This I Believe

Danae - Macomb, Illinois
Entered on January 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: children, family

At this point in my life, most people know that I am adopted. When I was younger I didn’t understand, and neither did any of my friends. As I have grown, my knowledge of the adoption process expanded. As I learned more, I realized how very special I was to have been adopted into a kind, warm family.

Somehow, being adopted makes some people feel like they have some unspoken power over me. When I was in third grade, some kids decided it would be funny to talk about who or what my birth parents could have been. They came up with ridiculous possibilities, such as a giraffe, an ice cream cone, or maybe just some famous person who thought I was too hideous to keep. At the time I laughed with them as they discussed my parents’ identities, but later I cried myself to sleep. That year I hated the fact that I was adopted and wished so hard that I could just be like everyone else, and live with my birth parents. I know now that the reason for their comments was ignorance.

As a teen, the thought of being adopted became much more difficult. I started thinking about where I really belonged and what I was meant to do in life. I do think that a small part of me died the day that my birth mother gave me up, and another the day I changed my name. Those moments I can never change. The person I was when I was born is lost, never to be found again.

Someday I might look for my birth mother, but only when I am absolutely. Two of my closest friends are adopted. One recently met his birth mother, while the other has never expressed any feeling towards finding her mother. Looking at them, gives me the courage to make my own choice about finding, or not finding my birth parents.

Even though I don’t know my birth parents, I know my adoptive parents. They chose me in the very beginning to be their daughter and gave up their former ways of life to raise two children who weren’t their own. Adopting children takes a lot of courage, but they did it, knowing that we needed a better home.

I think we have to live with what we are given, no matter how we received it, and not the way we wish we could. I live my life with the knowledge that I can never be the same as the average person, but that I can be the best I can be, but with the bumps and bruises of my past. I can overcome the sorrow and hurt, and move on.

It might take me the rest of my life to actually accept the fact that being adopted is probably the best thing that has happened to me, but that is alright. Adopted or not, I believe that people can accept our differences and not ridicule others out of ignorance.