So I’ve been asked my adoption story countless times and after years of questions, suggestions from friends and family that the story should be told, a little time of the holidays, and just plain desire to pass along some inspiration to others who might need it, I thought it was time to write it down.
I was adopted at birth, well actually at 3 days old. I always knew I was adopted and what that meant. It’s important to my story that you know there was never foster care or orphanage time spent, I would suspect that would have a very different effect on my childhood, as I’ve heard from other adopted children. I don’t remember a specific time where my parents sat me down to “tell” me but they said in fact they did just that. I must have been very young three or four years of age since it was always known and not a secret.
I grew up with two older brothers who were six months apart in age. My oldest brother was adopted as well and the younger brother is the biological son of my parents. Its well known that when a couple struggles for a child of their own and decides to adopt, they then become pregnant. Yep that’s what happened with my brothers. As soon as the paperwork was signed and the adoption set in motion, our parents miraculously became pregnant. Can you imagine? Two boy babies six months apart, two wild and crazy tumbling toddlers going in different directions, two teens with completely different interests, in the same grade but with two different genetics? Well it happened and that’s another story all on its own.
As a young girl I always wondered who my birthmother was, what she looked like, what kind of mom would she be, and of course why she gave me up for adoption. Let me be clear my adopted parents gave me everything needed, a wonderful childhood and my mother was the most loving woman ever. So my desire to know about my birthmother didn’t stem from the lack of a warm loving family or slack mothering or missing needs it was just curiosity and desire to know where I came from. I think that its a natural instinct, even my older brother had the desire to find his birthmother later in his adult life.
As a teenager I knew that there were laws that protected birthmothers and adoption families from record release and that at age eighteen I could legally request my records to be released. I had planned to do just that however my birthmother found me first. Yep to my surprise the woman who gave me up for adoption did some digging and reached out to my adopted parents to see if we (my adopted parents and I) were all receptive to have some sort of contact.
It was the summer of my sixteenth birthday when my parents sat me down to tell me my birthmother had reached out and wanted contact with me if I was interested. To set the tone it was late July and I was preparing to move to New York to attend high school for my sophomore year at a fashion design magnet program in the city. I was born in Queens, NY and my adopted father was from the Bronx however I was raised in North Carolina as my adopted mother was from NC. So I kinda had a lot going on that summer and was about to embark on a new, exciting and a little scary high school future in the big city all by myself.
My adopted parents sat me down and said that my birthmother reach out to them and wanted to have some sort of contact with me. They explained how they validated who she was, and asked her and her current family to write letters expressing how everyone felt about including me in their life. After careful consideration they felt it was time to let me decide how best to proceed or not. My adopted father handed me a black binder which he stated had all the letters of communication that they wrote to her and the letters they received in return. Yes I was floored, I was excited but shock didn’t happen until I picked up the binder.
I reached out as my father was handing me the black binder that held all the answers I had for so many years and just then a photo dropped out. I bent down to pick up the photo and saw a picture of a young boy, early teens, who looked….just like me.