Now come the questions. You would think a 3 year old would just say oh OK. Well not this complicated little person! I’ve always been very open about my adoption with my parents & loaded them with an excessive amount of questions at age 3
What does that mean?
Why mommy? Why did she give me up?
Where is she?
What’s her name?
Can we find her?
What does she look like?
Is she dead?
My mom answered my tearful questions to the best of her abilities. She didn’t know much about her. Just that the case worker said they resembled each other. ‘Maybe She couldn’t take care of you… I don’t know where she is or her name or what she looks like… But when you turn 18 we’ll help you find her if you want to and you can ask her anything you want.’
That’s all that needed to be said to me: when you turn 18 you can find her. Now anyone who truly knows me knows that since I found out I was adopted I always said “the day I turn 18 I’m going to find my birth mother!” Everyone knows that about me!! If you didn’t, well now you do. The day I turned 18 I started my search. I never wavered in my decision to search for my birth mother. The thought never even crossed my mind. Just had to wait 15 more years.
I actually remember the day I was legally adopted. It was a really hot day in June. (FYI my memory is crazy!) The night before we had a family talk, my parents and my brothers, all about what was going to happen. That’s when they told me I was adopted & tomorrow it was all going to be final after 3 long years. I remember ma getting me up really early to get dressed in a blue dress and white tights. I remember Jason being excited saying “are you ready Nikki?!!” I said yes! At 3 I knew what was happening but I didn’t quite understand it yet. I just knew it was a big day. The whole family walked from our apt in the south end to the court house downtown. The one thing that stands out in my mind so vividly was my aunt standing at the bus stop on Tremont St. on her way to work in her heels and suit crying. She knew where we were going all dressed up in dresses and ties.
I don’t remember anything else. Don’t even remember being in the courthouse except for the judge giving me a lollipop. And then we left… That was it. It was over. I was legally who I already was. We walked to the Boston commons and took pictures as a family, got something to eat and went home. It was a special day, adoption day.
I guess after that it started to sink in my head and I began to understand. You’re probably thinking, impossible! You were only 3 years old. Not to toot my own horn, but I was a pretty smart kid, and like I said my memory is kind of crazy. I began to ask questions… However I don’t think my parents were quite prepared for those questions to come so soon. What can I say, I was a curious little kid with a lot of mouth.
‘I didn’t come out of this mommy but I came out of another mommy but this mommy is MY mommy?????!!!!’ WHAT?? That’s a lot for a kid to handle but I actually understood it. I got that. It’s not really that complicated when you think about it. The only complicated thing was the why that’s the only thing I didn’t get yet. Hey look at that! Little me had 2 mommies before society tried to make it “cool” to have 2 mommies. So 😜!
Let me say this, as a child I was never treated differently. It never changed how I viewed my parents or my two brothers, anyone in my family for that matter. They were all I knew since I came home from the hospital. They raised me & loved me & spoiled me rotten. I just knew that one day I was going to find this woman & nothing in this world was going to stop me. But my family was still my family. My mom, the only one I had. My dad was my daddy. My brothers were my big brothers. None of that changed. Still hasn’t. Now I just have an extra mom & extra siblings.
Kids say all the time ‘I can’t wait to turn 18 so I can do what I want’ or for other various reasons. But there are some of us special ones who say “I can’t wait to turn 18 so I can find my other family” and SOME are fortunate enough to have that option. (The legalities of seeking birth records angers me. But that’s a topic for another day!)
WE are a special breed. We have love, we have anger, we have hope, we might even have hate, but we are uniquely special. We’re adopted.
I’m special. Always have been, always will be.