I never really thought that being adopted would have such a profound effect on me until I got pregnant. It was always normal for me. I always knew that I was adopted. In fact, when I was younger I thought that babies came from the adoption center. I was adopted when I was five days old. My brother got to be the first person to meet me. My parents loved me so dearly, and I grew up knowing nothing but love. I don’t remember the first time my parents told me that I was adopted. It was never a secret. It never mattered. It was simply a fact of life for me.
During the early stages of my pregnancy, I couldn’t help but think about my mom (the one that raised me, that is) and what she went through. I was terrified of having a miscarriage, or having something wrong with my pregnancy. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for my mom, who went through miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and unsuccessful IVF treatments for ten years. I never understood how painful it must have been for her. If I had lost Daphne, I would have been devastated. My mom is a very brave and strong woman. I know that everything happens for a reason. In a lot of ways, I am grateful that she wasn’t able to have children. If she had, my life would have been completely different. I never would have met my parents, my brother, my friends, or Adam. I wouldn’t have this beautiful child growing inside of my belly. I am so grateful that I was adopted, and I love my life exactly the way that it is.
As my pregnancy progressed, I started to think about my birth parents. I can only imagine how difficult those 9.5 months must have been for them, especially my birth mother. She let me share her body for 40 weeks, fully knowing that she would never know me. She dealt with morning sickness, fatigue, stretch marks, hours of labor, and so much more just to give me life. I had never thought about them from this perspective. Now that my body has gone through the same changes that hers did, I can fully appreciate what she did for me. I am so full of love for them, and so grateful for the sacrifices that they made.
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if they ever wanted to keep me. Not that I wish they had…I am simply curious. When I feel Daphne kicking away inside of me, I wonder what my birth mother was thinking when she felt my kicks. When Adam puts his ear up to my belly to listen to her heartbeat, I wonder if my birth father ever listened to mine. Were they excited to feel and hear me moving? Was it bittersweet? Did they resent me for taking up so much time and space? I like to imagine that they cared about me, and that they wanted desperately to keep me. I imagine them dreaming about being able to keep me. I imagine them dreaming about shopping for baby clothes, thinking about what they would name me, and having a baby shower for me.These are probably foolish thoughts, but they give me some peace. They could have had an abortion so easily, so they must have cared about me in some way, right?
I can’t wait to finally meet my Daphne. Maybe it is selfish of me, but one of the things that I am most excited about is finally knowing someone who is genetically related to me. For the first time in my life, I will know someone that looks like me. Will she have my eyes? My hair? My mouth? Will she make the same facial expressions that I make? Family resemblances have always fascinated me, because I never had that. People tell me sometimes that I resemble my mother, and I agree. People used to marvel when they learned that my brother and I were not blood related. But then I look at my husband’s family. Adam has his dad’s mouth exactly. The way that I resemble my mom and brother is not the same way that Adam resembles his dad. I have this incredible yearning to have someone resemble me like that. I think that is something that only an adoptee can understand.
Please don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely no desire to change the way that my life turned out. I love my parents with all of my heart and soul. I am glad that I was adopted. I am so thankful that my parents wanted me so badly that they went through ten years of hell to finally have me. I had a wonderful childhood. I am thankful that my birth parents decided to put me into the arms of my wonderful family. I just wish I knew more about where I came from.