Mom has taken my brother and me to buy shoes for school. My baby sister is along for the errand. The salespeople in this family-owned store were so nice and I remember there was a step up from the sales floor to the seats where our feet were measured and shoes were brought out to us to try on. I didn’t much like shopping (still don’t) especially because there were three of us and my Mom had to keep us all in line.
I was probably 7 years old and I always felt a need to keep everything going smoothly. What a strange thing to remember, right? My non-adopted friends who are the oldest in their families share similar thoughts, so I guess it’s part of the first-born mandate. Still, I’m sure we were all tired and a little cranky – trying to get this errand done and go onto the next thing. Although we weren’t “over-programmed” with jam-packed schedules the way kids are now, I seem to feel that I/we were very often doing errands.
At some point in this adventure, the kind salesgirl asked, “So how do you get these two little brown buttons and that fair little baby girl?”
Always one with a quick answer, I said, “Because we’re adopted.”
While I don’t remember the exact conversation that followed, I’ve been part of enough of those conversations to say that there was a bit of an awkward silence and then some kind words from the sales clerk that went something like this, “Well, how nice! Aren’t you lucky?!”
Now that I’m a few decades removed from this and other incidents like it, I have to say I wouldn’t necessarily call it lucky. Most people, when confronted with the fact that my brother and I are adopted (different biological families) would respond with platitudes about us being lucky or blessed.
I’ve always known that it seemed shocking to them to find out we were adopted and they were awkwardly trying to save the conversation. I’d also been told from the time I can remember that I was a special and beloved daughter that my parents wanted very much to make their family. So yes, I felt good about being adopted. I just didn’t (and still don’t) know anything else than what I’ve experienced.
Luck has nothing to do with it.
For me, it’s a part of my journey as a human being and a spiritual seeker. It’s how I was brought into the world – to find myself and I feel very much aware of the deep effect adoption has had on my worldview as well as my view of myself as a person of value.
Still, I wouldn’t call it lucky.