Updated: May 5, 2021

Selfie of Sofie wearing large round glasses and smiling

I was adopted in ‘95 basically two days - I think exactly two days - after I was born, so I was adopted straight out of the womb, thrown right into a car, and off I went. I would say [the adoption] was really open and more so in this sense of there was open for communication because my birth family, though I knew them by proxy, I hung out with them a little bit in childhood. I know that they were around for celebrations. I remember during Rose Festival they would take me to the carnival and stuff. We would have fun parent days, but it was more of a friend day because growing up, I really felt pretty connected to my birth mom. We are very similar in personality types and we got along pretty fine. But at the same time, she wasn't my mom, she was like my friend because though she did give birth to me, she was not present at all during day-to-day stuff. I only saw her maybe once a year and even then, it was maybe for two or three hours at most.

I don't have a great memory of all that happened, but I know that we saw each other yearly for a while and then when I turned 16 or 17, it kind of trickled down to pretty much nothing, but it was a very open adoption where they would communicate with me on Facebook and my parents.

From a very early age my parents always made sure to let me know that I was adopted from a family, that the circumstances were right, and that it was meant to happen, and all the real childlike explanations of how you should be adopted and all these things of explaining the situation and all that. I'm definitely proud that my parents took such great caution about explaining it the right way and making sure that it wasn't weird or anything.

I feel like, ultimately, I did not know who they were until I got to meet them and so, I would have probably had some really toxic viewpoints of what my biological family was and what they were doing. I feel like not knowing would have driven me so crazy. I would have turned it into some weird story that they were witches or something. I would have been like they were all terrible people. But actually, getting to know them, they're just normal people. They just couldn't raise me as their child.

Growing up, I definitely was a little unhappy – not unhappy about being adopted – but being adopted, I was like, oh what went wrong? Like, why did they adopt me out? Of course, there's all these things going through your mind of like, why did this happen? Like, why didn't they love me enough to like keep me in their family? And all these other weird circumstances that you twist into your feelings. And I feel like with that, I do feel like I've always been a part of the family because they chose me to be in their family and that is the most important thing, I think, is choosing – the willingness to have a baby or to adopt a child or whatever the circumstances, I always felt like I belong in this family.

There were definite points where my parents said some not so nice things about my birth folks and would stray the conversation to being like, “well, aren't you glad that you're in our house now?” And so, having that as a childhood experience, those phrases weighed pretty heavy on me for a while. And thankfully, they corrected it pretty quickly because that was very upsetting. I feel like using any sort of negative language to refer to a previous household or experience that you could have been put in is just such a no-no and you should never step over that line.