My name is Lucy. I’m a 31-year-old, African-American girl and I am adopted.
Before I was 9 months old, I was placed in two different foster homes and then finally adopted into the amazing family I have today. I was adopted into a loving, Christian family of 12. The parents that adopted me are white, had 3 biological children of their own, and adopted 7 other children. Six of the seven children adopted are black, one white and four of the seven adopted were born with some sort of handicap. I’m the 9th child out of 10 and I love the fact that I come from a big, multi-racial family! I grew up in a Christian theatrical, musical loving, academic, loud, wild and crazy home in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia.
Growing up in a large, diverse family was all I knew and I loved it. Until the age of 4, I just assumed that it was normal to have large, mixed-race families and not even think twice about it. At 4 years old, I became curious one day about why my mothers skin-tone was white and mine was brown, so I confronted her about it. I apparently walked into the kitchen, looked at her and said, “Mom, why aren’t you brown like me, but you’re my mom? Some of my other siblings are brown, but you’re not!” My mom chuckled a bit at my choice of words and she simply said, “You’re right, no, I’m not brown, and yes, I am your mom. You weren't born of me, but I am your mom.” She explained a little more and that was all I needed. I simply accepted her answer and skipped away joyfully! I found out that day that I was given up by my 15-year-old mother because she simply could not take care of me and that she allowed for other parents to adopt me, welcome me as their own and raise me! I can honestly say, I’m thankful the for the way the Lord orchestrated it all.
Being adopted definitely has had its own challenges and then being adopted by parents of a different race and culture has other challenges of its own. Though I’m so thankful for my upbringing, as I grew older, into my teenage years, I definitely struggled with my identity, feelings of not being accepted or wanted, and even fear of being rejected and or left suddenly. One of my main struggles was feeling like I lacked connection with my own identity as a black girl, culture, and understanding of my history because I really didn’t grow up with those seeds being sewn into my life by anyone in my immediate family! As much as my parents tried to help with the physical things like sending me to black hair stylists to help with hair, or asking peoples advice for the best skin care products, I really had to spend my time learning from my black friends and talking with their parents to learn about culture and history. It was hard, uncomfortable and at times embarrassing for me, but I wanted to relate, to feel better rooted and know more about who I am.
Though there were struggles from being adopted, there were so many blessings and things that helped shape my life and character in the best ways! I grew up learning to love all people, no matter their race, handicap, religion or background. I learned compassion and how to make people feel loved and accepted. I grew up being fascinated with other cultures and had a longing for traveling to the world and to this day, I’ve spent much of my life traveling and working on the mission field.
Being adopted even played a part in shaping my relationship with God. Though it’s common for adoptees to struggle with their identities and some often go down destructive paths to find love and acceptance, I didn’t struggle as much as some of my own siblings did growing up. Since I was a child, I remember feeling so safe, loved, wanted, and valued by my parents that I was overall confidant and felt secure. I also felt the arms of God so tightly wrapped around me, keeping me in a place of comfort and peace as I grew up and went through my own experiences in my family. God is such a good Father and he not only gave me amazing parents through adoption but he himself adopted me as his own. I am a child of God first and foremost and it’s because of him, I was given the life I was and have become the woman I am today.
I’m so thankful for adoption. I’m an advocate for adoption. I hope and pray that I’ll be able to adopt one day, maybe even foster children. I believe adoption is so beautiful and has the power to bring healing, restore brokenness, bring light and hope, peace and comfort, acceptance, value, and love.