Kristin Chenoweth on Adoption and Self Discovery: “I County Myself Lucky”

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"It was never something that was hidden from me and it is not something I have ever been ashamed of." — Kristin Chenoweth

The popular movie Lion carries a theme about self discovery after a 5-year-old Indian boy (played by Dev Patel) gets adopted by a loving Australian couple (played by local mom Nicole Kidman and actor David Wenham).  In a jarring turn of events that leads to the little boy’s adoption, the child falls asleep on a train bound for Calcutta and gets separated from his family. When the boy is grown, he begins having recollections about his early childhood and then decides to go in search of his biological family.
    Kristin Chenoweth never went in search of her birth parents, but she did have plenty of self- discovery questions. In a letter penned for The Huffington Post, Chenoweth explained her point of view on adoption, writing:

“It’s hardly a secret that I was adopted as a baby and quite frankly, there’s absolutely no reason it should be. As I’ve grown, I’ve watched the conversation and perceptions about adopted kids and families shift, but nothing has quite captured the truth, both the good and the ugly, of adoption like the film Lion. It’s an honest look at adoption and the not uncommon feelings surrounding identity that come up for many people.”

Chenoweth says adoption was the best thing that ever happened to her, because “I count myself lucky to have a birth mother who loved me enough to know she wasn’t ready to be a mom.”

Many adoptive parents choose to tell their children the truth about their adoption, and it’s the recommended way to go, according to the book Raising Adopted Children by Lois Melina, editor of Adopted Child newsletter and the mother of two children by adoption. An open atmosphere from a young age works best and Chenoweth agrees.

“It was never something that was hidden from me and it is not something I have ever been ashamed of,” Chenoweth wrote. “I recognize how fortunate I am to have parents who love and support me unconditionally. The fact that they are not my biological parents does not change the fact that they are simply my parents. We all yearn for our truth; who we are, where we come from, maybe where we get certain quirks or talents (for me I long wondered where my voice came from since my mother very well knows it was not from her). But finding those truths is the most personal of journeys, coming to each of us at different times and in different ways. On top of that, there’s always a part of you that worries this is somehow a betrayal as if your parents and your life are not enough.”

Watch the trailer for Lion here.
   
   

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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