In the last few years, my peers have gone from deeming November as, “No Shave November,” to affectionately calling it, “No Nut November.” Both are pretty fucking lame, so let’s just call it what it REALLY is.
It’s National Adoption Month. Today, in fact, is National Adoption Day. Now, gun to my head, there is no way in hell I would have known that a year ago. But working at an adoption non-profit, you come to know these things; November is a slightly* busy time for us. Sure, it’s been non-stop at work, but I have been reflecting this month on my own personal adoption experience and what it means to me to be adopted.
It’s cheesy, but I am #Blessed to be adopted. I haven’t really said I am blessed in a non-sarcastic way since I left the cult (re: Carroll High School), but I am blessed to be where I am today thanks to my birth parents. As far as adoptions go, mine was more seamless than what I have become accustomed to learning about from my time at MARE.
There are so many different ways I can get into this, but I am going to keep it easy breezy and save the private, religious adoption agency-shaming for another blog. Ironically, my adoption was facilitated through Catholic Social Services (lol). My birth-mother, Misty, wanted a nice, catholic, nuclear family to raise me (it was the 90s in Ohio…don’t judge her; she’s now a liberal who would have been fine with two fabulous gay men raising me). My birth-father, Joe, wasn’t too keen on the adoption (I forget if I have mentioned this before, but his parents wanted to raise me as their own…again, that is a WHOLE other blog).
I had an open adoption and met my birth parents when I was an adult (18 and 21). After meeting them and getting to know my birth families better, my perspective has obviously changed throughout the years. I still identify as my adoptive-family’s daughter and that will never change. I am so thankful that Misty chose the adoption route, let alone even going through with her pregnancy. I am pro-choice and pro-women’s rights to her own god damn body; she had every right to choose abortion, and I respect her right to choose. However, I am sitting here on my Wayfair couch with Adam, so she did not choose abortion and obviously, I am grateful for that and the life I was given.
As a 25 year old, I am still going through the motions and feelings of being adopted and I don’t think that will ever change. I’ve met adoptees who are in their 70s, and they are still feeling the effects of adoption. There are ups and downs; feelings of abandonment and reassurance in my relationships come up often. I struggle with what kind of relationship I want with Misty and Joe. It’s hard sometimes, but I know that in the grand scheme of things, my adoption experience is a lot better than most.
If you know someone who is adopted, be patient and understanding that sometimes what we do and say is from that trauma. If we get too attached quickly or keep you at an arms-length, that is the trauma from our adoption. Please understand that while I can go on and on about my adoption, that others might not want to talk about theirs.
And please, for the love of god, NEVER say to anyone that they were a mistake. If you do, that person gets a pass to punch you right in your idiotic face. DO learn about the different ways to adopt. Please. If you want a family, I highly recommend adoption, not only through private agencies, but through the Department of Children and Families (DCF). In Massachusetts, there are over 1,100 children waiting to be adopted. Sure, some of these kids have been through some pretty traumatic shit, but they deserve a loving home and family like the rest of us.
If you can barely even handle taking care of yourself right now, let alone another human, consider donating to agencies that can help these kids. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption focuses on foster children.
Dave Thomas, always said,
“These children are not someone else’s responsibility. They are our responsibility.”
Dave is the founder of Wendy’s and his daughter, Wendy, the restaurant’s namesake, was adopted. You can donate here. Of course, you can always donate to the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange. We do our very best to help connect children in foster care with adoptive families. You can donate here!
*I can hardly take a breath, it’s been so busy.