When I was 18 months old I was given up for adoption. My biological mother at the time was a frequent drug user. She had a total of three children. Noah, Lilly, and Carter. (I changed our names due unwanted contact from her.) Noah was the oldest; he was born in April of 1992. Born with intellectual disability and fetal alcohol syndrome, he struggled socially and intellectually, so my mom decided to home school us.
Noah was a happy child.
He was rambunctious and full of life…but he sustained many injuries while living in our biological home. Ella (my biological mother) knocked Noah down a flight of stairs. She scarred him with cigarette burns. She left him on the couch for three days, unconscious (although he has no recollection of this event – he was only three years old at the time). Noah had no chance at fighting back – he could only lay there.
I am Lilly.
I was not born with an intellectual disability, although I do have multiple emotional disorders such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder, ADHD. I was born January of 1993. During this time, Ella had been on parole, trying to stay out of prison. She stopped using drugs for a short period of time although I am not sure whether she used alcohol in any of the nine months that I was in the womb. Fortunately, I was not diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome – I was the lucky one. The drugs didn’t touch me; I feel guilty that I do not have intellectual disabilities or fetal alcohol syndrome because it just doesn’t seem fair.
Frank, is my biological dad.
And he never accepted that I was his. He used the excuse that I was a female and also used the excuse that I was not genetically his. DNA test say differently; I was 99.9% related to the father. Noah was only 98.8% related to Frank…but I was still not accepted.
Frank was drinking one night and had gotten into an altercation with Ella. Somehow I ended up being thrown at a door frame. X-Rays showed that my pelvic bone was broken in two, and my arms and legs were fractured badly. I was in a body cast longer than Frank spent in jail. It was a two-piece body cast. Allowing diaper changes.
I remember being adopted.
I don’t remember a lot from the times that we spent in Ella’s care (if you could even call it that). But I do remember being adopted. Landon and his wife Harper had wanted a family for a while and prayed for a miracle to happen. The had no idea that just six months later she would meet us. The adoption was final in 1995. We were officially apart of a real family, but we were having trouble adjusting to the new life. We were taken for doctors appointments where we were told that we were severely malnourished and diagnosed with failure to thrive (when children give up the will to live).
I am now 22 years old.
I was never in the dark about the adoption. I had known since I was about 7 years old. Being adopted gave me a twisted sense of being unwanted. My parents made sure that I felt loved and had everything I needed to succeed – but I could never shake that feeling that I was unwanted. What did I do wrong?
Looking back, I realize that being adopted was the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I had no chance at a future, I had no chance at a life in the hell hole I came from. My parents gave me the chance to seize an education. My parents are the reason I went to college. I have to thank them every day to be where I am today. I HAVE A LOT OF BAD MEMORIES. I have come so far in my life realizing I was CHOSEN. I was wanted! I was SPECIAL. I am NOT a MISTAKE. I AM ADOPTED. While I have a lifetime of bad memories that have happened to me, the biggest lesson I have learned as a grown up is that when you live in the past, no future is possible. I now look at being adopted as a part of who I am, BUT It does NOT define WHO I AM.
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Amber is a Junior at Ohio University currently majoring in Social Work. She has lived in Southeastern Ohio for just a little over 10 years. She enjoys reading the latest Young Adult literature novels.