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.
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.