Being adopted is not a weird topic for me to talk about because I was adopted at birth. When I was younger, my parents never really talked about my adoption, but they started introducing the topic when I was about six years old. I never felt the need to talk about it with any of my friends because I did not think that my adoption defined me. I was not fazed by this idea, but apparently, my friends were. In fourth grade, I was talking to a group of my friends, and it slipped out of my mouth that I was adopted. Some girls’ mouths dropped open while others told me they did not believe me and laughed it off. A few months later, my mom and I were at Landon’s Azalea Festival, and a huge group of girls that I went to school with approached my mom at the big, colorful bouncy house. My mom was stunned that so many people were ganging up on me about the topic that was so normal in our household. She got so many questions that she just had to explain the situation. She went through the whole story that she told me when I was six, but people still did not believe her. Everyone continued asking, “Why does Caroline look like you? What was the orphanage like? Who is your real mom?” This moment will forever be ingrained in my brain, but I will clarify these questions, so I do not need to answer them a hundred more times.
1) Why does Caroline look like you? We do not know why we look alike, but we got lucky. My mom is one of my best friends, and we do basically everything together. Even though I drive myself to violin, she sometimes drives all the way to Oakton, VA to go to dinner with me during my orchestra break. We binge watch “Gilmore Girls,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “the Great British Bake Off” every second we get a break from our busy lives (which really is not often, but we enjoy this time together the most). My mom and I also love to go Christmas shopping together, but it makes it really hard to get presents for each other.
2) What was the orphanage like? I was never in an orphanage. Being adopted at birth means my parents got a lawyer and had to pay the medical bills for the woman who gave birth to me. I was born in California, and my parents lived in New York, so my mom had to get an apartment in LA for two weeks before my due date, right after Thanksgiving, and stayed there until my dad came, and we left as a family eight days after I was born.
3) Who is your real mom? I don’t know my real mom, and I have never really thought of meeting her. Some people might think this is weird, but I love my parents, and they are supportive of me. I could not image my life being different from now because it brings up too many what ifs or would I haves… What if I did not have my Holton friends? Would I be a different person from who I am now? Would I be playing the violin? Would I have ever come to the east coast if it weren’t for my parents? What would my life be like if I lived in California?
To me, being adopted is no different to me than my friends having biological parents. Yes, in Lower School I was bullied by people because I was adopted and looked like my parents, but being adopted has not stopped me from being who I am today. Whenever there is a “fun fact” section of a form, I put that I am adopted. People can think what they want when it comes to judging me because I am adopted. At the end of the day, however, I am proud of who I am and the family I am a part of today.