Before I was born I already had two moms - and probably not how you’d think. One was a woman in her mid-20s who had recently been given the heartbreaking news she’d never bear a child. Another was a young mother - pregnant out-of-wedlock and willing to give her child another life. Yup, I’m adopted.
Growing up I always knew I was adopted. My parents were very open with me and it was never a secret within my family. It never made me different – not once did my multitudes of cousins, who also happened to be constant playmates, mention that I was not biologically one of them. I was raised by two amazing people who instilled in me a sense of structure, well-being and security. I know there were times, particularly in my teen years, when they wondered what planet I was really from and whether Catholic Services (who was my adopting agency) had actually played a cruel joke on them and handed them a baby from another species. But those years passed with a “few” grey hairs (or a few less hairs) to show for it. I can’t speak for them, but I consider them war medals of sorts – and they earned them.
When I was 25 it happened. After never considering finding my birth family, they found me. Honestly, I was hesitant at first. I had been provided the most amazing life – what more did I need? But with the encouragement of my parents, I answered the letter and stepped across the threshold into my new life.
And it was a new life. I was an only child – but learned I have 4 brothers & a sister (although now the count is technically at 5 because I have 1 biological, 2 step & 2 in-law). I have a biological mother and father - their spouses & parents (Gma & Gpa K, you are missed!). I have a myriad of cousins I have yet to meet. I have gained new friends. Often, I have said I get the joy of siblings without fighting for bathroom time. I know I’m a curiosity to all of them, but I have received exactly the same treatment from them as my adopted family – open acceptance. And, for that, I am absolutely grateful.
So, this Mother’s Day, I pay tribute to two mothers – the one who gave me life & the one who taught me how to live it. To them I give my gratitude and my love.