You Know You’re Adopted When

Over the last almost 18 years, I have gathered a lot of different scenarios about my adoption, comments and concerns and silly questions. Many other posts have been about these but I thought I would do my own, “You Know You’re Adopted When”. I read similar posts on the internet and I must say, some points are very valid, while others I can only wonder what happened in that person’s life to leave them that bitter. But then again, it is their life, and they have their own story just like I have mine. I encourage you to keep that in mind when you read any posts about adoption, simply because even adoptees can create misconceptions about the adoptive community as a whole. Everyone has their five cents to share.

You Know You’re Adopted When…

1) You know you’re adopted when you smile blandly when people say, “oh, you’re adopted! how cool!”

My name is Ornmadee, and I’m adopted. I don’t mean to make it sound like an AA confession, although sometimes that’s how people take it, like it’s something they should be supportive about. I just mean that they are two basic facts about me.

2) You know you’re adopted when you spend hours at a family reunion listening to them talk about familial resemblance and you’re like “…..”

You have the __[insert family name]__’s nose. Lips, face, eyes, ears. I find it funny when someone attempts at making a familial resemblances with me. I am Asian, you are completely not. It is a fact, we do not need to be all lollipops and rainbows about it.

3) You know you’re adopted when you go to a new doctor & they ask for your families medical history……..and you sigh & say, ‘I don’t know.’

Okay, I realize this is a tough one. There are a lot of things we do not know about family medical history and that does not just apply to adoptees. I will admit, when I found a rather odd looking skin pigmentation on my arm I immediately went all AWOL and assumed the worst. Good god! What if someone in my biological family had skin cancer that I didn’t know about!?!?! Then again, this could happen to anyone. Anyone can get cancers, anyone can get sick. Turns out it was because I was tanning too much while I was working. Ha.

4) You know you’re adopted when you feel like you magically get paired with someone else who is adopted at functions because people think you will connect like X-Men or something.

This one is pretty self-explanatory, and I am still amazed at how many people assume this still. I enjoy interacting with other adoptees, but not more or less than interacting with non-adoptees.

5) You know you’re adopted when you keep searching for where you fit in.

Perhaps “fit in” is the wrong choice of words. It is not like trying to fit in at school, or fit in society. For me, it is more like trying to fit in my own body. Who I was born as, and who I grew up to be.

Each day brings a new challenge, and now more than ever I find more of them surround point number 5. Some days emotions are mixed, and I am angry at myself, at others and I can truly be hell on wheels. Things that I have no control over consume my thoughts and I cannot help but feel powerless. I think that feeling is fueled by people’s negative and pointless comments on adoption or my adoption story in particular. As I get older it becomes easier to block these comments out, but the ones that do force their way in hurt even deeper and with more vigor.

There are the days where I feel powerful. The days when conquering the world is the easiest on the list of to-dos. My life has been shaped by the decision two people made over 17 years ago. They decided to adopt a child. They got me, and I got a chance at the kind of life all children deserve. The powerful that I feel comes from that. The powerful comes from two people who never let me be anything less than my best.

1) You know you’re loved when your life can be falling apart and coming together simultaneously for what seems like forever, but at the end of the day your parents still allow you to eat and sleep under their roof without question and might even throw in a hug-without charge 🙂

My thoughts of the day. Happy living!




6 thoughts on “You Know You’re Adopted When

  1. Wendy Cushing says:

    Absolutely love and adore you! As I think you know, I have a 20 year old daughter, adopted from the Philippines as well as an 8 year old adopted from Thailand. Your post made me laugh (the family resemblance thing) and cry (the love part). I can’t tell you how many times people tell me that various physical features of my children resemble mine. Um, I don’t think so. I’m a fair-skinned, curly haired white woman with freckles and they’re…well, they’re Asian. And, you know what? We’re all ok with that.

    Your thoughts and feelings about being a young adult adoptee are so helpful for parents of adopted children, who often wonder what things will be like for their kids on “the other side.” You show with your incredible insight, maturity, and confidence, as I know from my own daughter, that adopted kids turn out all right! Keep doing what you’re doing. I think you are an amazing young woman.

    • ornblovo says:

      Hi Wendy!
      Thank you so much for your kindness. I’ll have you know that I am enjoying your blog posts as well and your humor is out of this world! I cannot wait to see what you will be posting next!

  2. giapatoi says:

    I can translate your story in Italian and it would seem the story of my little tsar. Ahhh, “italian” family reunions , with the silly questions of the old relatives ,are unforgettable.

  3. Tina Marie Pizel Sheil says:

    Thanks so very much for your insights. My 2 year old daughter is Thai. I love her with all my heart and want to do the very best I can in raising her to be a confident, loving, adventurous, compassionate, strong young woman. Your blog is both inspirational and educational to me.

  4. Nichole says:

    Love checking in on your blog. I am so sad that we did not get to meet up this summer when you were in NS. I have no idea where the summer went it flew right by me.

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