I am uncomfortable with my thoughts; wondering why I have differentiated them from children born of their mother’s womb.When I leave Bev, I ponder the question and it takes me back to my childhood. I think of my first cousin, Andrea; how I was told that she “was adopted,” way back when I was in early elementary school.
It didn’t matter. There were no horns growing from her head or green spots on her face. She was the same cousin I’d always known.
In later years, maybe during my late teens, I noticed that Grandma did not speak of her when referring to her grandchildren; and neither did my father’s sister - our only paternal aunt - refer to her as her niece. I tried to figure out if it was due to her “not looking like us” or if Grandma and Aunt T. had issues with Andrea’s mother - the in-law.
Was that the root of my attention to who’s adopted?
My thoughts continue to hop from one adoption story to another as I drive the interstate toward home.Doug is 48. He claims he wants to find his birth mother. A while ago, he gave me the name and number of a woman who works for an agency that deals with past adoptions; a woman he has spoken to. The agency needs a small administrative fee to get started. When I spoke to her, she asked why “he” did not call back, and suggested that he is not “really” ready to begin a search; that he’s stalling, using the fee as an excuse; that something is holding him back. She explained to me a series of steps to “prepare” him and the birth parents; that all sorts of scenarios could possibly exist. It was an eye-opener for me and I decided to let it go because I believed what she said; that something is holding Doug back.
I was introduced to Sandra during a walk with the girls and our dogs. She joined us a few more times and I learned that her children were adopted while we were talking about our pregnancies.“Oh, you didn’t have to endure morning sickness or carry yours,” I said, making a small joke. And then, seriously, I said, “Oh, but your arms must have had a workout when the baby came home since you didn’t have the 35 pounds of extra weight to carry around to prepare you.”
“That’s right,” Sandra responded, as she added her stories of physical challenges due to her new 7 pound wonder.It was a normal and natural conversation. No one took away points because she didn’t give birth to her children.
On the other hand, when another new friend told me her children were adopted and the reasons why, I was caught off guard because of the tone of her voice, and awkwardly said something like, “Adoption is a wonderful thing,” …and it is.
My friend Brenda is 55 and wants to contact her birth parents. She has requested, via an agency, three times. Each time, the birth mother said no. Because she knows a few details about her biological father, I’m curious to know why she doesn’t do some digging on her own. But it’s her decision; isn’t it?
One of my male relatives has a child who is in her 50s. She was raised by her mother’s husband, only knowing “him” as her father. The male relative does not want to contact her; does not want to “interrupt” her life. I wonder if she is out there looking for him.
Still driving along on I-95, I conclude that adoption continues to be an awkward conversation at times; that some still say, “Ohhhh,” when someone tells their adoption story. Does this happen more with same race parents and children? Are we more surprised because we did not know of the adoption in these families, as opposed to the white families who have adopted Chinese girls, South American children, or black boys and girls, with many people thinking they are so brave for doing so?
I do think adoption is wonderful and necessary. Like most things in life, it has its kinks and controversies, however, those elements are majorly outweighed.
What do you think? Do you have an adoption story to share?
The image above is the adoption symbol. The three sides of the triangle represent the birth mother, the child, and the adoptive parents. The heart represents the love that ties them together. This is the first time I've seen or heard of this symbol. I do not know its origin.