It's Thanksgiving Day. The one holiday where Ronni (my wife) and I don't go anywhere or do anything. We don't visit anyone. (We did once or twice, but it's not our usual routine.) And I'm sitting here, thinking about what I'm thankful for as an adoptee.
It's a dangerous topic. How many times, as adoptees, are we told, explicitly or implicitly, that we should be grateful for our adoptive families. We shouldn't have be grateful for our adoptive families. Other children are not told to be grateful for their families. So why should we have to feel that way?
But today, in thinking about what I'm thankful for, I'm hoping I can avoid those pitfalls.
You see, normally, on this day, I am thankful for my (adoptive) family. Not because I think, as an adoptee, I should feel grateful. I just generally appreciate them. Right now, I'm having trouble, at least with my mom, feeling uncomplicatedly thankful. So I'm leaving that aside today and trying not to think about it.
One thing I am thankful for, as an adoptee, is the ability to search for, and the fact that I found, my first mom. Our relationship over the past year and a half has brought me such peace it's hard to describe.
I am also thankful for such a wonderful online community to empathize with and share stories. The people that read here, the people at AAAFC, the people on Facebook... There are so many good people out there, both adoptees and first mothers, that I do feel lucky to have met so many of you.
I'm thankful for the slowly changing attitudes in our society. For the adoptees willing to speak out. For the minds being changed. It's frustratingly slow. But it does seem to be happening. Open records legislation seems to be getting consideration. Even when it's imperfect. And today, I'm willing to be thankful for the changes, as slow and as imperfect as they are.
I won't be thankful for being an adoptee. But as an adoptee, I can find a few things to be thankful for. And that is something.