The article that started it all…….
I was disinherited, cast aside and disposed of, only to be chosen by another. Someone I barely knew gave me away to someone I grew to love. I was misplaced, only to be relocated. I was lost, but now I am found; I am adopted.
I am a part of the 1.7 million who have been chosen: Dave Thomas, Edgar Allen Poe, William Clinton, Faithhill and Tim McGraw included. One hundred and eighteen thousand adoptions, out of five million births take place in the United States every year. Thirteen percent of adoptees are foreign born, coming from exotic countries; five thousand kids are adopted each year from China, four thousand from Russia. Guatemala, South Korea and Ukraine give one thousand bouncing baby boys and girls each year.
In Tegucigalpa, Honduras, I was abandoned, and eleven months later, embraced. I was not given up on, because I am still here. Not neglected, but accepted. I did not get a kiss goodbye, but a hug hello.
Adoptive parents are the saviors who parent the rejected: Diane Keaton, George Lucas, Jamie Lee Curtis and Angelina Jolie. They liberate helpless children from a destiny filled with loneliness and no love. They support, not refuse. Acknowledge, not forget. Approve of, not ostracize.
Adoptive parents begin the long journey by searching agencies like the National Adoption Directory. Only after being screened, tested and inspected are they eligible to apply for a child. I am legally bound by my adoptive parents, and dismissed by my biological ones. My adoptive parents loved me, and taught me to love.
To humanity, adoptees are living the American dream and twisting the hands of fate, and given a second chance. However, society thinks the birth parents are the criminals because they neither cared for nor remembered their own children. This is not the case.
Studies show birth parents being diverse, but always loving their children and never forgetting them. They want their children to love them and think about them. Biological parents want them to know that they appeared before court for a briefing on the social, psychological and legal consequences of their decision. Their child is referred to a family court in order to give legal consent for the adoption. Once legal consent has been given, the family court will notify an agency and request the child to a government orphanage.
Left in a hospital, neglected, abused and parentless, I went to the Centro de Hogar Temporal. For a brief period, I was one of the one hundred and thirty four thousand orphans who waited for someone to take them home. I was under the category of “abandoned child”– a child whose parents were unknown, could not be found or who refused to care for their offspring.
When up for adoption, adoptees are sent to a foster home by the agency, beginning an eight month process of signing papers and sending updated photos. In a situation where being born was our crime and punishment, we came out innocent.
After the adoptive parents’ search, legal documents are signed, adoptee transformation from one home to another takes place, tears are shed, and we are welcomed home; the process is complete. We prove to be needed, not troubled. We are adored, not resented. We are lucky to be adopted.
-Sylvia Rosen, December 2004