When I think back on my 23 years of being an adopted individual, I have a lot of good memories.
One of the best, though, was waking up every Sunday morning as a little kid, eating waffles in bed with my mom (that my dad would always make for us), reading the Sunday comics. Peanuts was always my favorite.
I was an active kid - I loved dancing around the house (pretending I was a figure skater, minus the skates), climbing trees, making fairy houses in the woods, camping and swimming. I never was a sporty kid, but my parents never minded much.
My parents are a super active couple: toned muscles, tanned skin, bike riding often, took each other hiking and camping for their honeymoon. My boyfriend and I nowadays are nothing like them, but we sure do admire their strength.
Sure, I still love camping and the occasional trip to the beach, but no thanks to the hiking excursion!
My folks and I are very different people. By and large, we laugh at all the opposite TV shows and comedians, we show our love in different ways (we sure don't share the same love languages!) and have different ideas in faith and general day-to-day expression. But there's a few things I got from them.
I'm respectful. I'm honest. I'm loyal. I'm kind. I'm funny (or so I believe). I'm set to go, thanks to the good head on my shoulders that I was taught to have by them. Perhaps they aren't the reason for my taste in comedians or television shows, and they certainly aren't the reason for my inability to go camping more than once every other year, but they are the reason I consider my life as centered around the concept of loving.
I always say that I'd like "All for Love" by Michael Bolton to be played at my memorial service if I were to die tomorrow. Morbid, I know, but it's true. When I think about it, my entire life thus far has been all for love. Loving others as they come, loving myself as I am and being a loving, open soul for anyone who needs a little help along the way.
If my parents hadn't led with love 23 years ago today, I wouldn't be here in what I will admit to anyone as a rather privileged life (that I'm aware I've lived and never once take for granted) with not only material things, but people who truly cared for me. Growing up with severe anxiety disorders, logic was not a strong suit of mine.
From what I've read, many adopted individuals experience separation anxiety problems because our brain's young wiring can't differentiate that the adoption was not an "abandonment", so throughout my life I was subconsciously convinced that my parents wouldn't pick me up from school one of those days... and I wouldn't let them leave. We spent year after year battling my separation issues until one day I sought help and, well, got my shit together. Of course there's nothing logical about my old fear, but it's a very real fear for those with crippling anxiety who can't tell what is real from what is an illusion.
My parents did everything BUT abandon me. They stuck by me through mental hell I wouldn't wish on any child. 23 years later, today is my 23rd Adoption Day: July 15. I'm truly blessed to say that I am with a family who truly deserved a child and needed me just in the right in the moment I needed them. It's funny how world's collide like that.
Now do I get waffles?
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THE BLOGGER: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating college in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to life's problems + that all women should embrace a #girlboss mantra.