Being adopted — Emotions

Every child has a different origin story and I was blessed to be given up by a strong woman who wanted to give me a life she couldn’t provide and to be raised by a woman determined to give me a life that would be filled with opportunities despite the challenges of being female and dyslexic. But this is not about my origin story. This is about how different I felt being raised as an adopted child and how others I know felt about the same circumstances.

Please note these stories are being told second hand and are filtered through my experiences and may not be exact to how they actually experienced them.

My mom once told me that my brother asked her why his parents abandoned him. I remember thinking that I never felt abandoned by my birthmother. I felt that she made the best decision she could given her circumstances and wanted to give me things she could not provide and gave me the best chance she could by giving me up.

As it turns out my brother’s birth mom regretted her decision and registered for the International Soundex Reunion Registry the day he turned 18 and wanted to reunite with him as soon as she could. I often wonder if this feeling transferred to him in some way during the pregnancy.

I have another friend who never showed any interest in finding her birth family and is perfectly happy with the life she is leading. She has no questions about her birth and trucks through each day completely comfortable with her life. She ended up having one child and adopted another.

My best friend met her birth family in her 30’s and had some mixed feelings. Her father was gay and never had any other children, nor did her birth mother. While she was thrilled to meet and loved both her birth parents and embraced them whole-heartedly, she always seemed disappointed that she didn’t have any other siblings. Her older brothers in her adoptive family were significantly older and therefore she felt much like an only child growing up and to find out that she was an only child biologically was a bit hard for her to take.

Being adopted used to set us apart from others. It doesn’t have to.

I think DNA tests can help broaden familial connections.

My DNA test connected me to an uncle that helped me know that I am connected to George Washington’s cousin. When I met my birth father, and thanks to a genetic test, that helped me close the circle of siblings with 8 brothers and one sister. And now I have a new Auntie that I will be lucky enough to meet in just a couple weeks.

We have more in common than what tears us apart. I know that Ancestry.com is making money on these tests, but I would encourage people consider getting these tests done. You might be surprised who might be related to you…


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