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Adoption April : Growing up Adopted

This is the second of the Adoption series that I wanted to post on.  Today’s post is all about how I grew up being adopted. From what my parents told me from the beginning and how we as a family treated adoption.

I think that how my family addressed my adoption is what made my adoption special and made it work as a family as well. If I adopt, as my parents did, I could never imagine keeping a secret like that from my child, and being adopted, I don’t think that that would have been a good idea. I think if my parents told me “when I was old enough to truly understand”, or at some milestone birthday it would have had a different effect on me. I also am glad it wasn’t a secret because then I feel like I could have resented the process or being adopted. Since I knew from day one, I have never thought about resenting adoption or my birth parents or parents.

My parents thought that me knowing I was adopted was an important part in my life. I am really thankful that my parents told me and I have never once questioned or been mad at my birth mom for ‘giving me up’. I have always been told that my birth mom knew that she couldn’t give me the ‘best life’ and the most opportunity, so she decided that adoption was a better option for her at the time, instead of keeping me. I totally agree with her decision and see her reasoning. If I was to get pregnant right now, I would honestly consider the same options. I don’t think that “giving me up” is a good way to look at being adopted and why should you be angry about someone giving you a better chance at a life? I don’t think adoption is because someone didn’t ‘want you’, it’s because they were wise and unselfish enough to let you go.

Many people have different ideas about adoption and I know some people are totally against it, don’t understand it, and whatever your thoughts may be, the way that I was raised worked the best for my situation and made me understand and realize what a great thing adoption is and how great it can be for any family.

Around our house there were books that explained adoption in ‘kid terms’. My parents would read me these books if I chose and I think this is what helped me understand at a very small age. These books might had had me come up with questions, and the questions were always answered to the best of my parents abilities and their knowledge. It was very open topic to talk about. They were always also willing to talk to me about it at any time. I feel like this really allowed me to understand that it was a good thing and it’s not that my birth parents didn’t want me, but that they chose to give me a ‘better life’ because they couldn’t offer me that. Nothing was ‘my fault’ about my adoption, and I wasn’t adopted because my birth parents didn’t want me.

I think that is a great way to view adoption, and I think my adoption also was very easy to deal with because my parents never tried to hide anything from me. Another thing that was important to our family was that we always celebrated my brother’s and my “Adoption Day.” It was celebrated on the day that we were legally adopted into the family. Back when we were in school both my parents would take off from work, and we would do whatever the Adoption Day person wanted to do. We would eat whatever they wanted to eat, go do fun things, like Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Beach, Mini Golf, Bowling, surfing (My brother is a hardcore surfer). I even remember making my entire family wear purple because it was my favorite color that day. Strange, but true! It was a day dedicated to the adopted person.

A lot of great memories were made on these days, and it was almost like a 2nd birthday because we would get cards and small gifts. I think it was also important to celebrate the day because it brought recognition to the fact that we were adopted, and my parents were so happy to have me and my brother that they celebrated it. Looking back, that is why my Adoption Day (January 23) is always so special to me. It was the day I officially became a part of my family and it was to be celebrated!

I think by growing up in a home where adoption was accepted and that I always knew I was adopted really helped me understand the concept. I also think that having really open parents who were willing to talk about the process and who explained to me that adoption wasn’t because I was ‘unwanted’ but because God wanted me elsewhere was also very important. My entire family and all my friends always knew that I was adopted, which I also think was a wise decision. I’m glad my parents didn’t tell me when I turned 16, or 10 or something like that, and it was always just a known fact for as long as I can remember.

I think it was because of my ‘open’ adoption that I don’t have any resentment towards my parents about adopting me, or my birth parents about giving me up for adoption. I could see how people could harbor these feelings if it was sprung on them that they were adopted.


Here’s a picture of me and my little brother when we were little! :) Can you tell that we aren’t related.


Those BANGS!!! :) A family picture from a long time ago.

Next week Monday I’m excited to share my personal thoughts on Adoption and how I feel that adoption has affected me and how I deal with some of the questions that I do get on occasion. Remember, the last post of Adoption April will be an open Q&A, so feel free to email me with ANY question. Seriously, I don’t mind at all. Email me


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  • Reply Lacey Nicole

    THAT is a priceless family photo. love the old ones! :) i think the kid-books are a GREAT idea.

    April 13, 2009 at 9:37 am
  • Reply J

    Thanks for sharing! That is just a beautiful way to look at it. What wonderful parents you have indeed. You are blessed!

    April 13, 2009 at 9:40 am
  • Reply Marci

    Thanks for continuing to share your story Danica. That old family photo is priceless, gotta love those hairstyles.

    April 13, 2009 at 9:41 am
  • Reply I Run for Fun

    Lovely pics. Thank you for sharing your feelings. You have an amazing family.

    April 13, 2009 at 9:46 am
  • Reply Sharneysrun

    Thanks again for sharing! Such cute pictures! I think your parents did an amazing job. You are so well grounded! I think your story will help a lot of prospective adoptive parents and adoptees! Thanks for sharing such a personal story with us all :-)

    April 13, 2009 at 9:58 am
  • Reply The Reality of Happily Ever After

    I so love that you are sharing this process and all the things that worked for you! I have a friend who just adopted a baby boy and I’m sending her your way :)

    April 13, 2009 at 10:14 am
  • Reply Carolina Girl

    Those pics are so adorable! I am really enjoying reading about your story. :) Hope you are enjoying Hawaii!!

    April 13, 2009 at 10:43 am
  • Reply Kristen

    Again, thanks for sharing! I have a friend who was not told til later in life and she felt like she had a small identity crisis and didn’t know who she was. I think is is wonderful your parents were so open. Hope you are enjoying Hawaii!

