Saturday, January 26, 2013

Once Upon An Adoption

I can't remember when my parents first told my sister and I that we were adopted.  I think they were telling us before we could even crawl and most definitely before we could walk.  Somewhere around my freshman year of high school (you know, a few years ago minus twenty-blah, blah, blah) when those irritating after school specials would come on channels like PBS depicting teenagers that decided to run away because they had a sneaking suspicion that they weren't birthed from the people that raised them from even before they could form a single thought?  I know there were other topics but I can only remember that one and the one about the girl who would order over a dozen donuts at a time when she was old enough to drive because her parents wouldn't let her eat any sugar as a child.  That one didn't bother me of course...I adore donuts and made my own plans to do the same (I was allowed sugar by the way).  Besides, who can't eat a dozen "Hot Fresh Now's"?!  But I digress.  My topic is about the first thing I mentioned - adoption.

I love the story of our adoption and how we were welcomed into the best family one could hope for.  Maybe it won't be as cool to you but I'm writin' it so hopefully you'll find it at least a little entertaining.  I'm also writing about this because I know some people that are trying to adopt right now.  I only told them one piece of advice - don't ever try to hide the adoption from the child if you're blessed to get one (hello, that's an "after school TV special" waiting to happen).  I can't think of one good reason why the new parents would hide it like it's the horrible family secret.  Heck, a lot of folks in my extended family don't even think about it after years and years and say things like "you look so much like your mother I tell ya!"  Or the funniest one when I was still growing was "well, we know you'll at least be around 5'7" like your mom!".  Oddly, they were weird is that?!  I do have a strange theory about how we grow to look like the people we live with over the years but that's a whole different post and after a whole lotta wine (not really, I believe it even when I'm drinking coffee).  Good Lord, I've strayed in thought again!  I need a mental fishing pole so I can reel myself in more efficiently.

So, the story goes like this...

Once upon a time there was a wonderful couple that could not have any children.  After a few years of marriage when they decided they were ready to add to their little family of two they knew exactly what they needed to do.  After the couple (we'll call them Mom and Dad or my parents for this telling) filled out the necessary paperwork to adopt it was all about the waiting.  They waited and waited and waited (a year and a half to be exact).  Meanwhile an evil witch (we'll call her their neighbor...and she probably wasn't story) had put in an application to adopt as well sometime after my parents had.  Still awaiting any news from their case worker my Mom saw the neighbor walking down the street pushing a stroller!  A stroller! The neighbor wasn't practicing with a Cabbage Patch Kid...she was pushing a real live little baby!!  How could this be?  Why wouldn't they get a little one to add to their family first?  How heart breaking for the wonderful couple.  But the wise case worker handling their case had bigger plans for my parents - for she knew there was going to be a BOGO coming up was going to be double coupon day...again I joke.  No, the case worker knew that my parents were good people and that soon she would be able to introduce them to not just one little baby girl, but two!  And wouldn't you know, they were the most beautiful babies in all the land!!  Okay, most all babies are adorable...what...ever.  The wonderful couple was so happy. After a few meetings with the wise case worker and spending some time with the twin babies the day came that the little girls found a permanent warm and loving home.  Everyone lived happily ever after. 

The End  <see below for extras>

Cut "Scenes" & Facts

1.  The Mom got to walk down the street in front of the evil witch's house with a double stroller.  Yes she did!
2.  Everyone indeed lived happily ever after...with mostly normal, non-fairytale issues like all other real families.
3.  The Mom tells the story much better than the author of this post and not at all like a corny fairytale.
4.  No animals were intentionally hurt during the history of this tale, but a goldfish did overeat and explode about the same year that Atari became popular.  Also, several wonderful dogs and one cat have passed through the families lives and they loved each one (even the cat).
5.  The twins wore beautiful yellow dresses the day they found a forever-home! Fact: the younger twin looked the best in it.

There are some things that will not stay hidden forever and whether you want them to be or not, kids are curious creatures and the older they get the better they are at finding things.  Furthermore, if they do find out later in life how would you expect them to feel?  You only showed your child that you were embarrassed about having to adopt them!  Tell them from day one and it will just part of who they are.  My sister and I think it's a special "trait" to have.  And bonus, we have our birthday and our adoption birthday - when we really started living.  How awesome is that?!  Wait, does that make me like 80 years old?  I gotta go find a calculator...and a walker...maybe some prunes...

"On the day the social workers were coming, we sat at the dining room window watching for the car knowing something was in store that would change our lives -all four lives forever." (A quote from my beautiful Mom, Janie Matthews)


  1. ADOPTED???? No Way!!! I've known you girls since you about 7 months old. You look to much like your Mother to be adopted. I refuse to accept this.

    No seriously, it was a match made in heaven is the only way to describe or explain this. Wayne and I have always said "God couldn't have found a better home with loving parents to place you girls with". Most parents don't get to choose their children. "Janie and Steve done good" as "Pop" your Grandpa Elms would say. It was always a special time when we got to see you girls, and still is. You two changed all our lives. Wayne and I were dating for only a couple of months the first time I saw you girls in 1973 and I knew it was something special about the Elms family and I wanted to be a part of it. It's special families that adopt. It's special children like you girls to accept and love those parents just like they are their own. You both help complete our family and couldn't imagine life without you in it. <3

    1. Oh Linda, we do love you so! I love hearing your stories too!! Some of our fondest, most special memories of are you and Wayne...and Jeff of course. We may have changed your lives when we came into it, but you changed ours by marrying Wayne! You have no idea what you mean to Jennifer and idea! We adore you and always have.
      With ALL my love,

  2. We were blessed for sure when the girls came into our lives. The love kept growing as grandchildren were born. The granddaughter said during her last visit that she exists because we adopted her mother. If we hadn't adopted her mother, her mother wouldn't have gone to NC State where she met Chuck and married him.

    Our parents loved their adopted grandchildren as much as their natural ones. Of course, who wouldn't love Barbara and Jennifer?

    1. As you told us the stories since we were little, so did we to our children. You excepting us into your (now our) family is something special and my daughter and Jennifer's son find it wonderful as well. Thank you so much - you're the best parents EVER!

      I miss my grandparents...all four. As loving as you, my aunts and uncles and my grandparents were and are, you could have hidden our adoption but chose to make it special. Thank you!