My Adoption Story

Haha ! … Made you look ! …Not mine but that of one of my guest bloggers.

Noelle’s an all round lovely lady. As with all my guest bloggers one day she wasn’t there and then one day she was 😀

New friendships always start like this don’t they ?

This is the fifth in my “Team Charisma World People” guest blogger series. Noelle and I worked together on a couple of topics before deciding on this one. She’s already a published author, so I was a little more flexible on topic with her, which was new – I learn something with each guest I work with 😀

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Noelle as part of the Don Charisma Family – Team Charisma World People … very happy to have you around my dear, you’re valued 😀

What it’s about :

Topic : Family
Title :  “My Adoption Story”
Type : Solo creative writing inspired by real life
Guidance : I asked Noelle what she wanted to write about … she’s a published author already, so I felt best to let her guide herself … we eventually agreed on the piece I’m publishing today.

Our hope : To share a touching real life adoption story … GO Team Charisma World People 😀

So without further ado, I give you Noelle’s – “My Adoption Story” :

“My Adoption Story” by Noelle

Family isn’t about whose blood you have. It’s about who you care about.

– Trey Parker and Matt Stone

This little quote has a lot of meaning to me, since both of our children are adopted. After two years of trying and a failed round of in vitro, it became clear that it would be a hard and expensive slog to conceive and might not even work. At that point, my husband and I decided to adopt. Adoption is not an easy prospect; you can’t just walk into an adoption agency, go down rows of children needing parents, pick one and walk out. Instant family. It actually entails the filling out of tons of paperwork, either with a social service worker or the adoption agency. The paperwork probes into your families in intrusive ways and involves interviews of your friends and family members. I remember one night, sitting at the kitchen table, filling out yet more forms and thinking I wonder if a couple had to do this before they could bear a child, would they think twice? And why does this seem like punishment for not being able to have a baby of our own?

Eventually that part was over, though, and was all but forgotten in the joy of becoming parents at last. Our son came to us from Illinois, where a young unwed mother asked her physician if he knew anyone looking to adopt. It just so happened physician was a friend or ours, knew we were looking and called us. Fate? Serendipity? Three days after his birth, David was given to us by his mother. She only looked at him twice – once right after he was born, to make sure he was physically perfect, and again to make sure we really wanted him. Did we ever! And he was indeed a gorgeous baby and he was our son.

David was the center of our universe until we decided that having two children would be even better. So Margaret came into our lives, adopted from South Korea through an agency when she was six months old. When we were notified our daughter was on her way, I flew up to Chicago to bring her home. By that time she had spent a month with her natural parents, who did not marry and thus could not keep her, several months with a foster family who wanted to keep her but couldn’t, and two couples who had taken care of her on her journey from Seoul to Seattle and Seattle to Chicago. I was entranced by the traditional Korean outfit with little rubber shoes her foster parents had provided, but frustrated by the fact she screamed for the entire time we had to wait until our flight to North Carolina. She was clearly confused as to who was her mother and no amount of rocking, cuddling, or feeding was going to calm her.

Once on the plane and in my lap, she put her hands on either side of my face, looked into my eyes for a long moment, stopped screaming and snuggled in. I was now her mother. My son, who was three, was introduced to her the morning after she arrived. He looked at her through the bars of her crib for several moments, then turned to us and asked, “Why don’t her eyes open all the way?” For the next two months, much to my husband’s distress, she would not be separated from me, even for cooking or a bathroom break. I lived with her in a sling, attached to me like a baby kangaroo. Eventually she came to accept her new dad and would sit in a seat watching us make dinner. What a relief – it’s hard to cook with a baby under your arm!

These children were ours from the beginning. Once another mother told me, “I would know you were David’s mother anywhere – he looks like you and your husband!” I didn’t tell her David was adopted, totally tongue-tied she thought he looked a bit like us. With Margaret, there was no mistaking the difference, but within a short time I only saw her as my daughter. I stopped being aware of people looking at us with curiosity and to this day, I never say anything when I introduce her. Our son occasionally teases her about her Asian ancestry – he’s a brother, and that’s what brother’s do – but he’s made it clear no one else can, something he began reinforcing on the playground in grade school. We are a family, after all.

