later. Mom asked me if I'd seen her and even now, I can close my eyes and see her. It's weird because I can't remember everything from that long ago like that, but I guess it was because it was a significant moment in my life.
Sometimes I think about that day and wonder if she approved of them, these people she chose on words alone. Did they seem like they were taking care of me? Did I look like her? Did I look like him? Did they have a falling out and is that why there hasn't been a match on the registry? At these times, I am almost desperate to get that call that says, "We've found her. Do you want to set up an appointment?" I can't help these thoughts. I don't want to have her as a mother, but I have these questions that I can't quit. There will, likely, always be a niggling in my head that constantly asks "why?", but I'll move on from it.
One day, I will likely adopt a child of my own and I have seriously been considering an open adoption or have a closed adoption until the child decides for themselves that they'd like to meet their birthparents. The thing is, whomever their biological parents were and whomever mine were, they don't define who I am. I am who I am because of the way I was raised. I am, I think, a good person. I think my birthparents would be glad to know I'm in the place I am now.
I really hope that wherever they are, they are as happy as I am and have someone who cares for them.
Photo Credit: Jason Hargrove.
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