I Was Adopted

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to be adopted? Have you ever wondered how you might react to the news? Would you be angry, sad, happy or confused? Most adopted parents fear the reaction to the news, “You are adopted.”

Elisa Cruz Torres, 18, was only 4 years old when she learned she was adopted. Elisa’s parents decided to keep her informed about the adoption from an early age.

“Even before I understood what being adopted meant,” Torres said. “My parents told me my whole life so I wouldn’t get upset.”

“In the beginning when my husband and I decided to adopt I wanted it to be a closed adoption,” said Deborah Torres, Elisa’s adopted mother. “But when we attended a seminar for parents adopting we listened to stories about the reasons why they had to give up their children one couple’s story opened my eyes.”

According to the U.S. Children’s Bureau, about 125,000 children are adopted in the United States and approximately another 130,000 children are waiting to be adopted annually. Of the children adopted each year, about 19% are Hispanic.

Elisa is Puerto Rican ethnicity through birth, but she also considers herself a Mexican-American. Growing up in a Mexican-American family near the border, she feels connected to her adopted family’s heritage and been raised with the Mexican traditions.

Children given up for adoption tend to learn that their parents were unable to care for the children. Through adoption, they are able to find homes for them. Elisa’s father was stationed out of town and her mother was an alcohol and drug addict. In addition, the child protective services did not want Elisa’s birth mother to care for her.

When Elisa turned one, her birth parents sent a birthday card; however, she has yet to make any other contact since then. “I would not want a relationship with my birth mother, because I love my dad and my mom,” she said.

“They really are not like adoptive parents; they’re my real parents, I’m very thankful to have them.” She considers her adopted parents and brother a close-knit family. She describes her adoptive family as a “normal loving, supportive family.” Her family has been supportive throughout her life and encouraged her to pursue her education. She is now attending New Mexico State University majoring in history and is preparing to becoming a teacher.

“It does not bother me knowing I’m adopted,” said Elisa. “The parents I have now, the family I have now are all I need and want in my life. I’m very happy with how my life turned out.”

For more information on adoption, visit
Childwelfare.gov

By Natalie Hinojos

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