We all start out the same. Biologically, we all come into being the same way. Of course, there are different methods of this happening, but when all is said and done, a baby is born. From the exact moment we let out that first cry, we all embark on different journeys: a one-of-a-kind story that no one else can repeat to exact replication.
Mine started out a little like this. My mother was a young teenager when she became pregnant with me. A mere 15 year old, motherhood was not something that she was prepared for or wanting at that time. She became a mother before she received a drivers license, went to the prom, or graduated from high school.
She tried to take care of me, but as would be unexpected from a 15 year old, parenthood proved to be too much. There were instances in which my safety and well being were compromised and as a result, my grandparents became my sole caregivers.
Living with grandparents had its definite perks, but it was not easy. The lines between child and grandchild often were blurred and the consistency of parenthood was not always apparent. My mom did not come around on a regular basis. When she did, I was left confused and hurt as to why she was unable to be a mother to me. The kids at preschool would poke fun, why don’t you have a mom or dad picking you up?
My little heart yearned for a mom and dad.
By the time my birth mom turned 18, her parenting ability had not yet proved itself as worthy. My grandparents then put fate into my hands. They asked me what I wanted. A three year old child. What did I want for my future?
I wanted a mom and dad. That would solve everything, right?
Thus began the journey into adoption.
I have a picture of me as a young toddler nestled in between my birth mom and grandma’s lap. My little head with its hair sticking on end grazes the bottom of their smiling faces, while my expression stays hidden beneath an upside down pacifier. Looking at that picture, I know my birth mom and grandparents supported me to the best of their ability. Their actions were out of love and they did everything to their best intentions. Upside down pacifiers and all.
I have chosen to look at the first steps of my journey in that way. I could hold anger, sadness, and pain surrounding the first three years, but that would only cause me to be stuck in the past. Life is what we make it. Although we are not always in control of what happens to us, we do have the control to grow from it.