Growing Up Knowing :: Part 1 of a 4 post series.
I was adopted when I was two months old. Those first two months of life were spent in a foster home and I have no idea what I looked like.
We didn’t go on Maury and my parents didn’t cause a scene—I grew up knowing I was adopted. Since I cannot remember that far back, although I do have a good memory, I asked my mom when & how they told me. She said:
When we adopted you, Dad and I had wondered how we would actually tell you when "the day" came. We never wanted it to be a secret, yet on the other hand we didn't want you to feel that you were "unwanted" by your birth mom and that as a little girl you would think we would place you for adoption, too! Never know what goes through the mind of a child. So, we decided we would be very matter of fact about it and if the question arose, we would explain it when we thought you were ready. The best way happened very naturally. You were about 3 or 4 and had seen pregnant ladies at the store, or moms of friends. You asked why their tummy was big and I explained about babies and you said, " like I was in your tummy too, right, mommy?" I said no, you were in someone else's tummy but your daddy and I were blessed by God to adopt you. You just looked at me and said," Oh, that's so good." And that was pretty much the end of it. I did hear you telling your little friends, " I was in someone else's tummy but my mommy and daddy dopped me." (You were born in my heart, not under it. I had told you that many times when you were much older.)
So there you have it. I might not have actually known what adopted meant, but I rolled with it. Being adopted has never been a big deal to me and has not affected my life. I look so much like my parents that no one believes I was adopted.
|I had a tanning problem, shut up. If you are from Michigan, you had or still have a tanning problem, too!|
I have a memory from being at the adoption agency. A few years ago, I told my mom that I think I remember being in a crib at the adoption agency. The crib was brown and I had sunshine bear - the yellow care bear. She flipped shit. There are no pictures in existence of that scene, but it's true. How the hell do I remember something from when I was 2 months old, and the fact that I knew, in my mind, that it was a yellow care bear. Crazy.
People have certainly said some strange things to me over the years, when they’ve found out that I was adopted:
“Oh my gosh, I’m sorry to bring it up.”
Wait, are we having the same conversation? What are you sorry for bringing up? I just told you that I was adopted. I was 2 months old, I don’t know any better. If my parents never told me, I wouldn’t have any reason to ever think I was adopted.
“Oh, that sucks.”
What part sucks? The part where my biological mom gave me up for adoption so that I could have a better life? Or . . . oh wait, there isn’t an or. I don’t understand what sucks. If I was 16 and put up for adoption then I might be pissed haha.
“Do you know your REAL parents?”
Yes, they raised me and I lived in their house for 18 years until I went to college. I know them pretty well. OH, you mean my biological parents, the ones who created me and gave birth to me? I think parents are the people who raise you, not who create you, though they can be both. Sure, I have biological parents, but they are not my parents.
“What the hell? I can’t believe you didn’t tell me” or “I’ve known you for this long and you didn’t tell me?”
I’m sorry, next time I meet someone, I’ll be sure to tell them when I was bored, when I was adopted, how much I weigh, my social security number and my real hair color. What the hell have you told me about yourself? I can’t believe you haven’t told me that you weren’t adopted.
“Oh, I’m sorry, we don’t have to talk about it.”
|Too bad foreheads don't shrink as you grow older.|
I don’t have any photos with me since I’m traveling and didn’t plan that well, but I was adopted at 2 months old, this photo was taken a few months after (I have no idea how old I was). Thank goodness I have good hair now!
I grew up knowing and I didn’t care. It’s like having brown hair or grandparents in England. Oh lord, now you’re going to be mad because you didn’t know I have family in England.
What questions do you have? I know a lot of people are curious, I would be too. Leave your questions in the comments and I will respond there or write a follow up post if there are a lot of questions. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I have a hard shell, don’t take much personally and have no problem sharing details of my life. Ask away!
Upcoming posts in the series: