For National Adoption Awareness Month, we asked adoptees and their families to share with us their thoughts, feelings and experiences regarding adoption. This is one courageous adoptee’s true story.
Written by Sera, adopted out of the foster care system at age 2
A lot of times, we don't realize the importance of adoption.
Sometimes, we are so caught up in the flow of life that we don't take time to appreciate our families.
As an adoptee, I know that family is one of the most important things in life.
Because I was adopted at such a young age, I don’t remember all the details, but I have listened to stories.
My brother and I went through four foster homes in one month before ending up with the family we have now. We were 2 years old. We would scream and point, stamping our feet in order to get what we wanted.
At least that’s what we did until our mother forced us to ask politely for things.
After one month, our guardian Ad Litem came back and was shocked to see the change in our behavior and abilities. She told our mother that social services thought we were deaf because we didn’t speak at all and that they had given us two referrals to audiology.
In one month’s time, we were speaking in whole sentences, could recognize all our letters and their sounds and we were much more polite. She even commented that we didn’t seem like the same children.
Adoption blesses both the parents and the adoptee in so many ways. In our case, we had been neglected in the foster care system until our mom invested in us. In general, each orphan who is adopted gets a family who loves them and protects them. Their families get a child or children who will change them forever.
For me, being adopted means that I have a family. I have a home and I can go to a church. If I was left in a group home (that’s an orphanage; America doesn’t like that word so they no longer use it), I would not be able to do the things I do now. I wouldn’t have been able to visit the places I’ve visited, I wouldn’t have the same friends.
I might not have been a Christian.
However, along with the good things, there are challenges that I faced, knowing I was an adoptee.
I have to live with the knowledge that my original parents didn’t care for my brother and me.
I live with the feeling of displacement, fear of failure, of not being good enough. Those thoughts run through my head every day. They shape my personality, the ways I interact with my friends, the people I choose to trust. That knowledge makes me scared to death of attachment, because I know what it’s like to be rejected.
But I have to face the facts.
Daily I need to remember that the family I have now chose me. They wanted me, they love me and they care for me.
If the state had not removed my brother and me from our biological parents, I can only imagine what kind of life we would have now.
So even if our birth parents didn’t take care of us, our family does. And God does. And family doesn't have to be blood. Sometimes, we don't truly learn how important having a loving family is until we lose it.
Some kids like me have the privilege of being adopted at such a young age that we don't remember what it was like being shuffled around, moved from home to home.
Not all adoptees get that luxury.
One thing that I think all adoptive parents should know is that it’s not going to be easy. Your adopted kids aren't going to be perfect. Your family isn’t going to be perfect. Mine wasn’t and it still isn’t but I know that I’m loved and I’m wanted. People mess up, we're only human.
Even with the challenges, adoption is one of the biggest blessings. My family means a lot to me. Sometimes I forget to show it. Family wasn’t meant to be perfect but God is perfect and loving and kind. He will help an adopted family through everything, He will provide. Through the good, the bad, the happy and sad, God is there. Through ups, downs, inside outs, messes and sick days, God is there. And He will always be there.
That’s what adoption means.
We get a family, we get new opportunities and we are loved.