If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you may have noticed adult adoptees posting their information in hopes of finding their birth parents. This has been encouraged by the adoptionfind blog and this Facebook group, among other sources. I understand some have been successful doing this. I’m all for it.
I’m happy to help this guy, among others.
UPDATE: I’m told he was among the successful ones.
However at the risk of writing something a bit more serious than I want, I feel a need to say something about adoption which may not fit the narrative. You see, I’m adopted as well. I was three weeks old when I was placed, so obviously I don’t remember anything about it.
I’m not THAT good.
What may surprise some is that I don’t consider being adopted a big deal in the slightest. I hesitate to write about the subject in the first place. I do so mainly to address what I consider some erroneous generalizations.
By all measures I had a good childhood. My adoptive parents are my parents, end of story. I never viewed being adopted as a stigma in any sense. As a matter of fact I’m often smug and irreverent about it. In high school I joked my adoption was just a cover story, and that I was actually born in Dresden as part of a Stasi genetic experiment and smuggled to the United States in a crate of oranges. Yes, I’ve always been a bit odd.
I’ve known I was adopted my entire life. I’ve never considered it some dreadful, horrible secret. Not even close. If someone accused me of being adopted, my reaction would have been something along the lines of, “Well, duh.” Truth be told until I was about eight years old I thought it was strange NOT to be adopted. In essence, I thought babies were issued by the government like driver’s licenses.
And building permits.
Accordingly I was told I could contact the state about my birth parents when I turned 18. That was over 20 years ago; I never made any serious attempt to do so. Indeed, it was just recently I discovered Idaho only releases contact information if both the adoptee AND the birth parents register with the voluntary adoption registry.
Now I’m well aware my experience is atypical in many respects. It’s certainly not my intent to project my story on others. I don’t want to take anything away from adoptees who are actively looking for their birth parents or vice versa. I strongly support such endeavors, as well as reforming laws to make the search easier. However, I take exception to the notion all adoptees are necessarily “hurting” or “incomplete” because of their history, as propagated by cheesy TV movies and what not. That’s simply not how I feel about it.
As adoptees I’d like to think we’re more of an inquisitive group than a maudlin one. Do I think about my birth parents from time to time? Sure, but I’ve never harbored anything more than a sort of morbid curiosity about my origins.
That all said, if either of my natural parents somehow stumble upon this blog they’re absolutely welcome to contact me. I’d be a bit surprised, but not weirded out in any sense. I’d invite them over, have a drink, something like that. I suppose it would be like hearing from someone I haven’t seen since kindergarten. If I don’t hear from them, well, such is life.
Baby Boy “Andy”
Born 15 July 1973 7:46 am Pacific
at Kootenai Memorial Hospital (now Kootenai Medical Center)
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Birth parents born c. 1955
All right, I got that out of my system. I promise to be funnier tomorrow.