Today is my adoption anniversary. My family has never exactly celebrated the day, per se. I think my mom felt a little weird about celebrating a day in which you say, "Well, someone else didn't want you! But WE did! Congratulations! Here's a present!" Also, my grandmother thought it would be confusing for me to celebrate both (I feel a bit...underestimated by this assessment, and also cheated. I have been cheated out of another opportunity to receive presents).
Anyway, what generally happens on this day is my mom tells me how happy she was to have a baby, and that she loves me. Since I was little she's also told me the story of my adoption, what she knows of my biological family, how they loved me and that's why they gave me up etc. As I've gotten older she's told me more details about failed adoptions prior to me and how no one would let her buy any baby stuff because they'd already been disappointed a couple of times. Plus, it is a day to reminisce about how cute I used to be (remember when you called that guy fat in the grocery store and I had to run away humiliated leaving a full cart of groceries behind? Yes, Mom, I remember because I did not know a human butt could get that red after a spanking!)
So, okay. Let's get in the spirit and celebrate the day. And the best way I know to get in the spirit of anything, apparently, is to make a list. So here is a list of random things about being adopted.
1. My biological parents are Sicilian immigrants who had 6 children prior to me, came to America, got separated, decided to get back together, got pregnant again, and then filed for divorce. I have never had any anger at my birth mother for this decision - single mom with 6 kids? Bad. Single mom with 7 kids? Even badder, I would think. So you know, thanks for not aborting me instead, I guess. I am more upset that I got the Sicilian nose and tendency toward excessive body hair without any of the benefits. I do not look like Appollonia and I do not have any mafia connections.
2. I feel like I dodged a bullet on the whole family thing. Instead of being the baby of a large family with a mother who would never be able to be home if we all wanted to eat, I got to be the only child of an older mother who gave me pretty much whatever I wanted. Not to mention the sole focus of the doting grandparents and even my half brothers treated me like a princess. Which is probably why I still have princess-y tendencies. But I can tell you about those later.
3. My mom has told me about my adoption for as long as I can remember. I didn't know that some people didn't tell their kids they were adopted. Weirdly enough, my first boyfriend was also adopted. His parents didn't tell him until he was older. He had a lot of trouble with it. I never did. I'm not telling you how to raise your kids, I'm just saying. Kid who was not told: extra emotional and psychological issues. Kid who was told: I won't say I don't have any issues, but they aren't EXTRA issues.
4. People feel uncomfortable when you tell them you're adopted. I'm not sure why this is. Most common question I was asked in grade school: Does it feel different since you didn't come out of your mommy's tummy? And the answer is, if you remember your own birth, you are a far better person than I. No, it does not feel different. (Sometimes little kids are jackholes, and they would follow this up with, doesn't it bother you that your real mom didn't want you? But I could be a jackhole, too. No, it doesn't bother me because my mom WANTED me and PICKED me. Your mom just got stuck with you).
5. I was a little confused about the process of adoption for a while, and imagined my mom going to a store (Babies R Us?) and literally choosing me from a wide selection of infants. I figured I must have been the cutest and that's why she picked me. Yes, I felt that my adoption was much like when my grandparents would take me shopping for a Barbie.