Adoption gives hope

By Sharon Kolankiewicz
November 19, 2004

Jenna Nash

It appears that people stereotype adoption as a parent’s last resort of giving up a child. Many people do not understand the concept of adoption to a full extent. In most reality cases, it is not “giving up” a child, but offering him or her a better life.

I am an adopted child. I was born in Manila, Philippines, which is one of the most impoverished nations. My parents, who are from the Pennsylvania area, adopted me when I was six months. When I was 5-years-old I became a U.S. citizen. My parents also explained to me why I was adopted. Although I was very young at the time, I understood the concept of adoption.

Throughout my childhood, it was always interesting to see the reaction of my friends and other people when they saw me with my parents. As I was growing up, a common question from friends and acquaintances was, “Do you ever wonder about your birth parents and family.” Obviously it is a natural feeling for an adopted child to wonder about his or her birth parents. In my opinion, it is the main question adopted children wonder about each day.

Adoption can also be portrayed as a challenging process for both the adopting family and the child. I have been often pitied by people who have found out that I was adopted. It seems that most people assume most adopted children are sad and bitter towards their birth parents. This may be the case for some, but for others, especially myself, the truth is the complete opposite.

Even though I am a different nationality from my family, the race factor does not play a role. I am just another family member who is not treated any differently. The whole race factor does not even come into play with my family. Yes, we know that I come from a different background, but I am part of the family and still a human being. For example, I have a younger sister who is my parents’ biological child. However, she does not get any special treatment. We are also extremely close and depend on each other for moral support.

It really hits home for me when I see the children on the ads, which ask people to sponsor children living in poverty. I know if I was not adopted I would be where these kids are today. Each day I am grateful and count my blessings to be where I am. It is not that I am ashamed of my past, but I know how my life would be if I was not adopted.

Many people wonder why or how parents could give up their children. In most cases they are not giving up the child, but they are offering him or her a better life that they could never provide. I am very grateful to my birth parents who were selfless enough to give me a better life that they knew they would not be able to provide. I am also appreciative to my adoptive parents for giving me the life I have today. I will always wonder how my birth parents are doing, and I would like to visit my birthplace one day. However, I do not look at adoption as a burden, but rather a gift.

Everyone has a different experiences. However, I hope this personal insight gives a more clear perspective on the issue of adoption and in a positive light. In addition, whether or not adoption pertains to you or friends, you should always appreciate what you do have in life. Especially, treasure your family or families for that matter.

Posted to the web by Jenna Nash

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Sharon Kolankiewicz

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