Everyone is adopted… some of us are more adopted than others.
I was adopted 46 years ago today on July 3, 1968. As long as I have known my life story, I have known that I was adopted. I have always loved being adopted. I wish that every child could be adopted, even if each child were adopted by their biological parents.
I like my birthday too, but my actual birthday is more of a myth than my actual adoption day. Obviously, I know that I was born. I have a birth certificate with a birth date, but I feel that I am lacking some evidence. (I can already hear my mother’s voice in my head, “What are you saying Bryan? Are you saying that you do not believe you were born on May 16th in Riverside, California?)
I am saying that it does not really matter.
By the time I was six weeks old, my life story had provided me with important life-long life lessons. My life began with the sacrifice of others. I was saved by grace and love. I was nourished by faith.
After I married my children’s mother, my mother handed over the photo albums that she had been collecting since before I was born. Now that I am a parent, I understand some of her entries in my baby book, perhaps better than she understood what she was writing at the time.
Now that my children are 10 and 8, I am more impressed that my mother continued collecting. Today I looked through decades of sepia toned family history. I saw my father smile. I remembered how much I respected my relatives. I had forgotten that I had ever been so small and that my mother and father had been so young.
When my daughter turned ten this year, I collected photographs from my daughter’s first ten years and created a blog post and photo gallery. My daughter will appreciate the images one day, just as I have grown to appreciate my parents. Before I appreciated them, I consumed them. The stories were part of me. Some of my photos resemble my favorite pictures of my from my childhood. My dry sense of humor resembles my mother’s. One of her favorite captions was “Bryan and friend,” which is a perfectly fine caption, except that I was usually posed with a stuffed animal or other toy.
When I collected photographs of my daughter, I struggled to limit the gallery to 100 pictures. When I started collecting pictures of my mother for this post, I could not find many. Have I been too busy parenting to save photos of my mother? Is my mother busy creating, so that she avoids the camera? I really do not know. I have another year to find photos and create a better gallery.
PS. The picture above was taken this March in Washington, D.C. My step-father and mother attended the National Walk for Epilepsy with me. Today is also now July 4th, 2014, because I have spent a few more hours on this post than I intended. SO, I am going to back date this post to my real Adoption Day and go to sleep. (I also edited a spelling mistake on 11/30/14)