Adoption is a word that sets me apart from most people I know. It is not something to be ashamed or embarrassed of, but something to be proud of. I was a two-month old black baby girl who was about to find a wonderful place to call home and people to call family. Before I was actually adopted, I was placed with an older couple who took care of babies when they were born until they found a new home. This place was called the “Gladney Center” where I was placed and taken care of until someone wanted to bring me home to be a part of their family.
Adoption is not an easy process unfortunately, and that is why it is so special when everything falls into place. My parents heard about me a couple of weeks before I was born. The Gladney Center called my parents saying that there was a baby that might be available for adoption. They had waited a whole year to hear about me. Gladney worked with the birth mom to make sure she was sure about putting me up for adoption. While they waited, a couple took me into their home for two months so I had a home. At the end of the two months, Gladney had that family and I meet my adoptive parents at the center. That is when I got to go home for the first time.
My parents wanted a baby, but not a specific baby, meaning that they didn’t care about gender, race, ethnicity, or anything in that form. At the end of the day, they just wanted a healthy baby. Personally, when my parents told me that as I got older, it brought tears to my eyes because they didn’t care what the baby looked like. Unfortunately, there are a lot of black babies who are born without parents with the means to care for them, and I was one of them—but that’s okay everyone. My parents just wanted a beautiful baby, and they got ME.
I grew up in an interracial adoption. My whole family and I were a different race. This was very different growing up. I was extremely blessed with the most amazing parents and family. From the moment I got home, I was showered with love. As I got a little older (elementary and middle school) is when I started to finally realize that I didn’t look like my parents, and that my skin was a different color than theirs. My dad was very active in my school activities and everyone would see him. This was when kids began to ask me questions like, “That’s your dad?”, “Why is your skin darker?”, or “Those are your parents?” Those little questions began to stir my emotions and made me feel embarrassed about my situation, and I wasn’t sure how to respond. I eventually would always say, “Yes, those are my parents. I am special.”
As I got older I learned how special and blessed I am. I cannot thank my parents enough for bringing me into their family. I may not have the same skin color as my family, but that doesn’t define a family. A family is one who loves you for you, loves you unconditionally, and is always by your side. That is my family and I am so incredibly thankful for being chosen by them. Interracial adoptions can be different and difficult at times. But I have managed to get to know myself and know that my family is my family no matter what. I am loved, blessed, and thankful!