COLUMN: Of course I don’t look like my family, I’m adopted
Growing up, I knew from the start I was adopted.
To be quite honest, I’m not sure if my parents even told me or if I just knew. There was not a time I recall thinking, “Oh my God, I’m adopted. How the heck did this happen?” I just always knew.
Another thing that tipped me off was the fact that I don’t look like any of my siblings or my parents. Yet, for some reason, I tend to explain my adoption to people I am just getting to know — not that they probably didn’t know already.
As the youngest of six kids, I’m not constantly wondering if I have other biological siblings, and if so, where are they. I have plenty of people around to keep me busy.
Although the thought has crossed my mind, I know I am accepted, loved, wanted and needed by my adoptive family for a reason. I don’t focus so much on the “why” or “what-if’s” of my adoption.
I consider being adopted a huge blessing. Even though I may sometimes have my moments of doubt, I know deep down my birth parents wanted me to have a better life. I was born in Guatemala, which is very poverty stricken, so I am thankful for the selfless decision my birth parents made for me.
I have so much love for my adoptive family and the support, love and care they give to me is something I wouldn’t trade for anything else.
The interesting thing about my family is that I am not the only child who is adopted. I also have three brothers who are adopted. Two of my brothers were adopted from Korea, neither biologically related. My third brother joined our family after coming here as a foreign exchange student (from Korea), when he was 14.
Ever since I can remember, he has always been around, and that is why I don’t hesitate to call him my brother and why I rarely explain the whole story of how he became part of our family.
It was after his exchange student experience that my parents decided to take legal guardianship of him here in the U.S. after we formed such a close bond with him that we didn’t want to say goodbye. He still has birth parents in Korea, and is in contact with them as much as he is with our parents.
I also have two sisters who are not adopted. I am fortunate and blessed to be a part of the family that I have and even though we may have our typical disagreements every now and then, I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world.
So, as you can tell, I have a diverse family. At the end of the day, my family is made up of the people who will always be there for me and care for me unconditionally.
Being adopted truly is a blessing.
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