Friday, March 20, 2015

A Note to All Adoptive Parents from an Adult Adopted Child

I was at the gym this morning minding my own business and ended up with a random guy in my workout group.  The crowd was sparse today, so groups were in twos today.  So it was me and random guy pumping some iron.  Not a whole lot was said along the workout until I made a statement about a little girl sitting on the sidelines waiting for her mommy to finish her workout.  I turned to my gym buddy and said, "That little girl is one of the prettiest little girls I have ever seen."  He agreed and we moved on to the next station.  Somehow he and I ended up in a big discussion about kids and genetics.  This is amusing because genetics is one of my favorite subjects to discuss.

Her eyes are the color of the ocean.
She is 6 months old.
Her adoption was final last week.

STOP  Stop right there.  "I was adopted when I was 6 months old too!!!"  I was completely captivated by his description of his baby from this moment on.  In fact, we missed one of our stations because we were talking about the fact that his daughter and I are just alike.  Both adopted at 6 months old.  Both adored by our parents, both so very special and so very wanted.

The gentleman was also captivated by my story and started asking me about adoption from an adult child's perspective.  Which led me to today's blog post.  I have a few words of advice to all adoptive parents.

Now here is where my parents come in.  They didn't do everything right I am sure they would say, but I can't think of a single thing they did wrong in raising me.  But, the one thing they did perfectly was made me feel special.  I never felt adopted, never felt an outsider, or different.  I have seen quite a few shows with adopted people in them who never felt right in their homes.  This is not my experience and I give my parents all the credit for how they raised me.  First of all, "adopted" was never a foreign word to me.  My mom rocked me and told me how special I was and how much she wanted me.  My dad constantly told me I was the best and I believed it.  They told me how heartbreak in childbearing for them led to me being their daughter and how grateful to God they were for me.  As years passed, they would continue to talk to me about how special an adopted daughter was.  They never sat me down and told me I was adopted.  That is the worst thing a parent can do is set the child down and tell them they are adopted.  Instead, breathe it to them as you rock them, talk about it while you bathe them, and it will just be a part of life, not a secret revealed when they are old enough to understand.  I understood being adopted from the day I was adopted.  I was 6 months old and had full knowledge of what adoption was.  Adoption was having a mom and dad who cherished me.  Always and forever no matter how old I get.

As I collect my thoughts to share with you, I am reminded of the story in Timothy when we are reminded that Timothy's faith dwelt first in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice and now dwells in him.    Lois and Eunice did not set Timothy down and say, "We need to have a talk."  Instead, faith was just always something he grew up knowing and understanding.  Adoption is that way for me.  Always something I knew.  Whether I knew all the answers about adoption didn't matter just like knowing all the answers about faith didn't matter.  Timothy knew he had it, and I knew I was special and wanted.

I have never wanted to know who my birth mother is.  I still don't.  I have a very full life and I don't need to know who physically grew me, because my parents are the ones who gave me life.  When I was in college, I did pray to God that He place it on my birth mother's heart how grateful I am that she did not see me as property but as a life who deserved better than she could give me.  What a selfless woman that I do not need to know.

I am grateful for my parents who did everything right.  Especially making me feel like I am important.  From the time I was a baby, they told me I was kind, I was important, I was smart.  And I believed it.