You can ‘white-wash it’…you can tell me to ‘get over it’…you can tell me about other adoptees who have not let it impact their lives…you can even ask me if I am happy…but lets just understand one thing…
Being an adoptee is for life. It never goes away. If I live to be 99, I will still be an adoptee…my thoughts…you all need to ‘get over it’ and ‘just accept it’ it’s the reality that was chosen for us when we were placed and adopted. Accept or deny – your choice – your path – your life.
Just a few small examples of how it invades my life and will never go away…
I take my mom out to do some errands and at one stop she introduces me to ‘Jane’ and adds the inevitable, she’s an adoptee from Korea…mmm great mom – I needed to know that about someone I will never meet again…thanks for bringing that up, I needed to remember that I am adopted, and look another special chosen child.
I am going to a family thing and know I will watch all my ‘relatives’ who look and act like bios, and will not see myself mirrored on any of their faces, or in their mannerisms and personalities. I will look at my sister and see and feel nothing, because she is not like me, and not like anyone else either, but we also have no connected feelings to each other. I am again reminded that I am an adoptee, while at the same time glad I am adopted, because I would not wish to be related to my sister by blood.
I wake up each morning knowing if I had been a bio, that although I would be sick that knowledge could have prevented me from becoming disabled. That daily thought reminds me that I am an adoptee who was severed once and for all from my biology.
I cannot allow myself to be blunt about failings of family members simply because of that unfailing loyalty towards those who chose to take me in. While at the same time I hear bios freely talk about their families and wish just once, I could break through that armour that mutes me, silences me, reminds me of the debt I owe that can never be repaid. That armour that reminds me that I am an adoptee.
That each new person I meet when with my family, sizes me up and looks at my family and then instantly struggles to find some similarities to comment on, when except for the race we share, there is none. My status as an adoptee is outed and brought forward once again, each time for life.
And online it is brought home time after time, day in and day out, through comments on forums and blogs from all sides. Being an adoptee we are compared, analyzed, questioned, and then labeled. I read comments about the parent’s child is 5 year olds and loves being adopted and is happy and well-adjusted or how Suzie now 9 is just fine with being adopted. I read from adult adoptees such a wide array of emotions, from staunch supporters of adoption to those who wish the word had never been spoken. I see adoptees who are just peeking through their childhood feelings to find feelings that suddenly they cannot understand and are confused but still defiant about how being adopted is good. I see adoptive parents tune out adult adoptees cautions with defensive words about their life and isn’t it great and that they would not choose a different way to form their families, but of course they battled with infertility and medical treatments before they chose adoption.
People one and all wake up and shut up, and please just listen, I want to shout – adoption at the heart begins with a loss that never ends, not something to be dismissed and denied or ridiculed. Writing comments like – “I know 2 adoptees who are just fine” is just plain stupid – do you know how many adoptees live in this world? Millions upon millions and we are not all the same and unless you ticked the preference box on your adoption form to obtain a blank slate baby or child who will forever deny natural feelings then just stop. right. there. No one is the same, each story will be different, we are unique to each other, and unique to our families and only the label adoptee creates the link that is our destiny.
Wake up Adoptive Parents and listen to the words that may, just may, be your child’s own words. Those words may not happen at 5, 10, 15, or 30 but guaranteed each will process their status as an adoptee and all that incompasses in one form or another and most likely for life…listen now and be part of the process or keep your ears firmly closed and deny, deny, and deny, and watch as your child now fully grown slowly changes and the closeness disappears – but perhaps you won’t notice or if you do, choose to deny – that the words you heard from adult adoptees could have helped but you wouldn’t hear.