Baye Needs a Family!
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My Adoptee Confession:
I was adopted 4 decades ago. It’s my generation of adoptees that rules the internet with blogs, and books, and advice for families adopting today. But the truth is, our adoptions happened 2, 3, 4 decades ago. And despite claims to the contrary, the entire culture around adoption has changed. It’s not perfect. But today’s adoptive parent is more prepared, aware, and sensitive to issues than ever before.
I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s in an ultra-liberal west-coast city. Angst was in the music, the coffee, the media, and the atmosphere when I was growing up. Our parents had tuned-out, sat-in, dropped out…and then they founded start-ups and become part of the corporate world.
My parents had my oldest brother together when they were young newlyweds, and then adopted my two brothers and me a few years later out of foster care. I don’t remember ever being told that I was “adopted”. I do remember that mom and dad were foster parents to older teen girls when I was in grade school, and from an early age I understood something I couldn’t name: Life wasn’t always fair.
The teens that my parents fostered were young women who were pregnant and choosing to keep their babies. My mom came from a big family of 7 kids and my dad from a broken family of 4 kids raised in separate states. They believed in helping their communities in a very direct way. I remember two of young women very distinctly, as we were part of their lives for many years. Whenever I needed a haircut, we would visit Eileen and the baby I saw her bring into this word, Janessa. Eileen would cut my hair and we would all visit…like family.
This way of being wasn’t discussed or compared to others lives. This was the way that my parents lived and I was raised as their child…experiencing the culture of our family and our ways and traditions. This was my family. They loved, lived, fought, were very human, and always sought to help whenever they could.
I didn’t think about being adopted very often. Okay…I wasn’t a look-alike to my parents, but I’m not willing to give away my race right now. Or their race, or my brothers’ races either. For now, I want to talk about ADOPTION…outside of race. Later I’ll get into all of that.
When Did I Think About Adoption?
Oh the arsenal available to us adoptees. When I talk to others, we laugh and sadly admit that we’ve all done this (okay, mostly the girls). It’s awful and although we relate, we also all want to call our moms a few minutes later!
What did my 70’s mom say? “Well go ahead!” And then she packed me a lunch. And as I walked out, she reminded me that dinner would be done at 6. First I climbed a tree in the front yard, and then I snuck into our car and laid down in the back seat, waiting for her to look for me. I then snuck up to the living room window, only to see her watching TV.
That’s my part 1. And because it felt good..for me..I’ll share more in the near future.
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