Monday, November 24, 2014

November is National Adoption Month.

Look at me! I'm such a cute baby!

I’m 31 years-old, relatively sane, semi-functional, contributing member of society. I have no massive hang-ups, have never been to jail and don’t seem to have any major debilitating personality flaws. And I’m adopted. I actually consider it to be a very minor part of who I am. First – sinner saved by grace, wife, mommy, daughter, friend, employee. Lover of chocolate. Iowa resident. And so on and so on. The list goes on. Somewhere near the bottom of the list I remember that I’m adopted, which isn’t a big deal. The bigger deal is that I was raised in a household by two parents who loved me and never treated me any differently except like their beloved daughter. 

I’ve known my entire life that I was adopted. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist; I’m quite Asian and I have two very Caucasian parents. I have one distinct memory of being 6 or 7 and having an older person whisper in front of me; to my parents “does Kara know she’s adopted?” I remember thinking “wow, you’re an idiot. Of course I know. And if I didn’t know, I would certainly know now!”
If I have to say anything about being adopted, it was growing up in a small town with relatively few Asians. It made me different, but it had less to do with being adopted than anything. I think, to some extent, this is less of a problem in today’s world than the world that I grew up in. Families come in all shapes and sizes. 

I acknowledge that my family’s adoption situation was one of the more “ideal” scenarios – I was adopted at the age of three months; it was a closed, international adoption; I didn’t have any health defects; and because I was an infant, I have no memories of being in an orphanage or my birth family. Not knowing my birth family has never really bothered me; I already have great parents. I know that there are adoptees that are more curious about their heritage in comparison to me. And that’s great, but my life is complete as it is. I have no additional desire for self-revelation or discovery. Maybe I’m mundane but I’m never had some soul searching quest for “more.”  

I have about a handful of friends who are going through the adoption process or have added to their families by way of adoption. I think it’s fantastic. But I also know of a few who are hesitant to mix up their family dynamics with a child who isn’t genetically “theirs” per say. This is absurd because we all know that when it comes to children, we get the child God intended for us, regardless of genetic disposition. I think one of the nicest things I ever had said to me was by my 8th grade science teacher. He and his wife (also one of my former teachers – 7th grade math –not one of my better subjects, even as a junior high student) had recently gotten married and were contemplating adoption. I know they were going back and forth and in passing my science teacher said to me “Kara, if I knew we could adopt and they would turn out as well as you, we would.” And when I was in high school, I got news that they had adopted a little girl from Russia. This has stuck with me for 18 years. I can’t say if I really had anything at all to do with their adopting, but I like to think that I helped them make a “yes” decision. 

So November is National Adoption month, this is my adoption story and me giving a big huge high five endorsement to adoption. I became a naturalized citizen June 3. My parents used to have a small celebratory party for me every year on June 3. On June 3, 2011 I had my first child. Make no mistake this is exactly what God had planned for me. If you are thinking about adopting, just go for it. Looky at how "normal" I am! :)

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