A First Christmas

Tomorrow I will celebrate my first Christmas with my natural mom and family. We’ll Skype, open presents, and enjoy being active in each other’s lives for the first time in 37 years. I don’t know everything that our moments together will hold, but I am excited to have this first Christmas together.

I wish all kids could have an appreciation for “a first Christmas.” If you think about it, parents are typically the only ones who “get” that experience. Yes, the kids are there, but they are usually too small to understand the significance of what’s happening. They see the pretty packages and flashing lights on the trees, and open the cool toys (only to play with the empty boxes), but they can’t yet understand just how important it is to be with family – to be in a place where you belong and where your identity is validated.

Now that I’ve written these paragraphs, I wonder just how many adults understand what I’m writing about as well. I think for many of us our depth of understanding comes after we lose the people we love the most. It’s then we reflect on the memories of our times together and find great joy in those moments – only to have them quickly fade into a sorrow that acknowledges we will not re-capture those moments on this earth.

I’m experiencing a first Christmas tomorrow with my natural family and I think I’ll look at my time with my adoptive family through that same lens.

Merry Christmas!
Becky

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Crazy Questions for an Adopted Kid

Turns out, when people discover you are adopted, they ask some very crazy questions. I’ve had my share over 37 years, and I thought I had heard all the crazy ones UNTIL I reunited with my natural family. The questions got even crazier at that point. My personal favorite crazy question from the “reunited” set of questions comes in a pair – how do your adoptive parents feel about your reunion with your natural family AND is it weird having two sets of parents?

Let’s see – how do my adoptive parents feel about my reunion with my natural family? Well, I think they feel fine. Turns out, we don’t spend all of our time talking about that reunion. We have our own family traditions, conversations, etc. that typically are the focal point of our time together. While they will ask how things are going, they don’t seem interested in “prying” for details. I know they support me – in fact, my dad said he was surprised it took me almost 37 years to go exploring – and they have genuine care and concern for my natural family that is expressed in asking how they are doing. So when people ask how my adoptive parents feel, I’m not sure what they expect me to say. Maybe they are hoping it’s turned into a “free-for-all” worthy of the Jerry Springer show when I mention my natural family – people LOVE drama. Perhaps they imagine hurt feelings expressed in long silences and tearful glances – again, people LOVE drama. Maybe they imagine we are all one big happy family in the less than 10 months since the reunion – the thing people love MORE than drama is a HAPPY ENDING. Perhaps it’s even their way of saying, “How dare you look for your natural family?! Don’t you know your parents wanted you when they didn’t?” – yeah, that one really irritates me and I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced it from people who seem a bit judgmental about the reunion process.

After we settle the “how my parents feel” question, the next most common question is whether it’s weird having two sets of parents? Seriously?!? THAT is your question? Nothing about how the reunion is going? Nothing about how much I have discovered about my identity because of the reunion? Nothing about how great it is to discover you have a grandmother again (because all of your grandparents in your adoptive family are now gone)? Nothing about how cool it is to have two more brothers and aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.? You want to know if it’s “weird” having two sets of parents? I don’t know – is it weird having more than one kid? Because that’s how I like to think this thing works. I have two sets of parents – four parents total (not including my parents-in-law). They are all different. I have a unique relationship with each of them. I love each of them for who they are and value what they mean to me. I am blessed. Is it weird? No more than you having more than one kid or dog or friend. It’s my reality – and I love it.

Now, for those of you who have asked these questions – please don’t be offended by this post. I know you mean well in asking – so do all other adopted kids. It’s just funny when you are on the receiving end of the question, trying to figure out how to answer it. No harm, no foul, no worries. Okay?

Becky