We are so thrilled to introduce you to a remarkable young lady, Emily. She is 19 years old, a Freshman in college, loves french fries and can be found in Arizona with her family painting and doing schoolwork during this strange season of COVID-19 and quarantine life. Emily has decided to share her adoption story with us, as well as some other bits of encouragement meant for other adoptees, as well as any hopeful adoptive parent or adoptive parent. I hope you feel as encouraged by her story as we did.

unnamed.jpg1. Tell us about your story! Where were you born & what has life been like for you up to this point?
I was born in Orlando, Florida. Since I was premature, they transported me to another hospital in Orlando. I was born at 3.5 lbs, and kept in the hospital for 2 weeks until I started gaining weight. From there, the hospital contacted the lawyer’s office to handle the adoption. I was considered a “surprise baby” because there was no adoption plan and no lawyers involved prior to my birth, and there was no prenatal care. My adoptive parents Yvonne and Hugh were contacted and I was brought home the day after Easter in 2001.2. What kind of adoption do you have? What has that been like for you?

My adoption was classified as a “closed adoption” requested by my biological parents. I have never met them, and I have very little information about them. I’ve never even seen a picture. The only information I have is the forms that were filled out by them through the lawyer’s office, with very little background. Because of this, I decided to do an Ancestry DNA and Health test to learn a little more about my genetics. I have a brother I grew up with who was also adopted. His adoption was classified as an “open adoption”. He is actually really close with his biological family, and sees them from time to time. The difference between our adoptions doesn’t really bother me. I’m maybe a little envious. The only thing I wish I knew is where my face comes from. I would like to know where I get my looks from, but other than that, I’ve never been too curious.

3. What are some of your thoughts on adoption in general? Your perspective is much needed in the adoption community! 

I think adoption is beautiful, there’s so many children that need homes. I hope one day to have children biologically, but I also want to adopt a child to give someone a loving home, just as my adoptive parents have given me one.

4. What is it like being transracially adopted, since you are Hispanic but adopted by a white family?

Families should not be defined as the color of your skin: family should be defined as love in your hearts. We have a very large family on both sides. On both my mom and my dad’s side of the family, they are very racially blended. I grew up in a white household, but I have never felt that because of my skin color I was ever any different inside the walls of my home.

5. Is there anything you would like to share with other adoptees? Any words of encouragement you have learned over the years?

The one piece of advice I think every adoptee should know is that being adopted is nothing to be ashamed of. As an example, multiple times when I told someone that I was adopted. Their response to me would be “I’m sorry”. I always respond with “I’m not, I come from a loving home”. Some look at it as if they’re not wanted, however there is someone who went through a lot to get them, and hold them, and have them in their life. I could never have asked for a more loving family than this one that I have, I have never been ashamed of being adopted, not for one minute.

6. Is there anything you would like to share with hopeful adoptive families? 

The thing I think is most important when adopting a child is honesty. Be open with them about their adoption. I don’t remember being told I was adopted, but I know I’ve always known. My parents have never lied to me about it. It isn’t something I think should be hidden, because if anything it goes to show how much love and determination goes into the adoption for their child. My mother always tells me, “You didn’t grow under my heart you grew in it”.

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