I think I was adopted at about 6 weeks of age, so it is safe to say I have absolutely no memory of it. For me my adoptive parents have always been Mum and Dad, and I have been extremely lucky to have been loved all of my life. My parents worked hard to give me every opportunity in life and have supported me through my up’s and downs. I understand now how hard it is to be a parent but I also know what unconditional love is and that is the best reward life can give you.
Time and experience in life gives me great hindsight and at the tender age of 51, I know who I am and for once I own my identity and like me. It has taken me this long to see myself and be comfortable and even at times like what I see. In many respects being adopted as an infant led to me being affected by adoption all my life. I experienced issues of attachment, self-image and loss. Of course this is just my experience and my thoughts and my Mum and Dad were wonderful. These emotions I never spoke of and reflecting back may explain some of my behaviour. I remember being told I was adopted and I think I was around 5 years of age. I was confused but understood and remember trying to work things out in my mind and come to terms with having birth parents and adopted parents and somehow try to marry them together.
I would imagine children who are adopted later on in life have a very different experience and come to terms with it at a different stage of their developmental life. I have never understood why I grieved the loss of my biological parents after all I didn’t know them and I have fantastic parents. But I did. Transracial, cross-cultural and special needs issues will also affect a Childs adoption experience. To explain what I mean is some time ago I met my biological Mother and she was disappointed to learn I was Irish. There are no words to describe what flashed trough my mind as I listened to that comment. Mum and Dad brought me up well and I always open my door, mind and heart to any human no matter who or where they come from. They can be pink or blue, rich or poor a human is a human!
I have been lucky enough to work with children in a professional capacity and it was the best job I have had to date and has motivated me to write about my life experiences. As a child you will attach yourself to and bond with the primary caregiver. The temperament and the atmosphere of the home will affect how the child integrates and adjusts. Then the preschool age, my favourite age. My imagination ran away with me, cowboys were al the rage and even the odd superhero. What a fantasy! I didn’t understand how children were made but my mum somehow explained to me in such a way that I understood another lady gave birth to me and it was the same way as any other child was born just she didn’t give birth to me. I had no concept of time or space but knew mum was mum and another lady gave birth to me. I was good go and time to jump back on my horse and catch the baddies. I am sure this opened the door for my parents to introduce the language of adoption and start the story of my journey. It was this opens on my parents part that lead to a degree of comfort about talking about my adoption.