For as far back as I can remember, I have seen myself as female, African-American, black-haired, brown-eyed and adopted. Being adopted had no more bearing on who I was any more than the color of my eyes did – it was simply a piece of the whole picture.
Buckner International asked me to share a few thoughts I’d like others to know about what it’s like being adopted. Here are my top three:
Ask me about being adopted. I’m happy to share. When I was old enough to attend school, I quickly found out that being adopted was more the exception and not the rule. Because adoption was talked about freely in our home, I found it rather easy to talk to others about it. I also realized that the subject of adoption sometimes seemed to make others, usually adults, a bit uneasy. I also found that being an adopted child gave me an additional sense of pride and self-worth. It was an interesting fact to others. My childhood friends thought it was pretty cool, and, naturally, so did I.
I grew up like everyone else. My parents and I don’t share the same complexion, so I was often asked about that as I grew older. This usually turned into a discussion about my life as an adopted child. It basically boiled down to “how does your childhood compare to that of a non-adopted child.” There is no comparison. Everything is exactly as it would be if my mother had birthed me herself. I received the same rewards and punishments as anyone else. I heard the word ‘no’ just as often as my friends did. I received the same amount of Christmas and birthday presents as one would expect. My parents had the same behavioral and academic expectations of me as anyone else.
Having been a child of adoption has probably given me a greater thankfulness and appreciation for the subject. I have a strong passion to share this special gift of love to an adopted child (or two) of my own. While only God truly knows what is ahead for me, I feel strongly that he has put this burden on my heart for a reason.
Love. The gift that keeps on giving.
Khayla H. is an 18-year old college freshman at a Texas university. Khayla enjoys sports and volunteers, helping others in her free time.
Read her mom's perspective on their adoption journey here.
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