I know that adoptees bristle at being told they should be grateful for having been adopted by their adoptive family. I know that I bristle at it. We shouldn't have to be grateful for that. As a result, the word "grateful" has become something of a four-letter word around adoptees. And I don't blame them.
And yet, on this day, it's hard not think about those things that I'm thankful for. This year, despite the turmoil, I do find myself when many things to be thankful for, in addition to my wife who has always been supportive in all of this.
I'm thankful we survived the spring flood, despite all the upheaval and damage it caused.
I'm thankful I found my brothers (my biological father's sons) and that they accepted me as their brother. I'm still working on how those relationships will play out, but I'm glad that I made that contact and it continues to go well, if slowly.
I'm thankful that my relationship with my (first) mom and her sons continues to go well. I miss them. And I wish I could see them more frequently. It's been almost a year since I've seen her, and almost two since I've seen my brothers.
I'm even thankful that my relationship with my (adoptive) mother is normalizing a little. I still feel awkward around her, and sometimes still a little upset for last year, but I feel like we're finding our way to a new normal. And that's a good thing.
There are things I have to be thankful about. I don't ever want to take them for granted.