November is National Adoption Month. I felt it important to speak about this topic so near and dear to me.
I learned quickly that by being an adopted child I had been “chosen”. I loved to hear my Mom tell me over and over again, I was “chosen”.
One night shortly after the adoption when Mom tucked me into bed, she recited a poem to me.
Not from my womb
Nor bone of my bone,
But still, miraculously, my own.
Don’t forget for a single minute,
You didn’t grow under my heart, but in it.
The original poem, I have since discovered, began with the words, “Not flesh of my flesh,” and its author is Fleur Conkling Heyliger. But for me the words and phrasing as my mother recited the poem are what feels right.
There was another classic children’s story about adoption I must mention here. The Chosen Baby by Valentina P. Wasson. Illustrated by Glo Coalson. Drawn from the author’s personal experience this endearing book was first published in 1939 and has since become a classic in the child adoption field. If you look hard you can search and still find some older versions.
One of the keys to adoption in my opinion is telling your child the moment you adopt them that they are “chosen” and explaining how special adoption is. Setting the stage at an early age or whatever age your child is when you adopt is key in helping the child understand how badly someone wanted them.
Many children are adopted when they are older and have already developed psychological and emotional issues such as but not limited to, abandonment, anger, fear, attachment and more. Some may have physical and health issues. Many wonder why their birth mother didn’t want them. They fear they were unwanted or unloved. This is usually not the case. In most instances the birth mother simply could not take care of the child for one reason or another. It becomes the adopted parents responsibility to embrace the role of doing all they can to instill security, love and support for the child while they work through the issues that were developed prior to being adopted.
In my case I don’t know why I was left in a brown paper bag on a toilet seat in a bar and grill in the middle of January, 1954. I can tell you with all my core being I felt my birth mother loved me deeply and simply could not care for me properly, so she left me somewhere I would be found quickly.
Today we have many forms of families who have adopted children of all ages, color and sex. We have mommy and daddy’s, mommies and mommies, daddies and daddies or simply one mommy or daddy. The most important thing is that the child is being brought up by a loving person or couple no matter what their personal sexual orientation is. There are simply too many children in the world who need a loving home.
So, in honor of National Adoption Month I give a big mahalo (thank you) to all the mommies, daddies whoever you are who have adopted a child or are about to, and say this, you are the chosen ones to have taken the step to open your hearts and homes to those needing love, kindness, patience and support.
Blessing of love,
A. K. Driggs