I don’t intend for this blog to be overly political or flooded with contemporary issues, but I’ve had a few conversations lately that have inspired this post, and I really have nowhere else to share them.
Those who know me know that I am adopted. I have a younger sister who is also adopted (Katie*). I have an even younger sister who is my parents’ biological child (Kelsey). While adoption has always been an element of our family, it has never really mattered much until recently.
Among other issues, Katie is bipolar. During her episodes she frequently lashes out and makes accusations that she is treated differently because she’s adopted. Last week she cried that she and I were abused our whole childhood because we’re adopted, and their “real” child is the only one they love.
When Kelsey told me, I actually laughed out loud. It is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard, and I immediately called my mom to tell her so. She told me not to worry about it. They’re used to it by now.
I can’t say enough how grateful I am for the life I’ve had for more reasons than I could ever convey. My parents have us everything they could, and every opportunity was available to us. I was a competitive gymnast, cheerleader, and soccer player. I graduated from high school early and earned a BA from a prominent private university. I have a nice car, nice clothes, and a strong work ethic- all influenced by my parents.
I wonder sometimes if Katie understands how different her life could really be.
If having your own bedroom in an upper middle class neighborhood is so terrible, what does she imagine life would be like if she hasn’t been adopted?
I don’t have to wonder for my part. I’ve done the research. I know who my biological parents are. While we’ve never met in person, I’ve done enough Facebook stalking to fill in the gaps. I’ve seen the paths their other kids have taken. Between baby daddy drama and arrests that allegedly happen for no reason (I’ll save my thoughts on that for another time) I can’t keep up.
This is nothing against my biological parents and I don’t mean for it to sound that way. I’m forever grateful for the decision a teen mom made 22 years ago. Her choice is the reason I have such an amazing life. I could never repay that kind of gift.
The point is, I appreciate it. Adoption isn’t a curse. It’s not a dark secret that parents hide from kids like some teen dramas make it out to be.
There is no difference between an adopted and “real” child. Being adopted doesn’t mean that child is loved less. It doesn’t mean that child is a fake family member. I would even go as far to say that love is stronger, in different ways.