Being asked what it’s like to know I am adopted was probably the question I was asked the most as a kid. Some children are told they are adopted when they are older. Some grow up never knowing. I was brought up being told I was special as I was chosen. Sounds like something out of a superhero story. But trust me I have no special powers like being able to shoot red lasers from my eyes and yes I did spend a whole summer trying. I also don’t have people looking up to me as the chosen one to save the world. I was chosen because my adoptive mum couldn’t have children and they embarked on the long and often painful task of adoption. They chose to adopt me. They also chose to tell me at a very young age that I was adopted.
So what was it like being brought up knowing I was adopted? Well I was adopted at a month old so really I didn’t know any different. My adoptive parents were very open about adoption and would freely talk about it, answering any questions I would come up with. It wasn’t considered a taboo subject by any means within our family. I wasn’t treated any differently by anybody. I still got told off when I did wrong and praised when I had done something good. I think that because my parents were so open it all, I didn’t have any resentment. I didn’t blame them or my birth parents for anything and still don’t till this day.
None of my behaviour was blamed on being adopted or that must I have got different traits from my birth parents. My adoptive parents never said a bad word about my birth parents; they never met them or knew who they were. They never passed judgment on the circumstances that might have happened for my adoption.
I didn’t grow up thinking they weren’t my real parents nor did I ever throw the fact back at them in heated arguments. There were no brothers or sisters to compare myself to so I never had the feeling of not fitting in either. Childhood was all rather mundane and boring. Because I had been brought up knowing there wasn’t even the explosive teenage stage of rebelling because I had been lied to up till then.
So to answer the question what was it like to grow up knowing I was adopted, as a child I would answer with a shrug of the shoulders and say it’s no different. As an adult I can look back on my childhood and say I was brought up by parents who embraced controversy with a smile.
If you would like to read more about adoption, there is the Finding My Birth Parents article.