Tuesday, September 6, 2011

An Adopted Child's Perspective on Adoption: Erica

We are thankful that Erica can share her story with us. Adopted as an infant into a caucasian family, she tells of the beauty and struggles of adoption. Erica is lovely 21 year old senior at Georgia College and State University. She is majoring in Spanish and minoring in Political Science. 

I Forget How Different My Family Looks

Here is my adoption story. I was born two months premature and weighed just over three pounds, making me a special needs adoption. I was fortunate enough that at four months old to be placed in the care of the people I have and always will call my family. Unlike most adopted children, I cannot pinpoint the day I was told I was adopted because for me, I just always knew. However while growing up I never fully grasped the concept of being adopted until I was much older. In elementary school, I was always confused on standardized testing whether or not to put caucasian or Pacific Islander/Asian. I was the only person and always had been the only non-caucasian in my class. I also was the only non-caucasian in my family. Unless kids asked me strange questions like who my real parents were or pointed out how my eyes were different, I never noticed I was different than anybody else. Except for my physical appearance, most people would never realize I was born in a different country. I have no memories before my adoption and I have never felt different from anyone else. Adoption was not a big thing to me until my freshman year in high school, when my parents started to adopt again. Even now, I forget how different my family looks from other families. People stare and tend to ask questions when they see my entire immediate family out for dinner because everyone is curious about the diversity that is in my family.

I Never Labeled Myself as the Adopted Child
Every adopted child has a different story and comes from a different situation, just as my siblings, my nephew, and I are apart of the same family, but have very unique backgrounds. For adoptive parents, the best advice I could give you is to love your adopted child just as you would love your own biological child. For me, I never labeled myself as the adopted child because my parents never treated me any different than my older brothers. Also, be honest about information about your child's biological family. It wasn't until I was much older that I discovered my parents had information on my biological family. Long story short, I didn't care about the actual information that my parents had to share, but the fact that they had never confided in me this very personal information. Even today, I can't really tell you the information that they had not told me, but the fact one day I just happened to say and ask all the right questions for the topic to be brought up. However, they have learned from this 
situation and my adopted siblings will benefit from it in the future.

My Family Has Taught Me What is Important in Life

Adoption is a beautiful thing and I could not be more blessed than I am. I thank God every day for my family. There isn't any family in the world I would rather be apart of. My family has taught me what is important in life and I think it would be difficult to find better role models. My grandfather showed me how to be supportive of those you love. My grandmother taught me how to rely on God and pray about everything. My father showed me what a family should look like and what a man of God should be. My mother taught me compassion and how to incorporate it in everyday life. My brother, Derek, taught me how to be selfless and to think of others first, and my oldest brother, Chris, showed me what it meant to be responsible and to prioritize. My younger adopted siblings taught me that no matter what, there is always more love to share. However, the most important lesson my family has ever taught me is through any and every situation, my family will always have my back and that God will never put me through anything I cannot handle, for He will always be with me.

You will have a chance to meet Erica's parents and hear about their family at HOPE AT HOME 2011. They will be speaking on Special Needs Adoption. To find out more and to Register go to hopeathome2011.org
Register by this Friday to take advantage of our Early Bird Registration. 


  1. Thank you Erica! I really appreciate what you shared. I hope we'll get to actually meet in person soon!

  2. Always great to hear from you Erica! :)

  3. Thank you so much for sharing! I am so grateful to read all the stories on this blog and am sure that they will help me better understand where my daughter is coming from when we are finally able to bring her home. You are such a blessing!