I don’t remember the first time I learned I was adopted. It wasn’t like in the movies: There was no shocking revelation or teary-eyed confession. It has just always been a part of who I am.
Sure, when I was younger it sometimes made me feel different than the other children. Whenever I made a wish, especially on my birthday, I would think of my biological mother. I’d wonder where I came from and if she shared my eye color. But most of the time, my adoption story just struck me as special. My mom was somewhat religious and told me it was God’s way of putting our family together. So I just always knew this was how my life was meant to be, and it was never something I kept hidden.
Over the years, I’ve felt so fortunate for the life I’ve led. My mom repeatedly reassured me how my biological parents chose adoption because they loved me, so I’ve never once resented their choice. Instead, I’m thankful for the opportunities adoption has provided me – an amazing childhood with caring parents. My dad was a lawyer who coached all of my sports teams, and my mom was a teacher who stayed at home with us for a good chunk of our childhood. I lived in a nice suburb of Chicago, and I was always surrounded by my large extended family. My brother was also adopted from The Cradle, so I didn’t feel alone in that regard.
Still, in the past, I did occasionally find it difficult to relate to other people. But that feeling was rare, and when it happened I would turn to my parents for comfort. They would help me understand my background, or at least as much as they knew about it. I was adopted in 1979 when closed adoption was still the norm, so the information they could pass on was limited. Even so, they knew my history was important, and they even brought me back to The Cradle to see the nursery where I stayed as a baby.
About a year ago, I reached out to The Cradle to find out more about my biological parents. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and wanted to do a file check on my medical history. As luck would have it, it turned out my biological mother had also recently contacted The Cradle to reach out to me. One of The Cradle’s social workers asked if I would be willing to exchange a letter, and so I did.
I still don’t know my biological mother too well, but I think she was relieved to hear how I’ve turned out. But because my life has been more tumultuous recently, I’m taking our reconnection just one step at a time, moving forward at a slow pace. I’ve only written that one letter, and she has sent me a couple. Still, I’m eager to strengthen our relationship and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.I don’t remember the first time I learned I was adopted. It wasn’t like in the movies: There was no shocking revelation or teary-eyed confession. It has just always been a part of who I am.