Adoption is a beautiful thing until it comes down to the delicate matter of telling the child that you raised that they were adopted. Some kids take it pretty hard because it may not have ever occurred to them that they were. Even so, others are proud of the fact and here are some stories on AskReddit that children revealed about how they found out that they were adopted:
1. The best way is to be “the chosen one”. (deleted)
My parents told me I was adopted when I was really little, probably around when I was 8 years old. I didn’t exactly know what it meant but they told me that they chose me because I was special to them.
As soon as I found out, I walked around school telling my friends and other kids that I was “The Chosen One.” Needless to say, I got picked on quite a bit after that, but as I got older, I understood more and more what that meant and why it happened. I wouldn’t have changed how I was told.
2. Better late than never? (Katstratcher)
I was 28 when my parents finally told me. I don’t think they ever planned on telling me, but the province where I was born was about to release old adoption records, and they didn’t want me to find out by having someone show up at my door claiming to be my mother.
It rocked my world – I never suspected anything before that. My younger sister (who was not adopted) and I look quite similar, so to say it was a shock is an understatement. It took me quite a while to come to terms with it…I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it. I would’ve done it differently…much earlier. Like 23 years earlier. I can’t say I feel “betrayed” because I know they did it out of love, but it’s kinda messed up.
3. Ahhh, Facebook. (Eanae)
I found out when I was 21 when my birth family found me on Facebook. ಠ_ಠ
4. Meeting family you didn’t know you had. (Rever3nd)
I’m not adopted but my best friend is. His mom told him in his early 20’s when he started going to nightclubs and meeting girls and what not. He was in the same area that they had adopted him from and his mom was worried that he might accidentally ‘meet’ his sister.
5. A good adoption story. (transpired)
My parents told me since I was a baby. The lawyer that helped them with their private adoption gave them a baby book when they got me, signed it, wrote a sweet note, and I grew up with that being read to me most nights.
When I was old enough, they always asked me if I had any questions. I never really did, because I had grown up knowing a woman gave birth to me who loved me enough to know she would be doing best by me to give me to my parents. I had no issue with this, I still don’t. I have had an amazing life.
When I was 18, my mother offered me to read all the letters my birth mother and her had written.
I had no interest, those were their conversations.
It’s always been strange to me that when I mention I’m adopted most people respond, “Oh I’m so sorry.” By this point I just laugh when they say that, but it confused me a lot growing up. I can easily say it’s the best thing that ever happened to me, and the best thing that ever happened to my parents who had tried for years and multiple miscarriages and even one premature birth of twins who both died. How my mother is the amazing well adjusted person she is, I have no idea.
I am 22 now and I have since contacted my birth parents. This was a very surreal experience, I went from having 5 members of family to about 10 people wanting to know all about me and telling me they loved me. My birth father had never told his wife he had a kid, and this was hard for her as she shared with me that she had tried for seven years to get pregnant, and yet he never thought to mention he already had a daughter. My birth mother was thrilled, over joyed, and very emotional. She needed validation from me, to know I didn’t hate her. I told her flat out, you did the most amazing thing you could have for me and I have never doubted that.
I feel very sorry for those children who feel they have been lied to if they find out later in life, though I can’t blame the parents who felt they wanted the child to be able to understand when they had the conversation with them. It’s a different tactic, one my parents didn’t use, and I have no idea how I would have felt if they chose that route. It certainly wouldn’t have meant they loved me any less though, that’s for sure.
6. Nothing is what it seems. (deleted)
I’ve always known, as my parent were always very open with me. I honestly didn’t care that I was adopted, since I always knew.
They always told me they didn’t know anything about my biological parents, but they were pretty certain I was like 90% Norwegian. So for as long as I can remember, I thought I had viking ancestors, and was I so pumped! So pumped, in fact, that at the age of 25 I was ready to get my back completely covered in Norwegian/viking artwork. I thought that would look pretty manly.
Well, I call my Dad two days before I’m supposed to get drawn on to verify that I’m Norwegian. I tell him my plans, and while he’s disappointed I’m going to get tatted up, he tells me to wait while he looks through some files.
It turns out that he had a few documents in the lock box at the bank regarding my adoption. He forwards me a scanned document from Catholic Charities (my adoption agency), and it turns out I’m 75% Irish.
7. He was her grandfather. (paperbark)
When I was 15, I worked in a local pizza joint. My town was three-stoplights-on-the-main-drag small, and from time to time, we’d see the local homeless guy Bob walking by. He’d be talking to himself and waving and pulling his wiry beard, all the while smelling like rotting cabbage.
Sometimes he’d stop in, and the boss would do his best to shuffle him out. Ole Bob comes in this day, and he’s doubly frantic and nothing will get him out of the shop. I don’t remember what he wanted, but there was that feeling that he had something really important to tell me.
Finally he leaves, and my boss makes some crack about him, and I swear to you, right then and there in a pizza shop in Smallville, U.S.A., it clicked: I said, “That guy…is my grandfather.”
My boss looked at me in disbelief. But I knew. I still don’t know how. I’d heard Bob’s last name along the way, and I knew my father’s original last name. The story fragments about Uncle Bob…this was that guy, the guy who beat my father to a pulp when he was little.
I waited for my (adopted) grandmother to tell me the story of my father’s life. She took her knowledge to the grave. She wanted me to believe I was her biological grandchild, and so I let her believe it.
But it would have been nice to know some more details. There was nothing for her to be ashamed of. I don’t know why it was such a secret.