Adoption Month is upon us people, and like many of you, I am thinking about earthquakes and apocalypses and about The Abyss and ice cream with, um, mango chunks because that’s the only frozen fruit I have in my freezer. Also, I am thinking about adoption.
That’s because I was adopted, you guys.
P.S. Why yes, I do look a lot like my mother.
P.P.S. Thank you, because she is beautiful.
I’ve always been fascinated by the way children look like their parents. When my own kids were born, I was obsessed, really, with who they took after more. I swell up with pride when people tell me that Cheyenne and I are exactly alike; I wished beyond wishes for a little girl with brown hair and brown eyes and a kind smile, who was athletic and creative–Mia was born. I wanted a little boy who looked like me but had his dad’s strength and determination. That dream manifested into the enigma we all know and love as Merrick.
So, allow me to get Wild-and-wonderful-West-Virginia on your arses by letting me share a little bit of back-story with you. My mom’s parents had four kids: my grandmother gave birth to my mom, and they adopted 3 more children, a girl and 2 boys. So let me tell you–I’ve never put much stock into the whole blood-is-thicker-than-water proverb. Our family is more “Hello, stranger. Wanna be in our family?” type-people.
My biological mother is my aunt–my mother’s adopted sister. I have an older brother, and at the time I was born, they were both living with my grandparents. For whatever reason, she simply could not take care of me.
My parents were newlyweds. My dad was stationed in Korea and I don’t think they were considering having children yet at that point. I was sick in the hospital for the first year or so of my life and I think there were probably a million reasons a young couple could find for not adopting me. My poor grandmother asked my mom if she could “watch” me for a little while, take care of me until…whenever. But my parents were not about to keep an adora-bald baby like myself for “a little while”, only to be forced to give me up years later. They agreed to take me–but only if they could adopt me.
They took some flack for it. People didn’t get it. They asked, “Why do you need to adopt? You can have your own kids.” I don’t know how my parents responded, but I’m glad they held their ground, because my life could have been very, very different.
To this day I think adopting a child and raising him or her as your own is a calling only the most noble and loving people can answer. Jen Hatmaker put it so wonderfully when she wrote that adoption is born from a horrible loss. There was a buttload of glittering gems in this particular entry, but since it’s quite long and I don’t want to copy and paste the entire thing because that would be wrong, I’ll just sum up myself the part I found to be most impactful: it’s not cool that children have to be adopted in the first place. God didn’t create a child to be born into poverty or abandonment or abuse just so he or she could eventually come to be adopted. Adoption is one solution to a very sad problem.
My parents adopted me. I might not have had the opportunity to live with my biological mother and father, but even as a baby, God was watching over me and he took me to the best thing for me at the time–my parents, who loved me and cared for me like protective grizzlies. And I never felt left out or treated differently or cheated in any way, ever. I am their daughter.
So, because I am a chronic over-sharer and because this is Adoption Month, and because I have friends that have adopted or are planning on adopting, I’ve pounded out a 3-part blog–an essay, if you will, about finding my birth father. A warning to those of you that seek the warm-fuzzies: there are only luke-warm fuzzies. And there’s not very many of them. So there’s that.
Happy National Adoption Month. For me, this month flows quite naturally right into Thanksgiving.