Written by Anna Hull | Family Support Services Supervisor
This week I celebrated the anniversary of the day I went home to my forever family. I have heard this day called many different things, but we have always called it our Homecoming Day. This year I celebrated with my family in the same way we always have, with a family dinner and a retelling of the day we first met. You were 32 days old and still so tiny (the size of a football)! We couldn’t stop telling everyone we met that we were finally getting our baby! The night we had to spend in a hotel to “make sure we were sure” was the longest night of our lives! I hear the same story every year and will never tire of it.
Growing up as a transracial adoptee, my status as an adoptee was regularly a topic of interest for others. This led to all types of interactions, sometimes funny, sometimes frustrating, and sometimes embarrassing. My favorite will always be the time my mother, with me in her arms, was asked by a cashier ringing up her purchases, how she got my skin so tan (15 minutes in the sun, every day!). My family’s policy was always honesty in telling the adoption stories of myself and my brother, who was also adopted. Our stories were special – why wouldn’t we want to share? While we now encourage families to be more circumspect in telling their children’s stories, I also recognize that my comfort in talking about even the more difficult aspects of adoption likely came from all the practice I had while growing up. It also helped me recognize and identify the lifelong impact that adoption has on families and led me to seek out ways that I could share my experiences with others.
As someone who has been lucky enough to take her life experiences and make them into her career, I am reminded every day of the immeasurable, life changing impact that adoption can have on the life of a child. My life is forever influenced by my status as an adoptee, from my choice of career, to my definition of what makes a family, to how I see my place in this world. Adoption is not for the faint of heart. It requires commitment and sacrifice and an infinite amount of love, but it will forever change the trajectory of the life of that child, their family, and everyone they touch. My life was forever changed by my parents’ decision to adopt and I am so incredibly grateful for the life that I have been able to have because of it.