When I first started writing/blogging, I wrote almost exclusively about adoption. Like with most things in life, my writing is changing and evolving. I write about about important stuff like the weirdness of online Lularoe groups and pee and tacos but adoption writing is still near and dear to me. I love adoption stories I can't tell, like this one from the birth mom's perspective. And the doozy faloozy I have for you today, written by my dear friend Shelley. Yeah…doozy faloozy makes me sound like a big nerd, doesn't it? I should stop saying it but it's kinda fun.
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I haven't seen Shelley in awhile but she remains one of my favorite people. I know if I saw her tomorrow we'd talk and talk like it hasn't been (OMG!) two years since we've seen each other. She has a heart-wrenching adoption story that makes me cry the ugly cry every time I hear it. But…this is not that story.
Six Cool Things About Being Adopted
Being adopted never carried a stigma to me. I know some who it has but for me, it just is. My parents couldn’t have children the good old fashioned way, so they adopted. How I joined their family was never a secret. I always had my questions answered with compassion and age-appropriate honesty.
In fact, when I tell the story of my adoption, people often stare at me- eyes widened, mouth agape – as they struggle for what to say and how to react. I’m probably the subject of a Lifetime movie waiting to happen but that’s not really the point here.
The thing is, my story doesn’t define me. It happened, but just like a car crash can change your life, it doesn’t define who you are.
What defines me – and what I try to teach my kids – is that what defines us are the choices we make in life. How we choose to treat ourselves. How we choose to treat others.
That said, there are definitely perks to being adopted:
1. Sex-ed and denial
I get to pretend my parents never EVER had sex. Shut up. I’m almost 40 and still in denial.
Adoption Christmas Ornaments:
2. I never have to claim my relatives
In high school, when my sibling was annoying/embarrassing me, I got to claim proudly – “We may be related but only by law. There’s no genetic link!” At the age of 14 when I was significantly cooler than he was, this was a good thing to keep in my back pocket.
3. Teen Sass
When most parents say the well-loved “I brought your into this world and I can take you out” phrase to their rebellious teens, I was able to say instead “You picked me. You knew what you were getting in to!” I also came equipped with a preliminary psychiatric evaluation to prove that they knew what they were getting into.
4. Special connections
My babies are the ONLY genetic link I have in the entire world. I’m not going to say I love my kids more than another parent regardless of their circumstances, but I feel a special connection to my babies because of that. I’ve met other adoptees and there’s a kinship there too. We’re all part of a special club.
Every single thing about me is made up. Everything. Name, birthday, genetic origin… Now that’s not usually the case for adoptees, but when you have no knowledge of your origination, your birth-mom gets to create the details. We ignore the fact that Mom was aiming to make my birthday the same as her beloved grandmother’s but remembered wrong so overshot by two days. This also makes the family history portion of every doctor’s visit really short.
6. Knowing you are wanted
I always knew I was wanted. You would think that with the vast number of children in the system, adoption would be easy. It’s not. My folks had to go through hell to bring me into their world and there’s no epidural for red tape.