Being Adopted: Looking for Answers

Being adopted at ten years old doesn’t mean I know all about my past and where I come from.

For the past ten years, I have wondered where I really came from. I find myself questioning more and more who my birth dad is, where my other brothers are, and whether or not I will ever find out about my family back in Ukraine. It’s been difficult for me, being adopted, to not know the answers because I feel as though a part of me is missing.

I remember my birth mom telling me a story about my birth dad. She said he was Armenian and she was being forced into an arranged marriage. She was pregnant with me when she was supposed to be marrying her fiancé. The night before her wedding, she took my older brother, left her ring on the bed, and ran away. She didn’t love my birth dad and ran away to Russia where I was born. I still find it amazing and incredible how strong she was to run away and start over somewhere else. I am frequently reminded of her, because I do the same thing when I’m unsure of steps I am supposed to take next in my life—I run to new places hoping to find something different, something better. I always end up coming back home because that is where my family is now.

To this day, I wonder where my blue eyes come from. No one in my family has blue eyes, except for me. I know that I am partly Armenian because of my birth dad, and Russian because of my mom. I feel blessed to have been the only girl in a family of boys. My mom told me another story once about how she had been pregnant with a girl before me, though she ended up dying in the womb. My mom didn’t want to try anymore—scared that it would happen again—but did anyway. After I was born, she had two more boys after. I think God had an amazing plan because I ended up taking care of both of my brothers.

It is crazy to think about the past ten years. I feel as though I have lived in United States all my life, yet I have this whole past behind me. I find myself questioning and researching, but nothing seems to add up.

I don’t know if being adopted means I should just move on from what happened in my past. 

It still bothers me that every time I go to the doctor, I am asked about my family medical history and I have no idea.

Being adopted, I think I am always going to wonder about my past. I’ve never been someone to just leave things unanswered. It sometimes bothers me that I don’t have baby pictures, or any pictures of my birth family. I know most people think this shouldn’t make a difference, but to me it does. My friend recently sent me some pictures from the orphanage I hadn’t seen before and they helped to fill the void.

Finding my baby brother someday would mean the world to me. I want him to know more about our birth mom. I don’t want him growing up thinking he was abandoned and she didn’t want him. I want him to grow up knowing that she loved him, but she wasn’t strong enough to take care of him.

I want to figure out where I came from and where I belong.

I know most parents may not like the idea of their adopted children finding out more about their past, but I truly think it’s important to be open about it. I sometimes feel as though I can’t really discuss my past in my family. I feel like I am hurting my mom when I am trying to research finding my birth mom. I think it’s difficult for me because I was ten when I was adopted. It would have been a little different if I was a baby, but I wasn’t. I remember the first half of my life back in Ukraine. Most people don’t have that, so I am allowed to have questions about being adopted. I want to be able to put all the pieces of my life together so I can tell the stories to my kids someday. I want to be able to know where I came from, who my family is and was, and figure out where I belong.

As much as I don’t like living in the past, I think I will continue until I figure out some answers about my life. I believe going to Ukraine someday may help me put some pieces of the puzzle together. Until then, I will continue to research, write, and try to figure out where exactly I am supposed to be.

Written by Jason Granillo

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