I am adopted. Or at least I was adopted, thirty years ago when I was born. Sitting here today I’m not sure it’s representational of me anymore. I don’t feel like an adopted child, in fact to be honest, I don’t think I ever really have. But I especially don’t now, not now I am living in the reality of having all my parents, adopted and biological in my life. It’s been a long long journey, I guess really from the minute I was born to now, but especially over the last few years it has been an emotional ride where so much has happened and taken place, and as a result I have grown and changed, for the better. I feel complete and whole.
I have always known that I was adopted. Before I was even old enough to understand what it meant, my adopted parents had told me and talked about it openly and honestly. I had a picture book called ‘Jane Is Adopted’ which they often read to me, explaining that I was similar to Jane and that I was a special baby because they had chosen me to come and become a part of their family.
My parents are amazing people and I thank God for them every day. In fact, with out sounding too cliched, there are not words to describe how incredible they are. Throughout my life they have given me understanding, support, encouragement and love but in the last three years, their level of love towards to me has at times, truly overwhelmed me. Although they must have prepared for the time I would ask about searching for my biological parents, it really can’t have always been easy for them but they have not cracked once, or at least, not around me. They have supported me unconditionally and never once made me doubt that I should do anything other than follow what was in my heart and what I knew I needed to do.
Growing up in the knowledge of being adopted, I’m sure it was only natural that periodically I’d be curious and wonder about my biological parents and my genetic makeup. Who would I look like? Would I share any of the same interests and talents? Would I have any of their personality traits? How much of who I have grown into today is due to my stable, happy, loving, nurtured upbringing and how much is due to my genetic DNA?
I always thought as soon as I hit eighteen years old and it would be possible for me to search for my biological parents then I would just do it and that would be that. Simple. The reality of that turned out to be completely different. My eighteenth birthday came and went and while I still thought about it, I also had begun to realise the enormity of the whole thing. My biggest fears, for a reason I am not sure of, was being rejected by them or causing any them or probable families they would have, any upset or heartache.
The reason I don’t really understand this fear is that as well as my adoptive parents always having told me at an early age that I was adopted, they also explained the situation and told me why. My biological parents were extremely young when I was born, my mum was sixteen years old and my dad was fifteen years old and they simply were not in a place to have been able to keep me, look after me and bring me up. And that knowledge was invaluable, I hung on to it, letting it find a place in my heart, knowing that I wasn’t adopted because I was rejected but that they were doing the best for me and were just responding to the situation they had found themselves in. Little did I know the full extent of their love and provision for me, even in those early early days of me being formed, and wouldn’t know until nearly twenty nine years later.
So, how did it all come about? What changed from me turning eighteen and it all becoming too real and big and scary to me turning thirty and having a party with all my friends and loved ones there to celebrate with me, including all my parents, adoptive and biological? Well, in a nutshell, I changed. I grew up. I found strength. I found security. Enough to know I could just about handle it, whatever the outcome. Enough to know it was crunch time. And at that moment, a now or never moment flung itself across my path and I knew. The time was now …