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Views of Adoption :: I Was Adopted

I had a normal childhood: two parents who loved me and two sisters. I was the baby. It was a great childhood and a great life. None of it would have been possible without adoption.

My two elder sisters are my parents’ natural children, but because of a hereditary disorder, my parents decided to adopt their last child. I was extremely lucky that the adoption was pre-planned by both my birthmother and my parents. Despite her decision to give me up before I was born, she still named me Katrina Nicole. Though you can’t find that on any official document since my adoptive parents signed my birth certificate. I did not have to spend any time in foster care. Instead, I went straight to my parents when I left the hospital at three days old. Because of this, I did not find out I was adopted until much later in my life.

No one treated me any differently in my family because I was adopted. Most of my friends with older siblings would tell me how they were teased about being adopted. My sister never did that. Now I know why, but at the time, I just thought she was nicer than everyone else’s sisters and brothers. I never had any idea that I was not my parents’ natural child. Friends and family always told me I had my grandmother’s brown eyes {no one else in my family had brown eyes}. I am also named after both my grandmas. Katie after my father’s mother and Elizabeth after my mother’s mother. I did think it was kind of odd they didn’t name my older sisters after family. Later on, I realized it was their way of making me part of the family. For some reason, I did ask my mother if I was adopted when I was about eight years old in a grocery store. Needless to say, she just told me everyone had to be adopted by their parents when they’re born. I assume she meant that parents can choose to not keep their children like my birthmother did. My mom does not remember this conversation, but I remember like it happened yesterday.

Elizabeth & Mom

Adoption really gave me the opportunity to have a loving and supportive family that I don’t believe I would have had if my birth mother had chosen to keep me. She really made the best decision for her and for me. My parents are amazing people that not only took care of my severely disabled sister, but they chose to take care of another child that was not their natural daughter. When I wanted to take dance, they didn’t just let me. They paid for all the lessons and came to my recitals. Then, when I was a fickle little child, they let me switch to gymnastics for a couple years, and then back to dance. They’ve always been there for me. Both as a child and as an adult.

When you adopt a child, you have no idea what that child will be like.

For my parents, they did not even know what sex I would be when my birth mother chose them as my adoptive parents. While I was a mostly nice and polite child, I had my bad attitude moments. That is what most parents expect from children. However, they ended up with a slightly neurotic child who was afraid of not being perfect and afraid of the future. I would hear my parents talking in their bed at night. I didn’t really understand the full context of their conversations. But I would always assume there was something horribly wrong. I never asked them about it though, so I was left worrying inside my head. This caused me to have chronic head and stomach aches. I even had my blood tested multiple times to test if anything was wrong. It was all psychosomatic. My parents could not have handled this any better. They never made me feel bad about how I felt or how much time and money they spent on helping me.

Adoptive parents mention how lucky they are to have their child. But all those adoptive children, including me, are so lucky to have parents who love and support them no matter what.

It was not until the summer after eighth grade that I found out I was adopted. Ironically, my parents told me I was adopted because they thought I had figured it out. I still don’t know why they thought that. But I can promise you it was not true. Looking back, I totally laugh every time I think of how I reacted to the phrase, “We want to talk to you about your adoption.” My dad, of course, thought I already knew, so that’s how he started the conversation. My dad and I just had a fight, so when I heard that I thought he was talking about giving me up for adoption at almost thirteen years old. Leave it to me to think that’s what he meant, but after that, being adopted was a relief, not a shock.

Nothing really changed after I found out I was adopted. My parents and I still have a great relationship as I do with my sister. My middle sister has since passed away. I have tried to find my birth mother a couple times after high school, but she did not reciprocate.

This only proves how much better my life is because I was adopted. I am one of the luckiest people I know.

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