Friday, April 27, 2012

Adoption, pt 1 - Speak up!

I am adopted.

It's no secret. Anybody that knows me will find out sooner or later. It's part of who I am, part of my story, part of what makes me, me.

I'm proud of it. I love my family--legal family and blood family--they are some of the greatest people in the world. So whenever I hear of adopted children not knowing, or not finding out until they are older (like in the movie October Baby), it makes me sad, angry, and worried.

Why?

We have a right to know. Non-adopted children know their birth stories. It's part of our story, and no matter what that part of our story is like, it's still ours.

My parents told me about my adoption from Day 1. I was about two days old when they brought me home, and my mom was terrified of telling me I was adopted. But she did anyway. Every day. By the time I was old enough to actually understand it, she had already told me so many times that she wasn't afraid anymore. I was her little girl and nothing was going to change that.

All four of my brothers are adopted as well, and all of them have known from the beginning too.

And you know what? We haven't had to deal with the shock of finding out for the first time when we're sixteen or eighteen. Haven't felt the betrayal that we'd been lied to (by omission or otherwise) for so many years. For our family, adoption is natural.

I'm often asked, "What is it like to be adopted?"

My best answer is, "What is it like to be a biological child?"

See, this is my normal. If you are an adoptive parent, or have any influence over adoptive parents, please, please, please tell the child/ask the parents to tell the child right away. The younger the better.

Movies like October Baby have the potential to paint adoption in a slightly muddied light because of the hurt and betrayal that the MC, Hannah, felt over her parents hiding an important part of her life from her. Don't get me wrong--I love that movie, and I understood exactly why Hannah reacted that way. I would have too! The thing is, if you've always known you are adopted, it's not like that.

While I'm not saying that all adopted children will handle this fact of their life as smoothly as my brothers and I have, please...don't hide it. We have a right to know.

Chazak,

- Hannah

18 comments:

  1. I like this article. ^_^ Write more!

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  2. Wow. I did not know you and your brothers were adopted. I'm a little shocked. :P

    But you are very right. There is no reason to keep that information hidden. Adoption is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated, just as growing up with your biological parents should be celebrated. They're different, but equally special and wonderful in their own ways.

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    1. Oh, you didn't? Haha, well, I'll have to show you a picture of my family. You can definetly tell with the three youngest. =P

      Yes, exactly.

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    2. I guess you could say I'm like "Hannah" in your post, only on a much much much much smaller scale. Haha!
      Yes, I definitely can tell with the three youngest. You have a beautiful family. :)
      Over the last two years or so, I've been pushing a little for us to adopt, but my parents haven't felt led that way, so I guess it's not God's will for us.
      But adopting is not for the faint of heart. They make it so hard to adopt, and it costs so much. You really have to have a lot of faith in God that He will provide.
      (and I'm talking about noting right now. Just rambling. Guess that's what happens at 2am eh? :P)

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    3. LOL.
      I figured you would be able to. It's pretty hard to miss ;) Thanks.
      That would be neat. If it's not in His plan for your family to adopt there are lots of ways you can help people that are called to that, though. Which is also awesome and important.
      Yeah, the cost is a large factor. As to the hardness, it really varies from agency to agency, and if it's a domestic or overseas adoption. We've had good experiences with several agencies and then a not-quite-as-good experience with another one.
      (Eh, rambling can be fun. So long as it makes at least a little sense.)

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  3. This was interesting, Han. I've heard lots of stories of adopted children who didn't know they were adopted till they were in their teens or adults. Lots of those kids really struggled with their identities after finding out, but I've often wondered what it would be like to know right from the beginning.
    Your parents sound like very wise people. :)

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, I have too and it makes me sad.
      They are :)

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    2. Anytime. ;) I know...
      That's awesome. :D
      Sorry - just realized I forgot to sign my name last time!
      Hold fast
      Avi

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    3. :)
      Haha, that's okay, I figured it was you!

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  4. As usual Hannah. Very well stated. I want to encourage you to continue being the voice that you are. I am privileged to have adopted you and your wonderful brothers. I makes me happy to hear your enthusiasm for adoption.

    I love you!
    Papa Bear

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  5. I LOVE adoption, and YOU are one of the reasons why! Great article. I do think fear is one of the reasons why parents don't talk to their children about adoption, but when explained in a truthful way, it is so beautiful. I love 5 women who chose life for my 5 children. The decision they made was one born of love and courage.
    I love you,
    Mom

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    1. Yeah, I understand the fear but I think it would be more terrifying to have your child find out when they are older and go off the deep end...
      Amen to that!
      Love you too :)

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  6. Hi, Hannah.
    I am an adopted child. I read your post, and was in agreement with your opinion that adopted children should be aware of their adoption. But my Mumm has always told me that the birth and pre-adoption story will come out at the right time. Like the jig saw puzzles people put together, not every piece is fitted together at once. And some of the past may not be fitting for a young child to know, or some may be too painful to stir up.
    The Lord has His will for our lives, and for some who are adopted, it may mean letting go of the past and living in the today. Not every child has the privilege of establishing ties with his or her biological parents.
    God has His reasons.
    And we are in new families that love and cherish us. I am so blessed to have six adopted siblings who are happy and content in the scenarios Providence has placed them within. My parents' have always respected us children, and our birth parents', but they have also with-held that which has potential emotional harm.
    May the Lord be with you as you ponder the beautiful complexities of adoption!
    Smiles, Rebekah.

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Rebekah.
      Oh yes, I wasn't at all saying that I think every adopted child should/can get in contact with his or her birth family. And I didn't know all the details of my own story for years either. My parents told me more and more as I grew older and could understand it better :)
      God bless your family for adopting! <3

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  7. Adoption is so wonderful, for the families that God has equipped to handle it. And it is nice to gain greater clarity as to your views and thoughts. Thank-you for your reply!
    Smiles, Rebekah.

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    1. It certainly is!
      You're most welcome.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! Chazak Amats, and have a beautiful day.