This article was written by an Adoptee who was placed for adoption by Shorstein and Kelly in 1993. At that time most adoptions were semi-closed, meaning that if birth parents received post placement communication, it was minimal. After recently meeting with her, she agreed to share these reflections.
I was Adopted 18 Years Ago at Birth
My eyes begin to tear up as I look around my room at all of the photographs I have of my life to date. Photos from my childhood, my family and friends, my senior prom, and many others whose memories continue to bring me so much joy. Throughout my life, I have always thought of myself to be an appreciative person, of family and friends and several other things in my life. But one thing that I will forever appreciate, a thing that many others will never know, is that I was blessed with two (very different) kinds of parents, because I am adopted.
When I think about all of the different times in my life that being adopted has been brought up in conversations, people usually took caution when discussing it with me. They might have said “Oh, I’m sorry,” or “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to…” but I always thought to myself “Why would they express empathy for me?” This was something that always confused me as a kid. People (especially other classmates and friends I had growing up) assumed it was going to be a sore topic. But I don’t think they truly understood what it means to be adopted, or at least what it has meant for me.
Two Different Kinds of Parents
I am the product of two very different kinds of parents. Parents, who at one time were very different from one another but whose intentions nonetheless, were the same. They both just wanted what’s best for me, and for me to find happiness throughout my life. When I think about my adoption, two particular things come to mind. First, I think about the bravery of my biological mother and how courageous she was when she chose to put me up for adoption. I think about how much love she must have had for me when she chose to let other parents raise me as their own, so that they could love me and give me the wonderful life that she was unable to.
And of course, I also think about my mother and father, and words cannot begin to articulate how much I love them, and how much admiration I have for them. Everyday, I think about how blessed I am to have been given the most wonderful parents in the world. Parents who have shown me unimaginable amounts of love throughout my life, and who have always, always been there through the smiles and the tears. All of which would have been impossible without the bravery and altruistic nature of my biological mother, and without the extraordinary love of my mother and father.
Two Different Kinds of Love
I have always been one to believe that children need love (and lots of it) to grow and develop into happy people. And I cannot fathom, how its possible to feel more loved than I have (and still do) feel today. It’s almost as if I’ve experienced two different kinds of love, and it is from this love and guidance that I have been able to experience the many joys that life has to offer. It is remarkable how one decision from two different kinds of parents can make all the difference in someone’s life.
As I write this reflection, I still look around my room at the many photographs that have captured only a small portion of the special times in my life. I see the happiness and smiles present in each one, and once again I think about how much I have to be grateful for. And that is the way I will always feel about being adopted.