    April 13, 2009 at 10:44 am
  • Reply Marlene

    Thanks for sharing a little more of your story. It sounds like you have wonderful parents!

    April 13, 2009 at 11:29 am
  • Reply D10

    I agree with talking about adoption from the start. Obviously, Morgan will always know she is adopted since she doesn’t look like us. But, even at her age she knows she was born in Kazakhstan and that is where we became a family. We always look at pictures we took througout this whole process. There were so many people who took care of and loved Morgan while she was in the babyhouse and we want her to know about them too. We hope she grows up to be proud of her native country and comfortable talking to us about it.

    Adoption is a wonderful way to create a family, love and family is so much more than blood and genetic makeup.

    April 13, 2009 at 11:31 am
  • Reply Tara Gibson

    thanks for sharing! Your family sounds amazing! Love the pics : )

    April 13, 2009 at 11:48 am
  • Reply Marcy

    I haven’t been around too much this week but I’ve been watching you :P

    Thanks for sharing this chica! I *heart* the old school pics. Didn’t everyone have those bangs? LOL

    April 13, 2009 at 11:58 am
  • Reply ~Mrs. Guru~

    Thanks for sharing. Again, it was an awesome post!

    April 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm
  • Reply Tania

    Love the family photo! Your and your brother’s baby pictures are soo cute!

    I love how your parents approached adoption and how they let you know from day 1. As someone who wants to adopt some day, I always wondered how parents dealt with that. You have a great family!

    April 13, 2009 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply Julianne

    What a beautiful post!! And a great topic. I really want to adopt one day (still trying to convince Duane, he’s not so open to it as me) and I want to be completely open too. Maybe I need to forward your post to Duane!! Btw, my heart really warmed reading your story Danica. *hugs*

    April 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    I love the family pic! So cute! :) Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like your truly blessed with wonderful parents. :)

    I hope your having fun in Hawaii!! :)

    April 13, 2009 at 1:21 pm
  • Reply RunToFinish

    another super fantastic post!

    April 13, 2009 at 1:31 pm
  • Reply Running Around Acres

    openness is the best way. I never hid anything from my kids. I may have had to explain differently when questions were asked, but nothing was every hid. My ex-wife hated that.

    April 13, 2009 at 1:56 pm
  • Reply Susan

    It sounds like you are so lucky to have such great people adopt you! It can’t be easy, especially if they wanted children of “their own,” but it sounds like they did a wonderful job explaining to you how you became a family.

    I think that everything works out as it should, even if we don’t really understand why, and that seems to have held true for you!

    April 13, 2009 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Legallyblondemel

    So interesting! Again, thank you for sharing your story.

    April 13, 2009 at 2:14 pm
  • Reply kristen

    Very cool that your parents were so open fromt he begining. I would do it that way if I were to adopt also.

    Hard to imagine someone being against adoption?

    April 13, 2009 at 2:33 pm
  • Reply lindsay

    sounds like you definitely had a great adoption experience growing up – i love your viewpoint, and can’t see why it would be a good thing to “wait and tell” later either.

    love the family pics. bangs are awesome but so is that bow! rockin’ girl!

    April 13, 2009 at 6:50 pm
  • Reply J

    I emailed you some questions! let me know if you don’t get them!

    April 14, 2009 at 8:18 am
  • Reply X-Country2

    This has been so interesting to read. Can’t wait until next week.

    Oh, and making eveyrone wear purple is the most awesome idea ever. :o)

    April 14, 2009 at 9:00 am
  • Reply Vava

    Great post. I agree with you 100% about being open and honest about all things, not hiding something simply because it may be difficult to discuss (for the child? for the parent, more likely). As I raise my two boys I never ever say something I heard a lot when I grew up: “You won’t understand until you are older.” Kids are very smart, perceptive, and understanding and deserve to be treated with respect. To leave things bottled up until some imaginary time when they become “ready” is a total cop out.

    Again, great post! And awesome pictures.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Amy

    Glad I stumbled on your blog.

    I am an adoptive mom and wow…this touched my heart. We got our little guy at birth. In fact, I held him when he was 4 hours old. I forget that I never birthed him! :)
    We too have told him since day one. In fact, on Feb. 10th we celebrate “Gotcha Day”. This is the day that we had to go to court and everything became legal. He is always thrilled because he gets two parties a year!- birthday and gotcha day. :)

    Anxious to hear the other post.

    April 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm
  • Reply Sarah Danielle: Jeune Marie

    I love this feature! May be because I am adopted, but they are really well written!

    April 15, 2009 at 10:48 am
  • Reply emily_howard

    Was your brother adopted too?

    April 15, 2009 at 11:27 am
  • Reply aron

    ok my reader was all messed up so i am behind!!!

    love this post and love that whole idea and story behind it. you always hear the stories about kids not knowing or being told later in life and its really cool that you have known this whole time and have celebrated it! such a great outlook on it because it is truly a blessing to both you and your parents.

    looove that family photo!!

    April 16, 2009 at 9:40 am
  • Reply IRJessica

    No, I can’t tell you aren’t related by the photo at all. The family picture is gorgeous. I have adoption fantasies. I think my hubby and I will do it, when we can afford it, and after we have our third child. Oh, I hope you pick my question: do you think if your parents had older birth children, you would have been adversely affected?

    April 19, 2009 at 7:50 pm
  • Reply Stacey

    Thanks for sharing your story. Adoption has been a great blessing in our life as well. I love the idea of “Adoption Day” what a great way to celebrate!

    April 21, 2009 at 12:51 am
  • Reply Run For Life

    I somehow missed this one earlier. My parents also did the kid books and I remember reading them to my sis (she’s 5 years younger) and being jealous that I wasn’t adopted! I love the “adoption day” celebration, that’s a great idea.

    April 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm
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