my parents aren’t fake – a personal account of adoption
Just because I am not blood related to my parents does not mean they are fake; and my biological parents are definitely not my real parents.
‘So who are your real parents?’
Ever since I was young, people have asked me this question. I was adopted when I was only 30 days old. My “real parents”, as they have been called, couldn’t take care of me so I was adopted by my parents, Mary and Phil Eschels. People have and always will be curious about the why, who, and how of my story, but really, there isn’t much to it.
It wasn’t until I was in 4th grade when the first person asked me about being adopted. I was proud to say that my family had wanted a child and they got me. In elementary school, kids were intrigued by why I was dark skinned and both my parents were white. At my school, there was one other boy in my grade who was adopted. However, he was fair skinned like his parents so no one considered that he was adopted like me. I hated how I was questioned about my family and he wasn’t.
When I got to middle school, people started to learn more about what it meant to be adopted. They asked deeper questions like, ‘Are you ever going to try to find your real parents?’ I have always liked telling people my story but it always stings when people imply that my adoptive parents are not my real parents. I only knew my biological parents for a very short time when I was born. My real parents are the ones I have grown up with all my life. They are the ones who raised me and called me their daughter.
When my parents brought me home, all our friends and family came in from out of town to see me. We have many home videos of my first week or two in my new home. Everyone was thrilled for my parents and my new family fawned over having a new baby around. I was baptized a Lutheran when I was barely six weeks old. We changed churches when I was three and the people in that church accepted my family and me instantly. This church made me feel like I had a second family.
I have become very used to people wondering who my parents are when I am with them. When I was trying out some new golf clubs at Golf Galaxy with my dad, a worker was helping us and asked if he was my coach. I think it took the poor worker a while to understand the concept of the white man being the father of a dark skinned girl but apparently he finally got the picture because he asked if my Asian friend who was with me was my dad’s other daughter. My family and I have gotten used to laughing off comments like this, but I am still shocked at how oblivious people can be about the facts of adoption.
I feel extremely blessed to have such a loving family. There are thousands of children across the globe that do not have homes or families. Some will never be adopted and will be put into a foster home. These children will be forced to leave when they turn 18 if they have not been adopted and even if they have nowhere to go. Most people do not realize how lucky they are to have families that love them. The children that are put up for adoption never know who their biological parents are in most cases and they don’t know their story. However, there are also many children who do find homes and families who love and care for them.
I am lucky enough to be one of these people and I now live with a great family, who are my real parents.
By Katherine Eschels
Katherine Eschels is a 15 year old Sophomore at Assumption High School. She was adopted when she was 30 days old and wrote this paper explaining her experiences as an adopted child.