This photo is of my parents & my brother bringing me out of LDS Social Services the day that they were able to pick me up. This building is no longer LDS Social Services and hasn’t been for many years but the building still stands and to our family it will always be “The Baby Store.”
Ok, ok maybe not to my parents, I’m sure it’s more of a sensitive location than that. But being the sarcastic person that I am, I started calling it that as a sassy little teenager and it just stuck. Mom always felt a little uneasy with the joke whereas Dad would join in and inform us that we were “the most expensive thing he ever purchased at a store before!” haha. These jokes have continued on & escalated over the years and even now we have a good time jabbing each other with some adoption humor. I’ll say “Thanks for buying me” and Dad will shoot one back like “behave or I’ll see if I can get a refund” etc… nowadays even Mom will join in on some the rude humor.
I’m sure that some of you who are reading that right now are horrified that we would make such jokes. But the truth of the matter is that being able to joke about it was one of the most therapeutic things for me as a teenager who was already struggling with it in the first place. Having a good sense of humor about it made it feel less heavy.
I’ve said it before that each Adoptee is different and will have a different opinion on this. But based off of my own experience I’d like to make a suggestion to the parents who are planning on or have adopted – be willing to play & joke about it as they get older.
If they make a sarcastic remark about it then join in! Making that sarcastic remark as a teenager probably wasn’t the nicest thing I’d ever done. But I believe it was said in a time when I NEEDED to be able to discuss it freely & not so seriously. I needed it to be okay that my circumstances when I entered the world wasn’t the same as everyone else’s that I knew.
Sometimes as a kid I’d focus on that more than I should of. I asked my parents the other day what their thoughts were that day as they left The Baby Store and what was reaffirmed to me is that it doesn’t matter if I was taken home from The Baby Store or if I would of been taken home from the hospital. Because I left with what any parent wants their baby to leave with. I left with what my birth mom was praying I’d leave with.
I left with parents who were crying because they were so happy & proud to have me in their arms. I left with a mom whose belly hurt because of the excitement. I left with a family who couldn’t wait to tell everyone of my arrival. I left with parents who were grateful for such a blessing in their lives.
Seeing my parents texts of the things that they felt that day, I realized they were some of the very same thoughts I had as I walked out of the hospital with my family after giving birth to my second daughter. Just add in the fear of driving on the crazy streets with such a fresh, tiny and precious load in your vehicle! Ya know what I’m saying?
However much the same the two options of leaving are there is one vast difference that adoptive parents process that day. Along with all of their excitement they also have to deal with knowing that for somebody else it’s the worst day of their life. Can you imagine processing that one?
My parents have always said there were many tears of sadness shed for my birth mom & her family that day and the days that followed, especially this second time around.
There is one thing I am sure of and that is that no matter how I came to them, I was mean’t to be with my parents. I’m grateful for that knowledge. The confusion and difficult emotions that come along with being adopted have always and will always continue to come up. But knowing that what’s meant to be was, is and will be, is definitely something to take comfort in.
I’m also aware that not all adoptees will have that same mindset for obvious reasons and rightfully so for their different or difficult upbringings. But right now today I am grateful for this understanding of my own.
I’m also really excited to have my parents sharing their side of this adoption experience in the upcoming posts. Stay tuned for that.. it will be good!