To all people/parents that are considering adopting a child from anywhere, I urge you to hear the perspective from someone who has been adopted or have experienced the foster system. These are my thoughts and story on the matter. Take everything I say with a grain on salt for what I report out to you is my opinion and everyone else has different experiences.
For the first 16 months of my life I was an orphan in China. They had no records of who I really was, I was just some kid left in a box on the doorstep of the orphanage. To this day I still don’t know my real birthday or who my birth parents are.
From what I was told by my parents, I got it lucky compared to others. I received special treatment because I had a surgery at a young age and was able to go home with a Chinese ‘auntie’ on the weekends. Many of the little girls there were very sick and had clearly not had the quality of life they deserved. On April 1, 2007, I was adopted and was given the chance at a new life. Being stripped away from everything I had ever known, I was not exactly thrilled about the arrangements. Little did I know, it would’ve been for the best.
It was definitely not easy on my parents for the first few months that I was in their care. I didn’t understand the language, I wasn’t used to the food, and I was simply not accustomed to these strangers that had taken me captive. Gradually, I warmed up to them and my older brother and the rest is history. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I realized how much effort my parents put into the adoption process, and how important them adopting me really was. They took almost 3 years and thousands of dollars to make my arrival into their lives possible. I cannot put into words how grateful I am for it, and I will forever be indebted to them. As a young girl in China without parents, it would’ve been a living hell to make it through life. Everyday I try to make sure I don’t take anything my parents do for me for granted. Though it is hard sometimes, it is always lingering in the back of my mind at the very least.
Adoption is truly not for everyone. Many kids in the foster system harbor trauma that you as a parent will never be able to understand fully. I cannot specifically speak on this because I was adopted at such a young age, but there are certain things that do tend to plague my mind. I often wonder why my birth parents abandoned me, or what the true intentions of my parents adopting me is even though I am fully aware there was no malicious intent. Though the thought of not being able to know what your child is really going through is a hard pill to swallow, it doesn’t mean you are, or would be, anything less than a good parent. Truly, if you are willing to devote your life for the betterment and well being of a child you personally didn’t give birth to, I think is a perfectly valid reason to adopt. It is a lifelong commitment with many ups and downs but if you are up for the challenge, it’ll be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. As an adopted child, parents who are willing to give a child a second chance at a wonderful and fulfilling life are the best kind of people.