There are so many children in the U.S. and around the world who need a place to call home, like I did. Children need a family to accept and love them for who they are. They need a home where they can feel as though they’ve always belonged.
My Adoption Story
The story of my adoption began in the early ’80s in Canada, where I was born. I was adopted at birth. Later, my parents adopted my younger brother from an orphanage in Russia when he was two years old. There are nine years between us and I am a very protective big sister. Our parents couldn’t have kids of their own and they loved us and raised us like their own. They are our mom and dad and to us, they are our only parents.
Growing up I always felt surrounded by love. And to this day I have an incredibly supportive and loving immediate and extended family. After all, I don’t just have my adopted parents and brother but all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins. I consider all of them my family; my real family.
Overall, I never really contemplated my own adoption until I became a mother myself. Having my biological son has given me a completely new perspective on motherhood and my own adoption story. I have gained new insight and clarity into the weight of the decisions involved in an adoption. I’ve also developed a better understanding of the planning required for successful adoptions like mine.
Growing up, I was a normal kid that did what all the other kids around me did. I always knew I was adopted and there weren’t any major cultural differences for our family or within my community. However, it would come up occasionally at the doctor’s office when they asked for my unknown medical history, or sometimes casually between friends.
Learning to embrace being adopted in a healthy and positive way is a life-long journey and process unique to each of us. Being adopted becomes part of our identity and part of our story. This worldview can bring about some amazingly philosophical questions around what family is, nature versus nurture and what it means to be human.
I struggled with certain things internally while growing up, as most kids do. And in the past I did not know that some issues could be related to my adoption. I just recently learned about adoption impact and how this can sometimes include feelings of loss and grief, questions about self-identity, and issues regarding self-esteem.
Being adopted is part of who I am. It has shaped me as a person, and influences everything I do. In many ways, it has led me to where I am in my life today.
In my own adoption journey, I have come to accept and appreciate that my life began with a lot of important choices that others made in my best interest. For my birth mother, it was the choice to give me the chance at a better life. Above all, she loved me enough to let go, trusting others to give me a better life than she could offer at that time. I was lucky that she made that difficult decision. And I feel fortunate that two wonderful people were willing to welcome me into their family and home.
This is my adoption story, one of many. And there are so many deserving children out there who are waiting for their adoptive parents. I hope they can get the same chance I did to have a life filled with unconditional love. Overall, I hope my story can empower others to embrace the uniqueness of every adoption story and maybe even inspire a few more.
Resources on Importance/Impact of Adoption