Even though I’m hearing impaired
I am a healthy adult.
Even though this wasn’t learned until my late childhood
I was a healthy child.
She didn’t always eat healthy while I grew in her belly
There were no prenatal visits or vitamins
Still I am fine and I’m healthy.
You should know that still I have worth.
I know you checked the box on that home study preferences list
that you were not open to prenatal drug use,
a family history of depression or bipolar
you checked the box that you would not adopt a child
whose birth parent’s wanted to choose their name.
Does this have anything to do with the needs of the child?
Or is this just you playing a matchmaking game?
Does my health depend upon your understanding of medicine?
Is healthiness a societally constructed concept?
Is an autistic child unhealthy? Down syndrome? High IQ?
Does a lack of birth parent history dictate the child’s future health?
Are you seeking perfection in a child; A valedictorian graduating magna cum laude?
Is a “special needs” adoptee incapable of success? PTSD? Anxiety?
Not knowing family medical history can feel scary
and in utero drug exposure may concern you
But know that adoptees will seek righteousness with Malala.
We Will Rise with Maya Angelou
We strive for peace like Benazir Bhutto
and have hoop dreams like Sheryl Swoopes
Although I may strain to hear you at times,
or I may lose my balance,
I may need a sick day or two to recoup
Still I am healthy and I am strong.
Dyslexia doesn’t define a soul
anymore than a perfectionistic mother in defeat.
ADHD shouldn’t equate to “I can’t parent this”
just as “normal” is not synonymous with healthy.
Prenatal alcohol exposure doesn’t make my brother less human
Prenatal drug use doesn’t make my sister’s body wrong
We aren’t a series of labels, or orphaned bodies to experiment on.
We were healthy children that have grown to be healthy adults.
We were adopted as we were, and have grown in to who we are.
We have struggles, and faults, we succeed, we laugh at times we gain ground,
and at times we fight bad thoughts.
When you go to check the boxes
Please don’t predetermine what healthy might mean for me.
Please examine your own beliefs first.
I wonder, what does “healthy” mean to you?
About the Author: Angela Tucker is an adoptee, blogger, speaker, and thought-leader on transracial adoption. She frequently writes on her blog, “The Adopted Life,” as well as “The Lost Daughters.” This poem was originally published here. You may recognize her from the documentary Closure or her newest endeavor, The Adopted Life Episodes.