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Adoptee Thankful to Parents

  Barbara Lau  

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!

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