Lisa Fry ’02 of Phoenix was adopted as an infant and
shares her rewarding story.
In the midst of a harsh Minnesota
winter, my parents traveled 12
hours to pick me up at a hospital in
Des Moines. A lawyer, who is the
father of one of my friends today,
supervised the adoption. My mom
was working as a beautician at the
time. One of her clients, a social
worker, advised her to make sure I
was always told I was adopted,
even while doing something routine
like changing my diapers.
Nevertheless, as a young child I
once described being adopted by
saying, “When I was a baby, I was
‘adropted’ on my head.” When I
was 7, I got in a fight after a friend
blurted out, “Yeah, well you’re adopted.” I was completely
insulted, even though I didn’t know quite what that meant, and I
let her know she was wrong. That afternoon I asked my mom
what exactly adoption was. Even after she explained it, I
asked, “But I’m not, am I?” When she said yes, this was the first
time I really understood what the term meant to me.
In my teen years, it was a challenge to search for my identity
when I wasn’t sure where I had come from. This perspective has
changed as I grow older, and the logistics become less and
less important. I’m constantly reminded of the power of environment
over heredity. I possess pieces of both my mom and
dad in my personality, and according to some people, in my
looks as well.
I also realize, as I write this nearly 2,000 miles away from my
parents, that the past is not the important part, but rather, your
relationships and loved ones that are part of your life today.
Denny and Janet Fry are my parents. They are the only parents
I have ever known, the only parents I ever want or need to
know. I’m not aware of two people who have devoted more
time to a child than my mom and dad, from driving over 1,400
miles round trip to catch a basketball game on a weekend, to
sending weekly care packages while I was in college, to offering
me the emotional and spiritual support, friendship, and
humor that has blessed my life. When I see a pro-life billboard,
I do take time to thank my biological mother. But more importantly,
I thank my mom and dad who truly gave me my life!