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Embracing the Complexity of Adoption: A Reflection during National Adoption Awareness Month

In the quiet moments of reflection, as November unveils itself as National Adoption Awareness Month, my mind often drifts back to the countless times I've been asked, "How does it feel to be adopted?" It's a question that, like adoption itself, doesn't have a simple answer. It's a journey, a tapestry woven with threads of joy, curiosity, and yes, a weight that isn't always easy to put into words.


Growing up as an adoptee is a unique experience, one that many struggle to understand. The questions about our origins are relentless, and while they come from a place of genuine curiosity, they carry a weight that isn't always apparent. Every time we visit a doctor they ask medical history, often times we don't know. "Where is your family from? Are you bothered by being adopted?" they ask, as if the very act of questioning could unravel the intricate layers of identity that adoption brings.


Childhood, for me, was a series of moments both ordinary and extraordinary. I've lived a life full of love and adventure. I have parents and family that love me and not once treated me like an outcast. I played sports, I made amazing friends, I went to a great college...all the things. Yet, the undercurrent of being adopted was always there. It's like carrying an unseen backpack filled with emotions, a backpack that grows heavier with every question, every curious gaze- like the time someone thought my dad was my lawyer at a school conference. - deep sigh- It's the unspoken fear of abandonment, a shadow that tinges relationships, even when we don't consciously acknowledge it.


Adoptees often find themselves celebrating holidays in a room full of people who don't share the same genetic code. It's a beautiful mosaic of love and connection, yet the subtle awareness of being different casts a quiet shadow. We learn to navigate the nuances of family dynamics, love that transcends blood, and a sense of belonging that goes beyond shared DNA.


As we weave through our lives, there's a heaviness that we often carry without recognizing it. It impacts our relationships, our sense of self, and our understanding of love. The fear of abandonment, deeply rooted in the early chapters of our lives, can manifest in unexpected ways. It's a whisper in the dark, a silent question that lingers: "Will they stay? Will I be enough?"

National Adoption Awareness Month is a time to reflect not just on the beauty of adoption but also on its complexities. It's an opportunity to foster understanding and empathy, to recognize that the emotions adoptees carry aren't always visible. It's a journey of self-discovery, a process of embracing the past while navigating the present.


So, the next time you ask, "How does it feel to be adopted?" remember that the answer is as complex as the human experience itself. We are more than the sum of our origins, more than the circumstances that brought us into this world. We are a testament to resilience, to the power of love that transcends biology. And in the quiet spaces of our hearts, we continue to unravel the threads of our own stories, seeking understanding, connection, and the courage to embrace the beautiful, intricate mosaic of our lives.


Oh, and, the question often arises: "Would you ever adopt?" The answer, echoes with a resounding "Yes." It's a commitment to embracing the beauty and challenges of parenthood, regardless of the genetic ties that bind us. Just as my own journey as an adoptee has shaped my understanding, I'm open to the transformative experience of building a family through the unique path of adoption. After all, the threads of love and connection are woven in myriad ways, creating a story that goes beyond the boundaries of genetics. And so, I remain open to the possibility of expanding our family through the extraordinary gift that is adoption, guided by faith, love, and an unwavering belief in God's plan.


P.S. You might wonder what the featured photo is about? It's the symbol used by adoptees to post in photos celebrating their "gotcha day", the day they were adopted. :)


Have a gotcha day photo? Thoughts to share on adoption? Leave it in the comments.


xoxo, Ash'


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