The adoption took time, the love arrived instantly…

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You may not know this but, I’m adopted.

In honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month and Saturday being National Adoption Day, I thought I would share a bit about my own adoption story…

I was adopted when I was four months old from Guatemala.

I grew up in a home with five siblings—three brothers and two sisters.

Some times, although not all, people will see my family and me out in public and have this look about them that says, “They’re related?”

Going along with this, I more times than not get asked the same question individually, to which my answer is always ‘yes.’

But how? Their puzzled face reads.

Most of the time, especially to this day when I get asked, I just simply say yes and leave it at that. I don’t offer them the details of my whole life story.

It’s not that I am ashamed of being adopted by any means, but, there’s just some people who I simply don’t feel the need or want to share my story with, especially if and when I get the vibe that they’re being just nosy.

Being an adoptee is a great thing.

Not that being not adopted isn’t great, but I love, when I want to, being able to share my story with others, especially those around the world who may be contemplating adoption at some point in their life. I want to raise awareness about the option of adoption.

Being adopted can bring unsolicited advice and comments from time to time, most of which I can usually shrug off while, other times I think, “Why on Earth would someone ask me something like that?”

I’ve gotten the typical comments of “Your parents didn’t love you,” You weren’t wanted,” and other variations of the like.

Of course, at times, especially when I was younger, those words might have hurt. Now, as a grown woman, I practically laugh because for my biological parents, I’d say it was one of the most loving things they could do for me. I don’t know them, but I can only imagine that both my parents and other adoptee’s parents want what’s best for them, something to which they perhaps thought they couldn’t provide.

What my birth parents did was selfless. It was loving. It was likely the hardest decision they ever had to make.

Of course, this thought brings along the unsolicited question of: “Would you ever want to meet your birth parents?”

That’s a tricky one.

On one hand, yes, I have certainly thought about it, but from having my own conversations with family members and other adoptees outside of my family, it’s not at the top of my priority list.

My family now and which I grew up with, is my family. Now, naturally I am a curious person and have wondered a time or two if I have more siblings, and if my birth parents are even alive, but for the most part, other than to find out medical history, perhaps, I don’t have a burning desire to meet my birth parents.

Why?

Well, because like I said above, my family now is my family. And I personally just think it would be weird, awkward, uncomfortable. Now that doesn’t mean I have any issue with other adoptees seeking out their birth family but like I said, for me, it’s just never been a burning desire of mine. I will say this though, I do hope to one day travel to Guatemala and learn more about my culture.

Going back to what life was like growing up adopted…

Well, one particular incident is what led to my best friend and I becoming just that: best friends, to which we remain today all these years later—despite her moving away in the third grade, us going to different colleges and us now living three hours apart.

My best friend, like me, is adopted. So cool, right? But that’s obviously just one perk of her being my best friend.

In second grade, I can’t recall who the student was but a student was making fun of me for being adopted. At that age, looking back now, where do kids even come up with this stuff? Of course I was upset and my friend, my best friend Erin K., stood up right away and defended me. And since then, we’ve been inseparable.

While most of my life and memories have been positive and happy, there have been some far and few in between like that time in second grade.

Another one came via telephone a few years back, much older than I was in second grade. One of my mom’s “friends” (I say this loosely because, I don’t consider her the definition of a real friend but, that’s for another time, LOL) called our house. I answered and she immediately started talking to me as if she thought I was my mom. I quickly interrupted her and told her I wasn’t my mom, to her which her response was:

“You guys sound so much alike, which is weird since you two aren’t genetically related.”

My jaw dropped to the floor. I couldn’t believe someone, especially a grown adult who is supposedly my mom’s friend, would even think to say something like that and think it’s OK. She’s lucky I didn’t just hang up on her right then and there.

But, overall, like I said, being an adoptee has been awesome. I love that I have a diverse family because it makes me appreciate those different than me that much more.

