Dear Adoption, You Are Not What I Thought You Were
My life began with you; through your hands I was passed from one mother to another. Passed from one family to another, from one life to another. I don’t know the other mother, I don’t know the other family, and I don’t know the other life. Through your hands I was led to a good life. I had an exceptional mother who was loving, kind, and provided for me in all the ways you would expect a mother to care for her child. I have a family that is everything you would expect and hope of a family. A father who displays what a father should; honor, leadership, respect, love, and much more. I have a brother and sister, who I get along with, love, and share reciprocal respect. We care for each other and stick up for each other just as any sibling would. It seems, through your hands, I have had a life that would not be much different than many others.
Why then did my life start with you?
I used to believe you were a hope for children without a home; a chance for greater love and opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have. Adoption, I thought you were the chance to have a real family to love, respect, and protect children. I thought you would always be there for them in times of need. You gave all of this to me, so it would seem you are what you claim to be. But, you aren’t; not all of the time. I know you haven’t given this to all adoptees. I know you cannot always be good like I once thought you were.
Adoption, you have been good to me. Why then do I feel so conflicted? Why am I so confused? Why is it that something as easy as loving my family often comes with guilt? Why do I feel torn in two? Why do I desire connection with a stranger to whom I’m genetically related but do not know? And why am I tormented by the thought that the life I have was not meant for me? Adoption, you have left me with a longing I can’t explain, one I do not know how to fulfill.
My view of you is ever changing, and not always positive. I don’t know what I’ll think of you tomorrow or the day after that. There may always be turmoil. I will always wonder about that other life. There will always be questions and confusion. What I know for sure is that in this life I have a family. I have friends. I have a dog. I have passions and pet peeves. I’m a person just as I would be in the other life. I get to experience love and pain, joy and sorrow. For better or for worse, you have helped make me who I am today; I wouldn’t trade you for anything.