Hey! It’s a Boy!

Early Years Adoption

My teacher stood in front of the class and wrote a question on the chalkboard, “What is something that makes you feel special?”

Our homework assignment for the night was to write an “essay” on what we thought made us special, and as you can imagine, there was quite a clamor after this announcement. The kids gathered together and discussed what they might choose before we walked to the bus or waited to be picked up. Many of my classmates said their parents or grandparents made them feel special. Others talked about their pets or their favorite toys. I almost told everyone my choice but remained silent because I wanted to make it a surprise.

Adoption Baby

I don’t remember talking to my parents about the assignment. I was pretty young and my memory fails me from time to time but I distinctly remember standing up in class the next day and saying, “I am special because I am adopted.” The teacher was pleasantly surprised and said, “That’s wonderful, Adam. Thanks for sharing.” I handed my “paragraph” into the teacher and sat back down.

I knew of my adoption from an early age. My parents made it a point to tell me this detail about my life at a very young age because they considered it an expression of their love. That prefaced any questions I might have about my identity. It turned out to be an important base of knowledge to go off of when I turned out to look strikingly different from my entire family.

Adoption Early 2

From that kernel of knowledge grew my love of questions and the unknown. It seems I was destined to be a writer. I am a searcher of truths but less in need of definitive answers than most. Because it all started with the knowledge that I began my journey on this planet as an accident with a more obvious roll of the dice than most. That gamble turned out pretty well for me with my loving parents, family and friends. And I wear my adoption as a badge of honor to this day because of those very reasons.

In my teen years, the conversations and questions increased as I began to think about the bigger picture. My parents encouraged me to look into my adoption, gave me all the information they had, and offered to help me in any way they could. I had a surprisingly large amount of information about my adoption. My file even contained a surprisingly poised letter from a sixteen year old girl explaining that she didn’t want to give me up but she thought it was the best opportunity for a good life. And she wasn’t wrong. Whether you call it luck or providence, I have been gifted with a wonderful and full life. But, unfortunately, my adoption was and is a closed file. I had no direct way to find out who were my birth parents. And I reached a dead end for the moment.

Some years later, in my mid-twenties, I used my tax refund to hire a private investigator in hopes of finding my birth mother. Within 48 hours I had an email address that he said belonged to her. He wished me the best of luck and the dial tone went flat. Suddenly, all of my deepest inquiries and questions loomed large on a blank outgoing email screen as I sat in my cubicle. I didn’t know what to say so I just began typing random words. After what seemed like a thousand drafts, a myriad of emotions and expectations, I wrote the email below titled: “Hey! It’s a Boy” 

A wave of relief followed by trepidation washed over me as I pressed send on that simple email. I reached out into the unknown leaving myself vulnerable, excited, and earnestly awaiting a reply.

To be continued…

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