Hi. My name is Caley. I have unruly red hair, brownish eyes (people say, “Did you know your eyes match your hair?!), and freckles. I feel most alive when I’m outdoors or making something with my hands. I describe things in my head when I’m alone, thinking of how I’d write them if someone were to ask. I’ve always been partial to kittens and rainy days. I thrive on seasons, although my three-ish years of living in California were some of my favorite years so far.
Also, I’m adopted.
I’m here to tell you what it’s like to be adopted.
I’ve pretty much always been adopted. I took my first breath and my birth mother held me. She had already chosen some people for me to call Mommy and Daddy. I waited in a foster home for a couple of months and then, I was adopted.
I remember reading books about adopted kids growing up.
I remember how they would find out. It was always at a birthday party, or in an argument. Someone would carefully plan how to “break the news”, or they’d blurt it out in a spout of anger. Books made adoption seem like a secret. Not the good kind of secret, like what you bought your dad for Christmas; but the kind of secret that hurts a little. The kind nobody really wanted to tell you, that they thought you should probably know anyway. The kind that makes your life spiral out of control, your identity suddenly in crisis.
That’s not my story.
I’m grateful to share another view of what it’s like to be adopted.
My parents were proud. Being adopted was a special gift. My parents would tell me the story of “how they got me” every night before bed. I loved hearing it. I loved hearing how they prayed and prayed for a baby, how God found the perfect woman to carry their baby for them, and how the lady whose tummy I was in so generously and lovingly gave me to them. In this story, I was not someone to be ashamed of that nobody wanted. I was someone to be proud of, that was cherished and plucked by the hand of God himself to be placed into the most perfect family.
In my mind, everyone was adopted.
I remember being at a friend’s house and not being able to sleep. Her mom snuggled me and offered to tell a story.
“What does your mom tell you when you can’t sleep?” she asked.
“She tells me the story of how she got me. How did you get your kids?”
I remember her hesitating and chuckling, asking what my mom tells. I told her of my adoption and I’m sure she sighed a sigh of relief knowing she didn’t have to have “that talk” with me.
So I say this to the mama who is pregnant. The mama who feels so lost and in over her head not knowing if she can do this, or if she wants to, or if this life should end.
Adoption is beautiful.
It is life giving, it is one of the most selfless and loving things you can do for that baby in your womb.
There is a man and woman out there, waiting for a call. A call that they can finally have a baby.
When my dad found out, my mom had gone out to get Christmas presents. They had literally waited by the phone and checked messages for months and months, hoping for news of a baby.
Dad wrote down all the information, hung a special card on the tree, and waited. My mom came home, and I just remember that picture they always show me. It’s a picture of her looking at this card, her hand over her mouth and complete and utter joy, disbelief, excitement flooding her face.
That picture alone makes me feel so completely wanted and loved. Imagine my life with them. Full of love. Full. They fostered a love for my birth mother inside of me, as well.
So mama. Consider this:
Maybe this baby is meant to be yours. To be held and snuggled, to listen to your comforting voice and grow up in your home. But don’t forget what it’s like to be adopted. Adoption is beautiful and special and maybe someone has been praying that the Lord would send them a babe. Either way, your baby has a life worth living. Worth every second.