From India to Canada by Dawna Lucier

My story is not a typical adoption one where you may be thinking who is she looking for?

Let me take you back to the beginning of how I came about.

You see, my adoptive parents had been looking for a child to adopt. My mother and father had suffered a stillborn death at the time of the delivery. They were searching for a child when they found an ad in a newspaper that stated, “bringing children from India”. Yes, I’m from Bombay India, now called Mumbai.

Right away they contacted the agency and started the process. The first child they requested wasn’t strong enough to make the flight and sadly passed away. I was the next “healthiest” in the orphanage. They knew nothing about me. I was left on the doorsteps of the orphanage with a blue blanket and a note tucked inside that read “please take care of my baby girl”. The staff didn’t know my age or birth date. I was a “blank child”.

India to Canada

Listen as Dawna Lucier narrates her story of intercountry adoption to Bernadette McDonnald for the series “What Is Your Real Name?”

I landed in Canada to be received by my adoptive parents in 1974 and welcomed into the family. My parents already had two older children, a boy, and a girl. as I was only 17 months old, give or take, from the guess of the staff. My parents are as white as can be, religious and strict. and because of my skin color, I was called the “chocolate baby”. Imagine the contrast!

I adjusted, but then as the years went by, I’d ask questions as to where I came from. They always told me I was adopted and that I should be grateful to them. I was never allowed to question anything of my heritage. Which sucked.

As the years went on, it became more apparent that I wasn’t wanted at all. My brother and father would beat me up and my mother would tell me, how they wished they never adopted me. I was just the replacement child.

I would sit in my room at night and cry. I just wanted to be loved and wanted. But I didn’t measure up to their standards. I always had religion shoved down my throat. Being told I needed to thank God and them for saving me.

I was different. I had a bubbly spirit. I wanted to be their child.

Sadly, as I grew into a teenager and then an adult, they still had this thumb on me that I would never measure up. Cause I wasn’t their biological child.

For many years I’ve held anger and resentment towards these people. Now, through a lot of healing and coaches, I see just where they were coming from. They had a ton of traumas that they hid behind. All in the name of “God and religion”.

I no longer hold any hate or dismay towards them. I send them nothing but love and compassion. But they are no longer in my life. It’s a choice that was made to protect myself and they have nothing to say about any of the trauma they caused me growing up.

And that’s ok. I can still send them love and light from a distance, cause that’s all it ever will be.

I’m a thriving wife, mother, friend, and grandmother! I’ve chosen to turn my adversity into steppingstones of success. I’m an entrepreneur, something I was told I’d never be!

I’m sharing this for a reason that’s not common in adoptions of any kind.

When you chose to adopt a child of a different heritage/culture, be open to teach the child their ways and culture. Don’t deny them this. It does affect the child hugely when a huge part of them has been kept away.

They honestly will appreciate and love you for the effort you put forward in making them feel that even though they are not blood, they are loved and cared for by you. You chose to be their parent! Love them with all you got.

Never remind the child that they should be grateful, or that they owe you because you “saved” them.

No, just love them unconditionally and with open arms. Love them for who they are, not who you want them to be, or for the compliment of “you guys are amazing for raising a child that isn’t yours”.

This is my story. Dawna Lucier, a thriving adoptee of international culture!

This story was prepared by Dawna Lucier in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this story are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Adoptees from Quebec’s Creches (AACDQ).


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