My adoption story
I always knew I was adopted. My mom often said I was their “chosen child”. I like to think all adopted children are thought of as so special. I was nearly a year old when my parents adopted me from foster care. They showed up at the adoption agency ready to take home twin boys but the father backed out at the last minute.
My mom, a dynamic and optimistic character, said “Well, who else do you have?” They saw me and my mom insisted on taking me home that day. The agency balked but my no-nonsense mom said, “We’ve come all this way and she’s here, so why not?” And so they did. But according to my dad they had to meet the social worker outside the county line by a cornfield to have me handed over. It was small town Ohio in the 1960s, after all. The words “black market baby” springs to mind.
My first day with my new family the crib got delivered to the wrong house and my dad put it together upside down. And my mom said she got funny looks when, with me at her hip, she asked the grocery clerk “what do you feed a ten month-old?” But I survived.
Through the years I discovered a few things. I grew up in a good home but never felt like I belonged. When getting together with extended family I believed they were thinking I didn’t belong either. I wasn’t blood.
Upon meeting my natural mother and family at 18 when she sprung into my life, I realized I didn’t belong there either. And I discovered we are a product of both our genes and environment. The bad genes can be overcome and our environment makes us who we are–and I’m glad for that. I recently had to cut ties with my natural mother as she was not a healthy presence in my life and I’m at peace about my decision. I had a “real mom” most of my life and her influence and my memories sustain me.
When my mom passed away not long ago her good friend told me how I was so much like her in many ways and that meant so much to me. My “real” mom may be gone, but I carry her with me in all I do. Her presence is still vibrant in my life more than a “blood mother” I don’t connect to could ever be.
Over time I eventually learned that I did belong with my parents who chose me. I have my own family now, and my son belongs with me too.