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What Family Means to Me

Parents with three sons

When I was 15 years old, I heard for the first time that in certain cases of adoption, a baby is adopted and grows up, never knowing who their birth parents are. That really surprised me. I would never be who I am if I hadn’t known who my birth mother was.

If you’re thinking it may be confusing at a young age, it’s not. I grew up with two mothers: my adoptive mother and my birth mother. It was never confusing. I call them both “mom,” but I know one went through labor to bring me into the world and the other took a chunk out of her life to raise me. Even at the age of five, I understood (although at the time I thought my birth mother had asked a “stork” to bring me into the world, but she couldn’t keep me so she sent me to my new Mom and Dad).

You may also be thinking it is better if a teenager just forgets about her baby. My birth mother was seventeen when I was born. Granted, that’s too young, in my opinion, to raise a child, but it’s not too young to love them. I can’t imagine never being able to see my birth mother. My life would be half of what it is. I would not have my little half-brother or baby half-sister. Several years ago, I met my extended birth family, nearly as big as my adopted family. I have four aunts and two uncles, and at least one and a half dozen cousins! And that’s the side of the family I would be with if I had stayed with my birth mother.

Family is a precious thing and every human would go to lengths to find their origins, their parents. I would be sad if I never knew mine. I would have a thirst unquenched for who my birth parents are and where I was born. That stings. I feel sorry for other kids who ask their parents, knowing they are adopted, where their birth mom and birth dad are and the answer they get is:

I don’t know.

If it is possible, when you adopt your child, do them a favor.