I’m not adopted. Well, I don’t think of myself as being adopted. My father adopted me shortly after marrying my mother when I was very young. Regular readers might know that I had never known my birth father, so when at the age of six my parents told me of my heritage I was confused and frightened. It was a lot to take in at that age, but I do remember that after the initial shock had subsided, I felt a swell of acceptance, inheritance and love.
Now, I know I’m not “adopted”, but I can perhaps imagine what kind of emotion comes with being fully adopted. I’ve held onto my father’s name, even through marriage, in part because of that sense of inheritance that bound me to him. Reading this beautifully written piece in The Guardian, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of the proud rebellious love that comes with being adopted (even if you’re not really adopted).
Shortly before I left home, my mum told me she was adopted. Although this news was a shock, adoption was not unfamiliar to me: my great-grandfather was adopted, so was my great-aunt. Now my mother’s made a third in the family.
Recently, when I told someone of this history, they gasped and said: “You’ve got no past.” The more I talk about the adoptions, the more I realise how hard it is for other people to get their heads around the idea. […]
The more I think about the three adoptions in my own family, the more I realise that what they mean to me cuts across other people’s expectations of strain and discord. The adoptions have given me a tremendous sense of inheritance, and of luck. I feel lucky to be part of this extraordinary family.
Andrea adds: For Facebook readers, let me add here that I am not adopted. (This is Jennifer Derwey’s post.) Truly, not in any sense of the word. If I am, the likeness my mother and I share is all the more uncanny. Heading to the Czech Republic soon for my grandmother’s 90th birthday, where I expect to be called “mala Hana” for the week. (Czech for “small Hana.”)by