I know not everyone share’s this sentiment but…I’m thankful that I was adopted.
My name is Sarah and my two brothers and I were adopted from Bolivia when we were babies. We noticed right away we were all very different; our older brother is of Inca descent, my twin and I are a mix of Spanish and Bolivian descent, and our fair, blue eyed adoptive parents were Canadian and American. Now throw in the fact that we lived in the multicultural area of McAllen, Texas and you have the recipe for a lot of confusion.
But it wasn’t… My parents incorporated the Latin culture, Canadian culture, and American culture into the life of our family. We even went across the border to Reynosa, Mexico weekly where we went to church and became fluent in Spanish. My mom decorated the table for all holidays, both American and Canadian Thanksgiving and then we would pack up and take Latin food across the border to celebrate. More than anything though we all seemed to gravitate toward the Tex/Mex culture which seemed to give us a unique family bond.
We took great pride in being adopted and the uniqueness of our blended family, however, there were times when people would pity us. They would say, “oh how dreadful you never knew your family”, or “why were you given up?”, or “where are you from?”, or “did you ever question how different your life might be if…?”. But my focus was never really on those things. I was just grateful to have a family that chose me and wanted me from the start.
To adoptive parents, I have 5 things of advice for you to consider as you raise your children:
- Be honest. Tell their adoption story. Often.
- Find the similarities and relish in the differences.
- Educate your children. They won’t have the privilege of avoiding conversations on race, privilege, supremacy, etc.
- Celebrate both (or all) cultures.
- Celebrate the fact that you CHOSE (select freely) your children/family.
Because of the love and support from my parents I have been able to graduate with my bachelors and masters. My husband and I have a home and an eight month old daughter. My husband is African American and we already share and celebrate our different cultures with our little girl in our own home, and we hope to adopt one day! We also make sure to immerse ourselves into different communities and cultures.
People tried to make our adoption story about our differences, and although they are important, to me our adoption story was more about our love. I am grateful for the love and care of my family and I’m proud to say that I am thankful I was adopted.