I am the youngest of six kids. My two sisters are our parent’s biological children/Caucasian, while my brothers are adopted/from Korea. Talk about diversified. 🙂

Nowadays I find the look on people’s faces more funny than rude, and whenever people ask me where I’m from and I say, “Michigan,” for the sake of not having to divulge my entire back story, I get the puzzled look to which I respond by moving ahead in the conversation.

For the most people, people will let it be and let it go, while others question me and ask, “No, really? Where are you really from?” I just smile and say, That is where I’m from. 😉

So, if you’re someone out there reading this and didn’t know much or anything about adoption before and what it means for us adoptees to be adopted, I hope this opened your eyes. And I hope it inspires you to broaden your horizons and seek out other adoption stories in honor of #NationalAdoptionAwarenessMonth.

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

Count Your Blessings, Not Your Problems…

Hello, November.

‘Tis the season for eagerly awaiting turkey day sure to be full of lots turkey, of course, and all the fixings.

But of course the season, and this month in particular, is about more than just the good food that’s bound to come. It’s about being thankful.

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This year, right now, I am extremely thankful for the people in my life. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have made the progress I have in just under a month after experiencing the end of a relationship I pictured for the long term.

It’s true, the saying, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” (And family, too.)

They are the ones who love you unconditionally, make you smile when you’re sad and make you cry from laughing so hard. They are the ones who, sometimes despite their best efforts to stop you from being sad, let you use their shoulder to cry on and ears to vent to. They are the ones who remind you that just because one bad experience happened to you, doesn’t mean you have a bad life.

No one said life was easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard, either. We have the power to choose our own happiness and you have to make a conscious decision to be just that, happy, every day. And that’s something I continue to work on.

If it weren’t for them, my family and friends, I wouldn’t be able to see clearly that all of my life’s experiences, whether good or bad, teach me a lesson. The good ones make me happy and give me just that, a happy experience to look back on, while the bad ones teach me how to do better for next time and that there’s something better out there waiting for me, for which I cannot wait.

Sure, I miss what was, and a part of me always will. We had good times and I’ll always cherish those. I don’t regret our relationship. He was a great guy, just not the right guy for me. I’ll always cherish our relationship as a whole, too, but I’ll also move on from it, to the next chapter of my life. This past relationship taught me a lot about myself and love. I can look back and be happy about the good times we did share but remind myself, there’s another special someone out there for me who is my Mr. Right.

So to my dear family and friends, thank you.

Thank you all, family and friends, for…

  • Allowing me to cry with non-waterproof mascara down my face on your shoulder.
  • Allowing me to vent about how I think my life sucks and it’s over but reassuring me that there are plenty more fish in the sea and a silver lining to this cloud.
  • To all the texts, Facebook and Snapchat messages checking in on me to make sure I am hanging in there, some from people I wouldn’t have expected.
  • (My two best friends) driving 45 minutes just to come see me and hang out with me the day after the break up because they knew I was a wreck.
  • (My best friend in Nashville) texting me right away asking how I was doing, because she is the testament to a true friend, one who despite hundreds of miles between us, can offer support even over iMessages, lol. 🙂
  • The women in my family: Reminding me of what I deserve and to never, ever settle — in any aspect of life, but especially relationships.
  • Continuing to lift me on those days where I can’t help but think I miss the idea of us but pointing out that some people just aren’t meant to be, and that’s OK.
  • Letting me be sad for the time being and then making sure I don’t stay in that rut and getting out there and having fun, living my life and meeting new people.
  • Most of all, just thank you for being here for me overall, not just during this tough time but through all my other tough times, as well as good times.

I recently bought this wooden sign that says:

“My friends have made the story of my life”

and that could not be more true. So to my friends and family, thank you again, from the bottom of my heart. I am on the mend and I feel good about life. I am eager to see what this new month and the upcoming new year has in store for me.

Perhaps when I am fully healed I can open my heart to love again, or at least the possibility of it. I’m excited to just do things that make me happy while also enjoying the company of my loved ones, for who I am so incredibly thankful for, this month, and every other day and month of the year.

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria