This is the rough draft of a speech I am giving on November 8 during the Maine State adoption day. Can you please let me know what you think.
I was adopted immediately from the hospital at birth. My parents were able to take me home straight from the hospital. My adoptive mother was adopted as well, and after having two boys of her own, she wanted a little girl, so she and my adoptive father decided that they were going to try adoption.
I met my biological mother when I was 27. I spent most of my teen years looking for my biological parents; only to have every letter I ever sent, to the only address I had been given, disappear into thin air. I finally came to the conclusion that they didn't want anything to do with me, and I was fine with that. I moved on, got married, and had children of my own. Out of the blue, 5 years ago, my mom called me and told me that my biological mother had contacted her, and she wanted to get to know me. We started to get to know each other, and the more that I got to know her, the more I realized how fortunate I was, to be adopted. The day I met her will be forever etched into my mind. I drove up to their apartment, and was met with an overwhelming smell of something other than cigarette smoke. Crystal meth had taken a toll on her body, and chronic alcohol abuse had ruined her ability to carry on a normal conversation. After I left her house, I picked up my cell phone, called my mom and I could only get two words out of my mouth and they were "thank you". "Thank you for taking me out of that mess and raising me".
I have no doubt, that if I had not been adopted, I would be drug addicted or dead right now. By giving me up for adoption, my biological mother and father gave me a chance to see the world, play a musical instrument that some people have never heard of, play concerts in places where some of the world's most famous composers have played. They gave me a chance at a real life. They gave me a chance to get away from my biological family's lifestyle. I have been able to travel, been able to meet a lot of amazing people and have gotten to know about many other cultures. How many people can actually say that they have gotten to play a concert in the exact same spot that Mozart had conducted his own orchestra in Austria, or gotten to sing" Ein Feste Burg dis Unser Gott" in the exact spot where Martin Luther wrote it, in Germany, or getting to play at one of the oldest Roman monasteries in Aosta, Italy.
My adoptive parents have given me an amazing life. The chances I have been given, the education I have been given, the love and support they have given me, even when I acted like a complete and total twit during my teenage years. A family doesn't always mean DNA. A family is there for you when you screw up, and helps you pick up the pieces and move on. A family is people who teach you right from wrong. My family is the people who adopted me. They have always been there for me when no one else was.
Webster's dictionary defines adoption as, "To take into one's family through legal means and raise as one's own child". When my adoptive mother was a child, her mother taught her a little comeback when she was teased by other children for being adopted. In turn, my grandmother taught it to me when I was teased by children for being adopted. The saying is "At least my parents got to choose me. Yours got stuck with you".
Adoption, to me, is the greatest gift a person could ever give. To take a child out of a possibly dangerous situation, like mine, and give them the world.
So, mom and dad, I now have a great chance to publicly say Thank- you! You are amazing and every single day I am thankful that you plucked me out of that disaster and gave me a chance