I was adopted. For hundreds of you reading this, this is not news to you. I have written of it. I claim it. It is acknowledged in my tattoos and evident in family photos.
My faith up-bringing gives much laud to adoption; it is an imagery bringer of the faith family and heirs to earthly and heavenly inheritance. However, I find ancient adoption to be far different than modern day adoption in my studies and learnings. Ancient adoption often was reserved for older youth, even adults, who had proved worthy of responsibility, inheritance, or family pride. After assessment, not necessarily love leading, people could be welcomed into a “bloodline” with a mere legal status shift.
Modern day adoption focuses on infants, youth, and often keeps performance off the table. Today adoption lofts love and family whole-making, deep meaning and belonging as promises. Adoptions in either era are prone to human faults and yet we know of and see also the extraordinary success stories.
Adoption has social justice out-workings and even social popularity peaks if one were to survey the last several decades.
But cultural and societal contexts aside,
it is personal…
…for each family,
It helped me.
Adoption helped me gain a family. Adoption helped me learn that the world was big, my birth country always a globe spin away from where I lived. Adoption taught me of race with constant submersion from having a Korean brother and a Dutch American brother.
I have never been the majority race or ethnicity in my family or communities, which gives me rich experience as I strive for inclusivity everywhere and equity in education. I never assumed I was right or that there was only one way to look at something, which as an adult, I think this is a win from adoption’s ripple effect.
Adoption taught me to look for people and see hearts. I knew from elementary age that people had stories far beyond what their family presented, their clothes could tell, and their words chose to reveal. I am proud of this fabric within my spirit.
Adoption, in pictures and instruction, exposed me to a profession that I would follow for my own. Adoption gifted me an upbringing that had education, although, I fully know now, that I would have learned much in the schools of the nuns back in Bangladesh. However, for 30+ years, I did not know that. In the unknowing, my diligence in education always felt like a responsibility back to someone or some choice somewhere.
Adoption gave me memories. There are good childhood memories, there are friends and family, there is a faith community, and also a certain exploration of nature and exercise which came only through being raised on this continent. I am thankful.
Adoption surrounds me with a natural heritage, a sisterhood of nuns, and Stateside family, all which comprise to give me complexity and worlds to explore still.
Adoption taught me that we can belong, even in the oddest of connections and beyond tradition. It is hard to believe this and it took decades to grasp it, but I do know it now.
I am a child of adoption, a grown woman of many of the positives. I believe in it. Not the way I once did, convinced I would adopt a whole gaggle of babies or little kids to pay it back into the universe what had been given me. Now I lean more, with the blessing and shared vision with my husband of how foster care and older teen adoption is more our heart-wiring…
It helps kids.
It helps people with love to offer.
It helps keep family as a leading society-keeper.
It helps teach compassion and diversity.
It helps many.
It hurts, too. But that idea, dear readers, is a post for next week. Interestingly enough, it will be published by the The Mudroom on my “gotcha day”, June 14… something I have never celebrated, since the practice surfaced after my childhood and the idea was less needed as an adult. Honored to be invited into the space and intentionally start here with this post.
Circle back here if the next post gets heavy or hard. I aim to return to broader topics in due time, but in the now, thanks for cracking open the door on adoption as it has been years since I wrote about it publicly in the Love Strong Chronicles.
I am blessed.
I am grateful.
As my own birth-country faces 50,000+ babies to be born in the Rohingya refugee camps alone in 2018, not to mention throughout the densely populated metropolis and scattered jungle villages, adoption of young and welcome of all is always on my heart…
I know for me,
for my story,
I am no longer an orphan.
How has adoption touched your life? Tell me? Tell us?
Chasing hope and choosing peace, Nasreen
First Name: Nasreen (adoption paperwork name, was imagined to be an Ellen or an Ella until my adoptive parents read my name enough that they chose to keep it. )
Middle name: Sue (adoptive mother’s middle name)
Poet Pen name: Asa Nasreen
Asa (Bangla word for hope)
Nasreen (infancy name, Bangla word for Wild Rose)
Legal name: Nasreen S. Fynewever
Grateful for the journey, greater for the journey. #touchedbyAdoption