Sunday, June 5, 2016

What It's Like to be Adopted

If you know me, you know I never shut up about adoption. I can, and will, talk your ear off about anything and everything adoption for as long as you’ll let me. However, the toughest question I’ve ever been asked on the subject is probably, “What’s it like to be adopted?” Although I typically shy away from this specific question, I’ll answer it here:

I really, truly do not know.

In the mere twenty years and twenty-three days I have been alive, I have never felt “adopted.” I have never felt like there was a time in my life where I didn’t belong in the Twomey family; it’s just not something I consciously think about. I’ve got two awesome parents, three wacko siblings, a fantastic grandma, and a really intelligent dog, all of whom I love more than anyone and anything else on this planet.

Now, I don’t confuse that with the knowledge that I am adopted. My bedtime story growing up was the story of my dad’s trip to Texas to come get me when he got the news my birthmother was in labor. I know my family tree has a couple more branches, I’ll forever frustrate my doctors with an incomplete medical history, and I’ll always have those awkward, “wait, how are you only twelve days older than your sister?” moments. But none of that makes me any less of a Twomey than my siblings or cousins.

Being adopted, for me, is never stressing about having a cool fun fact to share about myself on the first day of school (yes, we still do this in college). It’s an opportunity to educate others on a subject not frequently talked about. It’s knowing I’m extra-loved. It’s knowing that I wasn’t given up, but that I was taken in. But being adopted has never, ever been about being different than anyone else in my family.

So, that's what it's like to be adopted. In the end, there are three things I want you to take away from my words today.
1. I cannot speak for everyone. Everybody has their own feelings and their own stories. I was adopted at birth, domestically, into a family of my same ethnicity. Those are the bare bones of my situation, but you must remember that even identical twins have different sentiments about their adoptions.
2. My parents chose adoption because in wanting to create a family, they realized that beneath it all, they really just wanted to parent to a child; it didn’t matter where that child came from. They weren’t adopting for religious reasons, or out of pity, or to save a life, or become heroes (even though they are heroes); they adopted me because before I was born, they already felt like I was part of the family.
3. Blood and genetics do not define family. The love, the bonds, and the mac & cheese thrown across the dinner table after refusing to do your homework (sorry mom) on an average Tuesday evening do.

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If you have any questions about adoption, know someone facing an unplanned pregnancy, are considering adoption yourself, or just want to get involved and/or educated on the subject, please don’t hesitate to contact Gladney. We would love to talk to you!

Find out how you can become a Gladney intern or volunteer.   We currently have Summer 2016 internship openings in Accounting, IT, and Marketing.


By: Margot Twomey
International Adoption Intern

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