Celebrating 21 Years - An Adoption Day

So, what is an "Adoption Day"? It is a celebration honoring the day a person was adopted, somewhat like a second birthday (and yes, it often includes receiving extra gifts). 21 years ago today, I was adopted at the age of eight weeks old. Even though I was way too young to understand back then, I can confidently say that had to be one of the happiest moments of my entire life.

There were many reasons I was adopted, most of which I had no clue about until I was 15 and reconnected with my biological parents. I have what is called an "open adoption," meaning I can speak with and have relationships with my biological family if I choose to. Some parents prefer closed adoptions so that the children never have to deal with navigating a second family, however I think this causes more identity confusion in the long run.

I've never consciously felt different being an adopted kid. I never missed out on any memories or opportunities within my life, however each adoption experience is different. I can logically acknowledge that my genetic data did not come from my real parents, and I can entertain the possibility of including new family members into the mix, but the truth remains the same: I was raised (and raised well, I think) by these parents and I will never wish to know anything else.

When I was a baby, friends and acquaintances would always tell my adoptive mom that I looked "SO much like her," and that I "had her nose." Perhaps it's true that we morph into looking like those who raise us... you know, like how couples start to look like each other or someone begins to look like their dog. I don't need physical validation to define my mother-daughter relationship with my mom, although those were nice compliments.

Today, I am more than grateful to my adoptive parents for giving me a proper life--one absent of poverty, hardship and prejudice. They were able to give me what every kid should receive. They always accepted me just as I was, fed me healthy meals and put a roof over my head. The true definition of "parents," I am forever in debt to their love, financial support and dedication.