For as long as I can remember, I have known I was adopted. I was told at a very young age by my parents and I am so grateful to them for that wonderful gift.
I never felt different but like all adopted children, I had the usual questions. Questions such as: Where do I come from? Who do I look like?
Family resemblances in other families were also extremely noticeable to me because I never knew anyone growing up who looked like me. That’s something definitely taken for granted by children born into their family.
I am also grateful because I always knew that I was wanted. My parents always made that very clear. They used to tell me I was chosen. As a child, I used to think that was one of the nicest and coolest things ever. This is another amazing gift given to me.
When I was younger and still to this very day, I find it extremely irritating when someone asks me if I know who my “real parents” are. Why yes, I actually do. That would be my Mom and Dad, the people who cared for me and nurtured me my entire life. That would be the parents who took care of me when I was sick, provided for me, helped me through tough times, cried with me, laughed with me, and much, much more.
Because of the love and security I was surrounded by, I never once felt the need or desire to search for my birth family. I never yearned for another “family.” I grew up very content knowing how blessed I was with the family I had right there around me.
To this day, I honestly feel as if my Mom gave birth to me. I have never felt different. I never felt ostracized by any of my family members. Everyone in our family was always very loving and nurturing. I grew up surrounded by love. Blessed.
Unfortunately and understandably, many adoptees are angry. Through stories I’ve heard first-hand or things I’ve read through the years, others did not grow up in nurturing and loving homes. They are angry with their birth mother for putting them up for adoption because of the life they were forced to face.
I am blessed to feel no anger towards my birth mother. She had her reasons for putting me up for adoption and I am beyond thankful that she made the decision to do so. The fact is if she hadn’t decided to do so, I would never be who I am or where I am today. I would never have known the love that I grew up with. I would never have been blessed with my Mom, Dad and brother, let alone my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
I also respect and understand the fact that some adoptees need to search in order to find out where they came from. My brother was actually one of them. He always wanted to know, but unfortunately he was never successful in getting the answers he wanted. Adoption affected him entirely differently than it did me even though we were raised in the same home. This alone proves that our reaction to adoption is such an individual and personal thing.
If you are considering searching for your birth family, there are some pros and cons that you need to consider.
You will get a chance to have your questions answered such as Where do I come from? Who do I look like? Why was I put up for adoption? By getting answers to these questions, you will gain a stronger sense of identity.
You will be able to see others who resemble you.
You will meet others who share your DNA.
You will have a chance of an extended family with siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.
You can obtain medical information.
There is a definite possibility of heartbreak and rejection. Your birth mother may not want the connection. She most likely will have a family and there is the unfortunate possibility that she never told them about you.
You will be turning your life upside down as well as that of your birth family and especially that of your adoptive family.
You may find out your birth mother or birth father is deceased.
You may discover reasons behind your adoption that you may be better off not learning.
You may meet people that, under normal circumstances, you’d never allow into your life.
These are just a few of the pros and cons. There is a lot to consider and the decision to search is one not to be taken lightly.
Just remember this: family is so more than blood and DNA. Blood and DNA may relate people to each other but bonds and loyalty are what make you family.
For me, adoption was a gift. For my parents, it was also a gift. A gift I would unwrap over and over again.