Mother’s Day is coming this Sunday. So all this week we’re talking to moms, talking about moms, and asking you to share your own mom-related stories, photos and more. Be sure that you are following us on Facebook and Twitter so you can keep up.
We’re starting off the week with an interview with someone who has both a biological and an adoptive mother. What does it feel like to find out that you are adopted? Read on and find out…
WHEN DID YOU FIRST FIND OUT THAT YOU WERE ADOPTED?
I was probably about 5. I think they may have told me even earlier than that, but I remember knowing in kindergarten. I remember telling my friends about it.
DO YOU REMEMBER HOW IT FELT WHEN THEY FIRST TOLD YOU? WERE YOU UPSET OR ANGRY OR SAD?
I don’t remember having any reaction really. I mean I remember listenig and taking it in. It didn’t bother me I guess. No big gut reaction or anything. I was just kind of like, “okay” and that was it. Through the years I’d think about it from time to time. Very rarely, from time to time, if I did something that seemed uncharacteristic for my family, I’d wonder if that’s because I was adopted. You know, if it was something I got from my bio parents. And lord knows I look nothing like the rest of the family obviously, so I’d wonder every once in a while who I looked like.
SO YOUR ADOPTIVE PARENTS WERE ALWAYS OPEN ABOUT IT?
Yeah. They never tried to hide it from me. They just waited until I was old enough that they thought I would understand on some level what it meant and they told me.
AND DID YOU? UNDERSTAND THAT IS?
I don’t really remember what I thought the first time they told me. I imagine that I didn’t fully comprehend what it really meant to be adopted, but I understood that somewhere out in the world there were two other people who were also my mom and dad. They of course talked to me many more times over the years about it. I remember them talking to me when I was in elementary school and asking me if I understood what it meant that I was adopted. And I remember them coming to me once when I was in 9th or 10th grade and asking me if I had any desire to find my biological parents.
DID YOU HAVE A DESIRE TO FIND THEM?
Not really, no. I mean, they told me enough. I didn’t feel a void or anything like that. And my parents were the greatest. To me, they were my parents. The other two people were just the man who donated the sperm and the woman who gave birth to me. I don’t mean that in a mean way. I understand the bond between a parent and child. I am sure what she did was not easy. And I respect her for that. And I hope that she went on to have more children that actually were her children.
SO WHAT DID YOUR PARENTS TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR BIOLOGICAL PARENTS? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THEM?
I know next to nothing about my father because they knew next to nothing. Not much was offered to the adoption agency other than that he was my mother’s boyfriend and that his parents did not want him tied in any way to the baby, to her, or to the adoption.
WOW. THAT WAS POSSIBLE? FOR HIM TO JUST NOT HAVE ANY PART OF IT? I JUST THINK OF MY KIDS AND HOW I WOULD HANDLE THAT. NOT BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU’D DONE WOULD NOT BE AN OPTION!
No, me either. If one of my sons were to get a girl pregnant there is zero chance I would let him just shirk that responsibility. And if it were my daughter who got pregnant you can be damn sure the guy is going to man up. But it was a long time ago and I just don’t think her parents even pushed the issue. They were probably just in shock that their teenage daughter got knocked up, ya know?
AND WHAT ABOUT YOUR MOTHER? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT HER?
Well, my mother was fifteen. It was her first real boyfriend, and the guy she supposedly lost her virginity to. I don’t think she was an angel but I don’t think she was on drugs or anything like that. I think it was a matter of her being so young and the father not wanting any involvement, and her parents not wanting her to ruin her life. It makes sense. I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same thing.
DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO HER OR TO HIM?
No. I really don’t. I just know how old they were, where they grew up, and what their first names were. I don’t know if the adoption agency or even my parents kept tabs beyond that, but I never really wanted to know more. I know that’s probably not a common response. I mean, I hope they’re both still alive and well and have happy lives and families. But, their lives and families are not my life or my family, so I see no need to intermingle the two just because we share some DNA.
DID YOU EVER EVEN ATTEMPT TO FIND THEM OR FIND OUT ANYTHING ABOUT THEM?
No. It used to be much more complicated. Now I could probably hold up a little sign and post it to Facebook and meet her within three days. I just don’t want to. I just don’t see a reason to risk complicating everyone’s lives.
DID YOUR ADOPTIVE PARENTS EVER TRY TO SWAY YOU IN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER?
No. Never. They always said I could do whatever I wanted with the limited information that they had. I never wanted to do anything with it. They were my parents. I never needed more than that.
THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO STRUGGLE WITH ALL SORTS OF ISSUES RELATED TO ADOPTION. IDENTITY PROBLEMS AND SO FORTH. YOU SEEM LIKE YOU NEVER HAD TO DEAL WITH ANY OF THAT, IS THAT TRUE?
It is. I know. I am remarkably well-adjusted in general. I’m just not the kind of person who lets things that are out of my control get me down. It is what it is. I know who I am. I understand people who have a different take on life than I do may get caught up in all of the “what-ifs” and the “who am I’s”, but that’s just not me. I don’t feel like I am missing something. I don’t long for the truth. Nothing at all like that.
MOTHER’S DAY IS COMING UP. DO YOU DO ANYTHING SPECIAL THAT DAY?
We usually go to church and then to brunch. My wife and my kids, and both her parents and my parents. It’s always a good day.