So here are my answers to the standard adoption questions I get:
- how old were you when you were adopted? Everything was arranged before I was actually born, and my parents brought me home when I was just 5 days old.
- is your brother adopted? No, my brother is my parents’ biological child. The adoption agency my parents used had a cool policy that if a sibling was old enough, he could go back with the caseworker and actually carry the child out to the parents. So my brother, Jeremy, who was six years old when I was born, got to carry me out and give me to my parents the day they brought me home. Now, I have to tell you that I did not look exactly like a gerber baby at that point. I had been delivered with forceps, like big tongs that pull you out by your head. The forceps actually left a slight indentation on one side of my face and temporarily pinched a nerve, which made my mouth hang down on one side so I had a crooked smile. I also had spiky dark hair…go figure. But when my brother carried me out in his six year old arms, he presented me to my parents and said, “Isn’t she pretty? Doesn’t she look just like me?!”
- who named you? My parents…my [adoptive] parents.
- do you know your biological parents? No, but I know the general circumstances of their lives – they were young and unmarried. When I was adopted 29 years ago, the majority of adoptions were closed adoptions, so the adoptive parents were told very little about the biological parents.
- do you want to know them? I’ve not sought out my biological parents and i don’t have plans to, but if I were to meet them, I’d have nothing but gratitude to express to them for their courage and selflessness in giving me a chance to have the life I’ve had. My mom tells me that when I was about 5 years old, I went through a short time of asking a lot of questions and she would tell me as much as she knew. She says I told her that my biological mother was probably at the mall or at a party and we should go find her there.
- when did you find out you were adopted? I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know, it seemed to me to be totally normal and frankly, ideal, to have been so sought after by my parents. I used to tease my brother that I was clearly the favorite because I was the expensive child…
I’ll share some reflections on my whole adoption experience next time.