There might be someone reading this who wonders if my children ever asked about their birth parents. They did, and I only hoped we handled it well. David went through a phase in his early teens when he wanted to be called by the name of a rock drummer. He frequently told us he didn’t have to do what we asked because we were not his real parents. Eventually, we sat him down and told him everything we knew about his parentage, how much his dad and I loved him. We also emphasized that no one but his real parents would put up with his shenanigans! We promised to help him find his birth parents when he turned 21. He never mentioned it again. Margaret spent a year in South Korea teaching English and had the opportunity to seek her natural parents through the adoption agency there. She never did.

There are thousands, if not millions, of children in the world who want nothing more than a mother and father. They are all ages, and they seek what we have: a family. If you are considering adoption, don’t hesitate. Your life will be richer in so many ways.

N.A. Granger is a professor emerita of a medical school and discovered the joy of blogging and writing mysteries after retirement.

– Noelle


PS I have changed the names of my children because this is their story and I need to respect their privacy.

Thanks Noelle, for sharing a very personal and touching story with us 😀

Don Charisma

(ERRORS AND OMISSIONS EXCEPTED … Stock photos courtesy of Pixabay. Graphic designs (c) 2014, all rights reserved)

Comments are invited

Don Charisma Warning Improvised Writing

Comments are often welcomed, provided you can string a legible, relevant and polite sentence together. In other cases probably best shared with your therapist, or kept to yourself.

47 thoughts on “My Adoption Story

  1. Thank you for posting this wonderful story. I really appreciate
    your honesty in giving the whole story of adoption. Not just
    the touchy feely”oh my god!I am a Mom now” stuff but also
    the struggles of the whole process. From the endless paperwork
    at the start, the nervous waiting for the agency’s acceptance,
    all the way to the particular struggles of raising an adopted
    adolescent you show the reality of the entire adoption experience.

  2. Maybe adopted children are riddlekids. They come to a new place, they carrying an enigma they can choose to find the answer to in different ways. Some of them choose to find answers back in time, others find answers in future time. Some seeks answers in their initial and then long gone parents, some in their lifelong parents. No one else than adopted children and all of their parents can probably understand the adoption issues wide spectra. It’s great that you share your stories. In the long run we all can learn more about that kind of destinies.
    What if we could learn that it is not the origin that counts but how loving we are to each other that matters regardless of origin.

    1. Thank you for this great insight. We were lucky in one way, that our children have not been more curious about their birth parents and there were none of the attachment issues some of the children from Russia and Eastern Europe have had.

  3. You have an amazingly beautiful, big heart, Noelle, and thank you Don Charisma for hosting. Indeed, shared blood is not what a parent makes. There’s so much more to raining a child. And a great point: there are so many children in the world who’d love nothing more than having a mother and a father. A home. Thanks for shining a light on that tremendous need. And for sharing.

  4. I’m speechless, needless to say breathless. I have always asked myself how foster parents manage to cope with the adopted children when they finally learn that they were adopted. I’m glad you walked through that stage successfully. That was a great piece Noelle 😀

  5. Thank you for sharing this beautiful part of your life with us!
    Hit my core – reminded me of something I used to hear from someone very special:
    ‘Not flesh of my flesh Nor bone of my bone But still miraculously my own Never forget for a single minute You didn’t grow under my heart – But in it.’

  6. My thanks to Don for letting me tell my story. He was very patient with me as we sorted out various topics and pictures. He is himself a family man with all his blog followers!

  7. This is a very powerful and moving story. I’m not ashamed to say that it brought a tear to my eye. Thanks to Noella for sharing her story with us.

    Very Best Regards,

  8. Beautifully written story. There were several parts were especially poignant but I shook my head when you wrote about all the forms you needed to fill out and your reference to those who bear children and how that same kind of probing is not necessary. Understandable on one hand, unfair on the other. I sometimes wish there was some sort of probe before people are allowed to have children. Thanks Don for providing Noelle the opportunity to share her story and thank you Noelle for sharing this very personal part of your life so beautifully.

    1. Thank you, George. Those forms were a bear. At the time, I was a little frustrated and feeling put upon but I do understand the necessity. The authorities need to know that the adopting parents are the right ones for the child!

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