I was adopted too!
I’m sitting in the play area at Chick-fil-a and the kids are climbing, running and playing. A girl of about eight walks up to me and points to Emma.
“Was she adopted?”
I was a little surprised. Most people just assume my African-American daughter is adopted. But of course, eight year olds don’t assume. They ask.
It also struck me that she used the past tense. The few adults who ask usually say “is she adopted” as if the act of adoption is a status (like “I’m American” or “I’m married”) instead of an event that happened (like “I was born”).
“She was adopted,” I replied.
The little girl beamed.
“I was adopted, too,” she said.
I blinked back surprise again. A moment I had thought was about my unusual looking Korean-Ethiopian-American family was actually not about us at all.
Instead, it was a moment of affirmation for this precious eight-year-old girl, who knows that a piece of her history is different from many of her friends, but caught a glimpse that told her it was normal. Good. Positive. Accepted.
I smiled back at her. “That’s very special. I’m sure your mom and dad are so happy you are their daughter, just like me with my Emma.”
“They are,” she said. “They are.”
Aaron Klein and his wife, Cacey, are the adoptive parents of two beautiful kids: Spencer, who was born in South Korea, and Emma, who was born in Ethiopia. The Kleins serve on the board for Lifesong Ethiopia and advocate for adopting, fostering and caring for orphans in their community. In his spare time, Aaron is CEO at Riskalyze, a technology startup changing how we make investing decisions.