My Adoption Story: A (short) Open Letter

Something I have never really written about, or probably even mentioned on my blog, is the fact that I’m adopted. The reason for this is not because I’m upset by it or try to ignore it, if you know me at all it’s actually quite the opposite, but simply because it’s so apart of me that I barely think about it.

So why have I decided to bring it up now?

Last night when I was scrolling through my WordPress feed looking for something to spark my interest to write, I came across a post titled An Open Letter to the Child I’ll Adopt One Day . I read it and then searched for open letters from adopted kids like myself to their birth parents and I was reminded (and not for the first time) about the uniqueness of my own adoption story. When reading letters such as this and this , I started out feeling empathetic and agreeing to a degree with what the authors were saying, but then felt sad when it took a turn for what, in my opinion, felt like resentment. I was fortunate to grow up knowing some of the answers and having some photos unlike a lot of other adopted friends of mine, but the general “who am I more like” “where’d my sense of humor come from” “what aspects of me are nature and what aspects are nurture” are all shared questions. Even now, knowing both of my birth parents personally, there are still so many questions along those lines that pop into my head.  There’s an awkwardness around “you look so much like your mom/dad/etc” or “you don’t look anything like your sister” when you’re adopted and sometimes it can be a little sad. I am so envious of and also fascinated by families that all look alike because I didn’t grow up with that.

Regardless, here is my own open letter of sorts, but much shorter.

To my birth parents, P & C, thank you for bringing me into this crazy, beautiful world. P, thank you for giving me the opportunity to have this incredibly blessed life. I have traveled the world, gone to all kinds of camps, have taken music lessons, dance lessons, played sports, went to great schools, go to a great college, have learned to cook, and have more parents/siblings/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins than I can keep track of. C, thank you for completely dispelling my anxiety of reaching out to you. Although I went into it with no expectations, your immediate positive response put me at ease. Thank you both for wanting to be a part of my life – in whatever form that takes – and being patient with figuring out our dynamic. I know that you are always just a quick text away and I think (and talk about) you both more than you probably think. Thank you for showing interest, giving me your support, and adding to my giant tangled mess of a family tree that I love so much.

To my mom and dad, I want you to know that you’re never referred to as my “adoptive parents” (unless I’m trying to explain who everyone is without it getting too confusing, but can you blame me??). You are, and always will be, my only mom and dad. Thank you for always loving me unconditionally and giving me 2 loving, safe places to grow up. Thank you for integrating my adoption into my life whether it was showing me the pictures P sent, helping me write letters to my birth mom, having my kid library include books like Adoption is for Always and Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, and being by my side when I met the two people who gave you the wonderful gift of me. I think that really helped me grow into someone who embraces this aspect of my life and have never felt weird or ashamed by it.

I love hearing other peoples adoption stories, as well as sharing my own, and every single one is different. If there are certain questions you want to ask or would like to share a personal story or statement please feel free to comment below or contact me via my contact page. This is a topic I could definitely write more about and delve into different sides of it, so let me know if that’s something you’d like to see!

Below is a poem that I’ve had hanging in my room for as long as I can remember.

x Marissa

Legacy of an Adopted Child | Author Unknown

Once there were two women who never knew each other,
One – you do not remember, the other you call mother.
Two different lives shaped to make yours,
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live in it.
The first gave you a need for love and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent; the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.
One gave you up – that’s all she could do.
The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.
Now you ask through all your tears the age-old question through the years;
Heredity or environment – which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling – neither – just two different kinds of love.

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