Many adoptees do not connect with the word “chosen” as it relates to being adopted. I am one of those adoptees.
My adoptive parents did not choose me. They did not go to the place where babies are kept and pick me out. No, they chose to adopt. I was the available child when that decision was made.
My birthmother chose adoption as the option for her when she knew she could not keep me and wanted a 2 parent home for me. She chose adoption for herself as she felt it was her best option.
I had no choice in being adopted. That decision was made for me long before I ever entered the world.
I am told my entry into my family went like this: One day, my mother was playing with my older brother. They were rolling a ball back and forth to each other while sitting on the floor. She had some housework to get to and thought, “I can’t do this all day everyday, he needs a sibling to play with.” She then got up at that moment, called their adoption worker with Catholic Charities and said, “We want another child.” As they had already started the paperwork, were already adoptive parents, this was not a difficult process. Not too long after the ball rolling revelation, I came to their home. Voilà ! It was that simple. My parents chose to adopt. I was available.
As an adopted woman, I want you to know my experience is real. I share these experiences with millions of other adoptees. Some may relate to the word chosen. Some may not. Some may even be angry and upset at being taken from their biological family and given to strangers. Whatever the case may be, it is important to recognize that adoptees appreciate (and really crave) validation. We want to know it’s always okay to talk about adoption and ask questions.
When speaking to adoptees, recognize that for some words like “chosen” and “special,” can be painful. The phrases “you real mom must not have wanted you,” or “your real mom gave you away to have a better life,” (or any others that have this same connotation) have felt painful to me. For me, it is better for people to understand that adoption was a decision the adults made.
Now, as a 52 year old adoptee, I have chosen to be happy. I have chosen to have a fulfilling life. I have chosen a beautiful career path. I have chosen to love with my whole heart. These choices are available to me, because of adoption, not because I was chosen.