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Two stories…

04 Jan

I would like to tell you the story of Julie 

Julie was born back in the 1960’s and immediately surrendered for adoption and soon after she was adopted by a wonderful and loving family.  She was raised with all necessities of life, as well as having the opportunity to pursue her educational dreams which included attending private school, as well as a musical education from an early age.  She loved life, the yearly family vacations and any get together with extended family, and especially enjoyed Thanksgiving most of all, where they would gather around the table and eat the food dad raised and mom prepared. 

Teenage years she avoided the pitfalls of getting into trouble with the police, or becoming a teenage mother.  She always worked during summer vacations and learned to manage her money in her own bank account, as well as spending her time swimming and on a local softball team.  Life was pretty good and eventually she married and moved away, they travelled extensively around the country, and lived in different places over the years.  She had her share of good times as well as bad times, but always continued on and overcame those bad moments with the support of her family. 

She has always visited her family as often as she could, kept in touch via the phone when she couldn’t visit, and considers them her family in all ways. 

As she got older some medical problems started and she knew she needed to find her birth family for her health history.  She talked to her mom and working together they succeeded.  Julie met her birth family and enjoyed meeting them and getting to know them, relating all she had learned to her mom and dad and even ensured they met each other. 

As her parents aged she was there for them as much as she could be, and after one passed away, felt a great sense of loss as well as a renewed sense of needing to care for her remaining parent.

Now I would like to tell you about Stacey 

Stacey was born back in the 1960’s and was also immediately surrendered for adoption, adopted by a family and provided all necessities and opportunities to reach her goals.  She enjoyed a normal life with siblings and parents who loved all their children and focused on family centered life.  

As a teenager Stacey rebelled, but managed to not get caught by the police or wind up an unwed teenage mother.  She always had summer jobs and moved out when she turned 18 by working full-time.  After many relationships Stacey eventually married, started a new life filled with many different moves to different areas of the country, which also required finding new jobs in each location.  She had some good times and some not so good ones and her first marriage ended badly. 

She has made a point of maintaining contact with her family and has always kept in touch via the phone, and visited on a somewhat frequent basis, when time and accessibility permitted. 

Stacey had always wanted to meet her mother and family and find out why she had been placed for adoption, as well as learn her medical history, and finally well into adulthood was able to meet them.  She found she had a family that had the same values she had been raised with, and also shared many similarities with them including her personality and interests.  She grew to love her birth family and enjoys their budding relationship very much.

How did each story make you feel?  Do you find one a positive happy story of adoption and the other not so much?  Does your role in adoption determine your reaction to the stories? 

Both stories above are based on true facts, but the names used aren’t…

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7 Comments

Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

Tags: , , , ,

7 responses to “Two stories…

  1. Linda

    January 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    LOL! Well of course, Stacey is “the bad adoptee”, because she found her first family without the “medical history” excuse. Oh, and because she did it all on her own and did not include her adoptive parents.

    How did each story make you feel?
    Julie reminds me of myself. I used the “medical history” excuse because I didn’t want to hurt anyone. Im not saying that Julie did this, but MANY adoptees do. If she truly ONLY wanted to find her first family for medical reasons, then I feel sorry for her. Our first families are just as much a part of who we are & become as our adoptive families.

    Stacey also reminds me of myself, with all the moving, job changes and a divorce. I just wish I would have been strong enough to tell everyone the REAL reason I wanted to search. I wasn’t then, but I am now.

    Do you find one a positive happy story of adoption and the other not so much?
    No. “Most” adoptees I know had pretty “normal” lives, despite being adopted. Society will tell adoptees who want to know their first families that they must’ve had a bad experience if they want to find their family. They would probably say that Stacey searched because she did not go on vacations like Julie went on. << sarcasm.

    Does your role in adoption determine your reaction to the stories?
    Of course. I am adopted, and have been in reunion for 25 years next month. I look at it from my perspective and experiences. But, I am not only looking at the stories from my perspective, but from the perspectives/opinions other people have given me about my own search and reunion.

