I've always known I was adopted. My parents have had me since I was 6 months old. My mother used to tell me it meant my birth mom loved me so much, she wanted me to have a family that would love me unconditionally. My mom and dad had two biological children and adopted six. If you ask them which ones are their 'real' children, they will tell you all of them. If you ask me if they are my real parents, they are. Growing up my favorite childhood book was "The Velveteen Rabbit." The best way I can describe our family and adoption is through the passage, "once you are real, you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always." My parents love and dedication to me has been real from the beginning. It's something that was not only seen but felt and heard as well.
The day I was adopted I got to wear a dress. It was light pink with ruffles at the bottom. My shoes were shiny and white. My parents packed all their children into the van to the courthouse and off we went. My momma remembers it was always an adventure to get everyone into the car. This day was treated as a celebration. Pictures were taken with my father holding my younger sister and my mother holding me in her loving arms. Balloons were held while the rest of my siblings circled us and smiled for the photos.
If I never told you, you wouldn't know I was adopted. I have my mother's sense of humor. My Grandma used to tell me I have my mother's laugh. I have my dad's ability to strike up a conversation with anyone. I have my parent's eagerness to help others. I have their hope and ability to heal others. I have my father's faith. I have my mother's peace. My parent's qualities have braided and weaved themselves into my foundation and blossomed outwards to my being. Their light cast itself on every untelling road mapped out before me.
There's in-betweens in every story. There's stories of stories. There's journeys and mountains. There's the good and the bad. There's the wonderfuls and forgettables. There's the laughters and the crying. There's the hoping and the praying. There's the memories and the memories to be. There's the hugs and the fighting. There's the get togethers and the times apart. And all of these things as one are my family's story.
Adoption isn't our story. Family is our story. Two people who had so much extra love in their hearts, were able to create a home in which to raise eight happy and healthy souls. That's where it began. Where it ends is unforeseeable. I can only guess that this story WILL have no end. Our family will continue to stem and flourish from the roots we have been gifted with.