COLUMN: My family is just a bit different

Opinion

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Growing up in a small town such as Shelley, people tend to know everyone else’s family members.

Whenever I’d meet someone new, I always went through the motions of, “Are you Donna’s grandson?” Yep. “I used to do aerobics with your mom.” Cool. “You look so much like your dad.” Ha!

Then, of course, I’d have to explain why looking like my dad is so funny.

“I’m not actually related to him, or my mom.”

I usually answer that way because the confusion on their face is funny to me. And every once in awhile, someone figures it out.

“Are you adopted?”

“Why yes. Yes, I am.”

November is National Adoption Month. So, I jumped at the chance to write this column. I love talking to people about adoption and the amazing wonderful thing it is. Especially now that I’ve had the chance to get to know some of my biological family.

I think everyone who is adopted, especially those adopted at a young age like I was, eventually has the desire to meet their biological family. Adoptive parents, you shouldn’t worry about this. Just be honest with your kids. I didn’t get that desire until I was 21.

I told my mom I wanted to meet my birth parents and she graciously agreed to help me find them. Not long after she told me she had found my biological grandfather – my biological mother’s father.

Grandpa Scott and a much skinnier, younger me.

Grandpa Scott (as I call him) and I started emailing each other. I enjoyed telling him about my life and discovering my biological heritage. Learning I’m descendant of Vikings was awesome and explained why I loath hot weather but love the ocean.

I met him for the first time in person when he attending my wedding in May 2013.

As far as heritage goes, I have no shame in claiming my blood and adoptive heritages which are predominately Scottish and Welsh. So, as I like to say, watch me as I wear my clan’s kilt to slay dragons and earn my place in Valhalla.

Grandpa Scott has told me many stories about my biological family’s history. I’m proud to claim those stories right along with my adoptive family’s history. Learning where I come from has been a fabulous journey for me – though it hasn’t been easy.

When I set out to find my biological family, my goal was to find my biological mother. I wanted her to know the person I’ve become – the person that was only possible because of the love she showed me by giving me to my adoptive family.

Though she knows I want to meet her, I’ve been told she doesn’t feel the same way. Whether she doesn’t want to meet me or just doesn’t feel ready, I still hope to someday meet her.

One thing I do know: Adoption is love. From what I learned about my biological mother, she loved me. That love is what made it possible to let me go to a new family. I know that my biological family loves me. Grandpa Scott makes sure I know that whenever we speak.

My adoptive family loves me. I know the pain and struggle my parents went through finding out they couldn’t have children of their own. I know the financial, and especially the emotional, struggle they went through to adopt my brother and me. I know they wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

As for me, I love everyone involved. Without the love and sacrifice from everyone involved in my adoption, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I doubt I ever would have met my beautiful wife. Without her, I wouldn’t have my wonderful daughter or my new son. Adoption means the world to me and my family.

My family, Allyson, my wife, Izzy, my daughter and Declan, my son.

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