|My mom and me on the day my parents picked me up from the adoption agency.|
In the early 80's it was very difficult to find adoptive homes for biracial babies. My parents who were unable to have biological children just wanted to be parents and raise a family. They didn't care about gender, race, ethnicity, or color of skin. They just wanted little ones to love and call their own. That is how my brother, sister and I came to be a family.
It was from my parents I learned that biology isn't what makes a family. It's choice, commitment, and unconditional love. I don't remember my parents ever marching in a parade or waving signs or making big statements about how people should treat each other. They just lived it. Day after day they loved the three of us. I have always known I was adopted. It was never a secret. In my home, it was something to be celebrated. My parents always told us we were special.
It wasn't until I faced the outside world I learned not every family was like mine. It was at school I first received questions about why my brother's skin was a different color than mine and heard being adopted meant your parents didn't want you. Kids can be mean. But my mom was home every day proving those kids wrong. My mom would make us hot breakfast every morning and read us a devotional. After school she would have a snack ready and listen to us share about our day. She was always there to help with homework, encourage us to practice the piano, and make sure we got plenty of rest. She told me how my birth mother loved me so much she made a hard choice for my best interest. And how no one could possibly love me more than she and my dad.
My parents and me on my wedding day.
My dad worked multiple jobs and went to school while I was a kid so he could provide the best life for us. I remember years he worked nights at a hospital so he could further his education during the day. The hours he put in to make sure all of our bills were paid while pursuing more education must have been exhausting. He never made me feel like I was a bother to him. I always felt like he was happy to spend time with me whenever he could. He used to take me out on father-daughter dates just to spend quality time with me. He understood how much I loved the theater so many of our dates included Italian food and a fabulous play. I was his girl, and I never doubted it. I performed in musicals, and plays and sang in multiple choirs all through high school. My mom never missed a single show or concert. Today my parents are incredible grandparents loving each of my children.
I knew I could be an adoptive mom because my mom showed me how. It is because of my parents' example, I have been bold enough to walk the journey of fostering and adoption.