November is National Adoption Awareness Month! I’m a big fan of adoption because I am adopted. Every adoption story is different; some kids or babies are adopted by other members of their birth families, some kids never meet or know their birth parents or families, some kids never even know they’re adopted (or find out when they are adults). But the idea of adoption is so powerful: bringing people together to make a family. There are currently over 100,000 kids in foster homes waiting for permanent homes!
My story is that my natural parents divorced when I was an infant and my mom remarried a couple of years later. She, her new husband, and my biological dad all decided that it would be best for me to have her new husband adopt me. That’s the clean and simple version. There was a lot of soul-searching and prayer on everybody’s part; including my grandparents on my biological dad’s side who didn’t want to lose me. It’s easy to say, “I want to adopt someone;” but much harder to say, “I’m willing to put my child up for adoption” (and then go through with it).
I’m eternally grateful for how my adoption story ended. My dad–that is, the man who adopted me–provided a loving home and encouraged me to be of service to my community and the world, follow my dreams as an artist and a writer, and passed his sense of humor to me. He’s inspired me to be a strong woman and person. My dad and my mom made sure that I stayed in regular contact with my biological dad who is also a good man. He is someone I would want to be friends with and have in my family even if we weren’t related. He is creative, funny, and warm. Both “dads” have supported me financially and encouraged my endeavors. Both were present at my wedding. I’m most thankful for how well everyone has gotten along over the years. Even if it was hard at times, I never knew about it. They worked it out.
Being “half” adopted has shown me that family has little to do with bloodlines and DNA. My sense of family has always felt expanded and open and I think it’s helped me to be an inclusive and loving person. Their example of creating a harmonious transition and maintaining it has also helped me to be forgiving of others, and I think–generally!–pretty well-adjusted.
I’m grateful to live in a country that celebrates adoption every day, but especially to have a month to focus on it. It’s so important that we all expand our sense of family and see each other as one big family–God’s children. In a sense, we’re all adopted by our parents because God is our Father-Mother
If you have an adoption story you’d like to share, go on over to my Fifties Chix site, where we’re introducing Emily, a character who makes her debut in books 2 and 3 of the Fifties Chix series (Keeping Secrets, available now! and Third Time’s a Charm, due at the beginning of 2013). Share (by clicking here) a picture of you and your family, we will post it to the Fifties Chix site and you will be eligible to win one copy each of Travel to Tomorrow and Keeping Secrets!