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  2. The adopted ones

    January 5, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Linda,

    I get so tired of all the comments by people who say my cousin, brother in-law, niece, etc doesn’t feel the need to search, or is very pro-adoption – the proverbial “good adoptee”. So I decided to try to show both sides of my story – I left out the facts that the courts unsealed my record for medical need and mom was the one who petitioned for me because I was sick – because that would have been a dead give away.

    I used positive language to craft the first story – telling more of my childhood and my adult relationship with my family that seems to be the ultimate requirement for any adoptee story and not using the rebellion term and skirted around it. On the second version I used less than positive words, talked bluntly about the end of my first marriage that I don’t ever talk about with family, as well as talking about always wanting to know, which to this day mom would say I never was very curious like my siblings were. I was curious but they had enough on their plate and didn’t need me to add to it – so I didn’t talk – my choice. Mom made the assumption that I wasn’t curious – she didn’t bother checking with me about that. You know “she never talks about it so adoption doesn’t impact her”.

    So Julie is pretty much the story any one of my relatives would tell about me in a comment that we all hear so often, about an adoptee they are related too who is a good adoptee blah blah blah and did all of these things – yes mom was in the loop with my reunion – she started it rolling for me, but she doesn’t know real details and yet doesn’t know that – because she really isn’t interested enough to ask. But to my family they would believe anything I know about my other family, mom knows. But they have no idea of what the entire story of my reunion is, or in reality any details of my adult life because I don’t share with them. They only know the surface – that’s all they are interested in.

    Stacey – well that is the other side of the story not told to the relatives – the blunt version and not gushing about a childhood that happened over 4 decades ago (who else has to go into detail about their childhood when they are 50 except adoptees)…and I also don’t hear any other adults needing to include in their story how they feel about their parents, and how much they do or don’t keep in contact with them other than they try to stay in touch. I don’t tell my relatives everything – it’s not their business and it’s just easier to wear the mask that all is well and life is grand.

    Hopefully will one day everyone will understand that being adopted is complicated and actually listen, instead of having to watch their eyes glaze over, or the automatic labelling of good or bad. Or telling stories about an adoptee they know who blah blah blah.

    Hopefully that made sense.

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    • Linda

      January 5, 2012 at 12:52 am

      Yup, it totally made sense!!

      If I had to guess, I would say that 85% of the people I tell about my reunion usually reply with a “Ohhh..how did your parents feel about that?” or a “But your REAL parents are the ones who raised you.” (Of course, a few throw in the “my friend’s cousin’s half sister’s Mom’s manicurist is adopted and she’s grateful she wasn’t aborted” garbage)

      I know my a Mom would have helped me the same way yours did if I would have had that need. But that’s as fas as it would have gone. My first parents will always be “THOSE people” to her. I’ve finally learned to accept it. I don’t like it, lol, but I accept her limitations. Like you said, she (like most of my a family) only are interested on what’s on the surface.

      I don’t think they can handle how complicated it actually is. It’s hard enough for those of us who live it! 😉

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  3. Dannie

    January 5, 2012 at 4:17 am

    I had to chuckle a bit AO because of course I liked one story better than the other [in my brain], however, I can honestly say it has zero to do with adoption.

    That being said, IDK, to say one story is good and one story is bad is to generally say that people are not individuals with different outlooks on life or different ways they would like to live life, etc. Both scenarios sound normal to me.

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    • The adopted ones

      January 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      Dannie – you liked the first one better because YOU are sweet natured (where I am more grumpy) – you just can’t hide that fact you are sweet once people get to know you…

      Both scenarios are normal but people telling other peoples stories especially when trying to show the opposite will craft the words much like I did in the first story.

      We all (hey even non-adopted) have complicated stories that aren’t all sunshine and roses – doesn’t mean any of us don’t have both sides to the story.

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  4. Lori Lavender Luz

    January 12, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I like them both equally. It’s normal to pursue wholeness — no matter why you want to fill in the pieces — and to be happy when you find it.

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  5. Teddy

    February 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I liked the second one much better.

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