The other day, while visiting my mom and dad, and my mom whips out a cake and goes, HAPPY ADOPTION BIRTHDAY! And I realized that I had completely forgotten, because children have sucked out my brain and memories like little zombie people. But you'd better believe I"ll take any excuse I can find to celebrate a birthday. I also had a couple of epiphanies (because I'm fancy and say words like EPIPHANY):
1. My adoption birthday says I'm 26 years old, and it would be RUDE TO ARGUE.
2. I haven't been taking advantage of the TWO birthdays I can coerce John into celebrating. Muahahahahaha.
3. Adoption is AMAZING. And since some of you may not know my story, I thought I'd overshare here on the world wide web. It's what I do.
In all seriousness, I have the most amazing, selfless parents. And it's actually THEM I want to celebrate today. For opening their hearts to a scared and overwhelmed little girl in a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and sassy red tennis shoes (that she wouldn't take off, because the love of fashion STARTS EARLY y'all.)
My story is a little circuitous, so bear with me. When I was 2.5, I was taken away from my biological mother because, despite her desire to be all that a mother should be, she just wasn't able. I absolutely knew I was loved, and I am beyond grateful for that. I was placed by Georgia's Department of Family and Children Services into a foster home, with a wonderful couple who would (spoiler alert!) adopt me many years later.
Eventually, my biological mother came back into the picture, having completed the necessary steps to regain custody of me. I was 4 and my life changed again. I went back to live with her, and do have happy memories from that time. Despite being on welfare, using food stamps to buy food, and being an avid user of stores' layaway policies, she did her absolute best to care for me. During this time, my foster parents also remained in my life, and I can't stress this enough, they absolutely did not have to do so. They endured significant heartbreak when I was returned to my biological mother, and no one would have blamed them for washing their hands of the whole situation.
Instead, they supported me and my mom, provided food for us, school supplies for me, and a break whenever my mother needed it. They all worked together to keep my life as stable as possible, and put my needs ahead of their own. I am beyond lucky.
When I was 8, my mother had some things she needed to work through, that I won't go into here. As a result, I went back to live with my foster parents, who made that transition seamless for me in so many ways. From that point forward, they began the process of legally adopting me. There were delays, and my biological mom fought the decision, but ultimately, on June 15th, 1992, I officially became Sherri Morris.
Adoption is hard y'all. Even though I had a great situation, there were and are still so many aspects that have been difficult. But, I can tell you this: being adopted changed my life. Each of my parents (biological and adoptive) changed my life. And I wouldn't alter one moment of my story, because it's made me who I am today.
So, today, on my adoption birthday, I celebrate ALL the adoptive parents out there. You are BRAVE. It's hard to invite someone to whom you aren't biologically related into your heart, life, and home. It requires so much strength to love someone through all their fears and flaws, especially when you don't have to. There's nothing more powerful than that. You are changing lives, and doing important work. You are AMAZING and INSPIRING.
And I am grateful.
(I am also 26 and not in my late 30's anymore. Let's not forget that either.)
Until next time,