~ 1997 ~
Growing up, I had something my parents didn’t, my real genetically related mom and dad. I don’t know at what age I first learned that both of my parents were adopted. It was just a fact of life and one that I never judged to be good or bad for my entire childhood. Their adoptive parents were my grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins I acquired in that manner were just that.
Adoption was so accepted in my family that both of my sisters ended up giving up a child to adoption. Parenting was seen as something any adult human being with good intentions could do. So my nephew ended being raised by his paternal grandparents and my daughter ended up being raised by her dad when he remarried a woman with a daughter and they had a daughter together, thus creating a family for her that I could not give.
Though I felt a piece was missing in my life – my cultural heritage that had been passed down by those unknown people who gave my parents life – it wasn’t until my mom started investigating her own adoption – after learning in the early 1990s, the story of the scandal that surrounded Georgia Tann’s work – that I became aware that all was not as it should be in adoptionland.
By the grace of a loving energy, I have been able to discover who all 4 of my original grandparents were since my parents died. It saddens me that they didn’t have the opportunity to know about these people themselves. I now know of cousin and aunts that I am genetically related to. I still cherish the family adoption brought to me as well.
What I never expected was the education I would receive along with learning my genetic roots about the damage done in the name of a profit-motivated industry taking babies from their mothers and giving them to the people who had money and could not have their own children for whatever reason.
What once was accepted and “natural” in my understanding – adoption – is now seen for the travesty it has been but thankfully, even that is changing in this world that continuously does.