I Was Adopted Along With A ‘Twin’ Brother

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twin newborn babiesI’ve always found it strange when people ask me questions about my adoption. Not because the questions are offensive or intrusive, but because adoption has never been that big of a deal to me.

For as long as I can remember I’ve known I was adopted. My parents never made a secret of it and they never made it out to be some abnormal aspect of our lives. The truth was that they could not conceive a child and they had chosen instead to open their hearts and their home to us. It wasn’t until I was much, much older that I even realized how lucky I was that we had all found each other.

My adoption story is fairly common, except for one aspect: I have a “twin” brother who is also adopted. Now, plenty of families adopt multiple children from different biological parents, but I’ve yet to meet a family who did so with babies so close in age.

My brother, who has different biological parents, was born ten days before me. My parents went through a semi-open adoption process, which meant that they were interviewed and chosen by our birth mothers. Since my parents are so great — at least I think so — two women, with due dates within a week of each other, chose them to adopt their babies. My parents were more than happy to adopt two at the same time and since they had the means to adequately care for twins the agency gave them the OK for both adoptions. This has caused endless amounts of confusion for acquaintances who assume my brother and I are biologically twins. My mother has received more than one sympathetic look and comment on what “must have been some labor.”

I’ve actually met some people who’ve refused to believe that my brother and I are adopted because we happen to look so similar and so much like our parents. For the most part though, people seem genuinely interested in the experience of being adopted and I tend to encounter the same questions and misconceptions everywhere. The first inquiry everyone always asks is if I am interested in meeting my biological parents one day. I’ve never understood why this, of all questions, is paramount in so many minds. I will always be eternally grateful that my birth mother chose such wonderful parents for me, but I’ve never felt any sort of imperative — biological or otherwise — to meet her.

I’ve also met people who seem to think adoption is something to apologize for or think that I must feel uncomfortable about it. There seems to be an assumption that children who are adopted are less well-loved by their adopted parents or that they have abandonment issues because their “real” families choose to give them up. Every adopted kid has a different experience — even when they live in the same household — but I’ve never known anything but unconditional love from my entire family and I’ve never felt conflicted about the choice my biological mother made to put me up for adoption.

Now I have a child of my own. She is not adopted. From the moment I laid eyes on her I loved her. I can’t imagine my life without her in it. My mother and father feel the same way about me and I’ve never believed myself to be anything but their child. My mother was in the delivery room with me when her granddaughter was born and she loves her as much as any biological grandmother would.

A family is defined by sharing. Families share their resources, their experiences and most importantly their love. Sharing genetics without sharing all of those other things will never make a family.