Adoption and your professional life

02 Nov


November 2nd prompt…You, the Personal, & the Professional

We talk a lot about our personal lives but many of us also have professional lives. Let’s assume that our personal and professional lives cross at some point (for some people this happens more than others).

Has adoption also affected your professional life? If so, how?

Yesterday, I noted I thrived in my professional life, and I did.  It was also the first time being adopted was not part of who I was – to others.  That was freeing.

Yet I believe adoption affected my professional life, while also being absent.

It took me a long time to form my thoughts on this, and am still unsure how to frame them, so here goes.  I have a strong belief in traits being hereditary, yet, I also believe they can be enhanced, or downplayed, based on life experiences.  While I believe my need for perfection is a positive trait I inherited – I also believe trait was enhanced by my feelings of insecurity, and not being good enough, that stems from my feelings about me and why I was adopted that I could never shake.  Combined they put too much pressure on my need for perfection, to the point of being sure (despite knowing the work product was right), that I couldn’t have done it right and there was a glaring error somewhere.  I spent far too many hours – not just double checking – it went way past that, but also waking in the middle of the night terrified I had made a mistake.  That insecurity also resulted in my inability to ever get past speaking in front of people, which goes back into my belief of how stress of the mother – impacts the baby in the womb – throughout life.

I say the above knowing I cannot prove any of it is related to adoption, yet when I look back to try to find some parenting mistake, or treatment by anyone in my life to explain it – there is nothing.  The only thing I can point to is my feelings about adoption.  Accept the explanation, or not, as you will.

While I was gathering my thoughts yesterday on the prompt question, I was listening to this ted talk that actually explains very well how all experiences in our life become who we are – not just a part of us.  It’s a short talk just around 12 minutes.

Julian Baggini: Is there a real you?

What makes you, you? Is it how you think of yourself, how others think of you, or something else entirely? In this talk, Julian Baggini draws from philosophy and neuroscience to give a surprising answer.

Julian Baggini is a journalist and philosopher who studies the complexities of personal identity. He is currently the editor-in-chief of the Philosophers’ Magazine.

See Shadow’s thoughts on this November 2nd prompt


Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Adoption


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3 responses to “Adoption and your professional life

  1. andy

    November 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    being “out” can sometimes be a hard thing, since you never know what stereotypes you are going to run into. and you are right, adoption can seep into every aspect of your life and it is so hard to separate out the cause and effect that it has on you.

    Great post, thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  2. zoozig

    November 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    wow…well, I had to quit a very good job (the kind I had dreamed about for years) when I was pregnant before I showed. And for years much of my professional life was about adoption. I’ve written lots of magazine pieces, and one book and am working on a second…and I think I probably have lost some assignments because you know, I am that woman who is a tad nutty on the subject of adoption. But I think adoption may have played a larger part in my personal life. At a wedding yesterday, one of the bridesmaids I knew was a single woman who had adopted from Guatemala at the worst of the kidnapping for babies for sale, and when I saw her that’s all I thought about. She gave a shower for the bride that I was glad I could not go to. I cannot stand to be around people who have questionable kids and to tell you the truth, I don’t want to see the kids either. Too difficult.


    • TAO

      November 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Does she acknowledge the corruption or prefer to pretend it happened only to other people because she used an “ethical” adoption agency?

      Adoption never truly leaves you does it – kind of like a brand from the days of the scarlet letter.



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