Though the going’s on of my elementary years are somewhat vague, I do recall countless questions from children about why I was not the same colour as “her” (pointing to my mother). My mother has beautiful flaming orange (sometimes red, given her mood) hair that when grown out falls down in curly and wavy strands and pale (sorry Mom, but it’s true) skin. I have dark, dark, dark brown hair (sometimes dark red in the sunlight) and dark skin (ridiculously dark in the summer). Obviously we are not blood-relatives. My answer to this question was always “I was adopted”.
Not a bad question and not really a bad answer either, but then came “What is add-opt-shun?”, “Why did they aa-d-opd you?”, “Where are you real parents?” Argh..
What is Adoption?
Simply put, it is when a person assumes the parenting responsibilities of another.
That would be my definition for it now, I do not remember what it was back then, perhaps:
“My parents wanted a daughter so they went to Thailand and found me!”
Why did they adopt you?
My grade three year-old self would say: “Because they love me and wanted to give me a good home.”
There could be several other reasons, but is it really necessary to plunge that far? It is like asking, “Why did you conceive?” Awkward.
Where are your real parents?
I will admit, I never/refused to answer this question. My whole life I was taught the diplomatic responses to such questions:
“These are my ‘real’ parents. They take care of me, give me food, a home and clothes. They love me.”
But even now, I am still struck with a few emotions when I am asked, “Do you know who your ‘real’ parents are?”
By god, I wish I did know. At this point, know that I use the term “biological” and “adoptive”. “Real” refers to my parents that I live with now, “biological” being the ones that gave me life, and “adoptive” when I am talking about adoption.
Back to the original question, I wish I knew just so I could know that a part of me was still out there, and that I could still look for the answers if I wished. Would I want to meet my biological parents? Right now, probably not. For me it is a case of piecing things together, and then deciding what to do from there.