This award-winning essay by seventh-grader Hallee Randall offers some fascinating insights.
In many respects, Hallee is a typical teenager. Like other girls her age, the Provo, Utah girl enjoys playing soccer, cheerleading, gymnastics, and dance.
But as her essay entitled “Living Life With Questions About Adoption” shows, she’s also dealing with some pretty big issues stemming from her closed adoption that most teenagers never have to think about.
One of them is why did her birthparents place her? Or as Hallee puts it, “Why did my mom and dad give me up?”
Initially, Hallee questions whether her birthparents loved her. But then she says that she’s sure they did and that it must have been “hard to give me up.”
That was why, she writes, her birthmother chose not to look at her when she was born. If she had, she would have seen “how cute I was…and want to keep me.”
According to Hallee, “most people who give their kids up for adoption are teen parents or a single parent” who want their children to have a better life.
And that is what she believes happened in her case. In placing her for adoption when she was two days old, Hallee’s birthmother wanted her to have the best life possible — the one, she says, she currently has with her adoptive parents and two older sisters.
But like a lot of adoptees, that hasn’t stopped Hallee from wondering what her life would have been like if she hadn’t been adopted or if she had been adopted by another family.
Encouraged by her adoptive mother, Hallee has recently become more interested in her adoption story and has thought about searching for her birth family in Little Rock, Arkansas.
But as with many adoptees, she is torn over what to do and haunted by the “what ifs”. What if she went and found her birth family? What if she decided that she preferred living with her birthmother than with her adoptive mother? How would her adoptive family feel?
As Hallee writes, “what ifs” don’t guarantee that things will unfold the way we think they will. And so, for now, instead of worrying and getting stressed about what might happen, she’s happy to keep living the life she has.
“It might be nice,” she says, about embarking on a search for her birthmother. “But I am so glad that I will always have a life with the family that adopted me. I love my family and I am so thankful that I was adopted into such a great family.”
And I can only imagine that they must feel the same way about her. And that they’ll continue to support her as she grows up and seeks answers to her adoption questions.
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