up as the youngest of three children. My
parents adopted my two brothers and then completed their family with me.
We had a very normal, average, rural, and middle class upbringing. I had a good childhood, no abuse and the normal sibling rivalry definitely existed at times. My dad was a farmer and my mom was a house wife most of my childhood. We usually had a family dog and we attended church on Sundays. For fun, we had a pontoon boat that we drove about 90 miles to the nearest lake. I remember taking family vacations which usually always started or ended in St. Louis, MO (yes, we are huge Cardinal fans). We had a few cousins that lived an hour or so away and three grandparents alive at the time of them adopting me.
My brothers were 6 and 5 years older than me so being the youngest and the only girl meant that I was almost an only child for approximately five years after they turned 18 and left the house. You could say I was daddy’s little girl which amounted to a good amount of spoiling from time to time.
Being adopted meant that I grew up in a different kind of family from my friends, but for me it was normal. Just like for my friends who was born naturally to their family – that was normal for them. I've seen all kinds of families and for me, this was mine, and it was normal.
Growing up, I played sports, played in the band and participated in speech competitions. My parents were at almost every single event supporting me in every way they knew how. Yes of course I wasn’t an angel during my teenage years – but nothing worse than normal teenage rebellion. From an outsiders view (and mine), I had a perfectly normal childhood. But let me stress that that did not take away that underlying emotion/feeling/hurt etc of being adopted. The information gap that most often causes stress in adopted families still existed in its strongest form.
I shared with my parents my desire to search. I remember that they didn’t comment a lot but did say that they would support my decision mentally but not monetarily.
I shared my letters with them because I hoped that it would help bridge the gap. I never wanted to hurt anyone or be secretive in any sort of way. Approximately 10 months later, my birth mother and her husband met my parents. I could probably write a blog just on that meeting but I will cut it short and say that Anita was able to do what she had hoped she would one day be able to do - thank my parents! Being a mom now myself, I understand that this was probably not an easy meeting for my mom. After all, I was hers and why would she want to “share”?
One thing that stood out and was very important to me was the similarities that existed between my family and my birthmom. One fun example was my mom had coached me in basketball and softball most of my life and Anita had coached her three girls in softball. I took comfort in knowing there were similarities in my family and my birth family.
That’s it…that’s my family!