When I was part of a panel for parents who had adopted internationally, one of the mothers said that when her daughter says that she is adopted, the mother corrects her and says, “No, you were adopted.” It’s an interesting distinction, isn’t it? I wondered whether that mother viewed herself as a parent who adopted a child, as opposed to an adoptive parent.

And, yet, it’s true, the meaning of being an adoptee, or an adoptive parent, changes through time. Sometimes it means nothing, sometimes it means everything. But, it is a part of your identity, just as gender, race, and other fixed characteristics.