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Daily Archives: November 10, 2012

Reactions to Searching prompt – sort of…

By TAO

I wasn’t going to post today because the questions in the prompt I didn’t experience first hand and Shadow already did a post today – but the post today by Snarkurchin over at Adopto-Snark linked to the post below from last November.  I am taking her word that it is worth reading, but I think her video on searching linked in her post is much better so make sure you go there too. 

November 10th prompt…Reactions to Searching If you’ve searched for or are thinking of searching for your natural family, what would you say to those who think your desire to search means you are unhappy in your adoptive family or had a bad childhood? If you don’t have a desire to search, what would you say to those who wonder why you have no interest in knowing where you come from?

Original Title: Identity Inventory…

It seems like nothing really in the grand scheme of things, but growing up, especially my teen years, I reflected a lot on this and still do, so thought it might be worthwhile throwing it out there.  For what it is worth both mom and dad had families where they were all so similar in every way, it made the reality of difference, more apparent to me.  Meeting my maternal family I found similarities everywhere I turned and I was no longer just the only one like me.

If you were raised by your biological family, have you ever sat down and consciously listed every thing you can identify about yourself, that is also found in a family member or members?

No?  Start with the basics – the hair on your head and work down to your toes.  Beside each item note which relatives have the same.  Hair – color and type, forehead, eyebrows, skin type and tone, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, cheekbones, dimples, chin, shape of jaw, neck, body shape, height, hands, feet, toes…

Now start with personalities and identify what types runs in your family and what personality type you are, and who else has that type.

Do the same for talents – who is artistic and what form does that artistic talent take.  Lots with musical talent?  Storytelling? Abilities to solve crazy hard puzzles?  Great cooks?  Green thumb gardeners?

What about the brains in the family?  Is your family primarily analytical or more creative?  Do they migrate to the fields of science?  Medical? Law? Engineering? Teaching?  Humanities or Arts?  How many of your relatives choose the same field you have?

Do you know when your family immigrated to this country and from where and why?  Do you have any traditions in your family that relate to your nationality?  Do you or your family have heirlooms passed down from one generation to another?  Does it give you a sense of continuity?

The list is too big to make any stab at being complete so let your imagination fly and don’t limit yourself to just those above.

Then try to answer the following questions.  It may give you a limited understanding of the reality of living life as a closed adoption adoptee.

Does it matter to you to know who in your family shared that trait?  Have you consciously identified that you and Auntie Jean share the same…

Did knowing someone with that trait who you loved dearly, make it good to have that trait?

Did it make you feel like you were part of that family/closer to them because you shared those traits?

Do you or other family members make statements like: All the family is tall, We all love playing practical jokes, We all have big noses, We all have good teeth, We all have the same spot where we put on weight, We all are good at solving mysteries, We all love to argue, We all love to …

Now if you did not have anyone to reference would you truly feel the same about yourself?  Do you love the trait or the person who possessed that trait?  Does knowing another relative is the same, make it easier to accept it in yourself as part of who you are?  Ask this in each category.

Now how much do you think seeing yourself reflected back by different family members increased your acceptance of yourself – your self-identity?

Did you ever look at every stranger who vaguely resembles you, and wonder if you are related?

Have you ever had to try to figure out your nationality, when you have nothing but yourself as an example?

Have you ever wondered how your ancestors got to this country, from where, why, when, and what they did and were good at?

Would it matter to you that you were stripped of your identity and family, and told you had no right to know any of the things everyone else takes for granted?  Would you consider you were treated equally to non-adopted?  Would you want to know who you were like?

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in Adoption

 

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Isn’t Life Interesting Part 2

By Shadow

Day 10 and the story, “Isn’t Life Interesting”, continues with part 2.

I have heard adoption reunion referred to as a roller coaster ride many, many times. Having experienced it myself, I can certainly relate. Though I have never adopted a child, I would imagine, adopting a child could be described as the same. In my own reunions with my first parents, I can attest to the fact that there were many ups, downs, sharp curves, disorienting loops, unbelievably high peaks, and terrifying drops that, at times, never seemed to end. It bothers me when adoption, and reunion, are referred to as a roller coaster ride. I don’t believe it really does them justice. You see, when you get on a roller coaster, you do it in the name of fun. It is exciting, and a thrill. You know in just a few seconds, it will come rolling to a stop, the ride will be over, and you will be fine. Now, I will get on with the story.

The roller coaster had reached the top of the big drop that no one expects is coming. Another phone call came for my cousins. The birth mother had changed her mind. Although, in a sense, I was happy that this precious little girl would not be separated from her mother, it broke my heart to see how completely devastated my cousins were. It was also becoming apparent that my reunion with my Bdad wasn’t going to be a fairytale. The roller coaster had headed down for us as well. All any of us could do was hang on as tight as possible, scream, and hope we could build up enough speed to make it back to the top again.

As is the case with most roller coasters, there is usually always a sharp turn just after the big drop. So it was for my cousins. Another phone call. There was another child. A little more cautious this time, they were off again to meet their new baby. My cousin’s wife had kept a picture of the first child in a frame on the nightstand by her bed. They walked into the room, where their new baby was waiting to meet them, and as it turned out, it was the same precious little girl they had met the first time. Sometimes things are just meant to be?

The adoption went through this time. Because of unfortunate circumstances surrounding this precious child, circumstances she had no say in, or choice, she was removed from her family of origin, and is now part of a family, who will shower her with love and affection. Once again, the joy, the excitement, the love was all so very contagious. The roller coaster had leveled off for my cousins.

Even though I know the possible issues and emotions that their new daughter may face in the future, this was most definitely a good thing for everyone. I was truly happy for this new family, and truly heartbroken at the losses they have all suffered as well. The pure joy and happiness felt by the new adoptive parents touched my heart, and I wondered about my adoptive parent’s feelings when they adopted me. Was that how they felt?”

As I read this once again, I smiled as I came to the phrase “some things are just meant to be”. Here I sit 5 years after writing that phrase, knowing it isn’t something I would say now. The joy of the creation of this new family was contagious, just as, I suppose, the joy D, and I felt at finding each other was probably contagious too. I understand the analogy of a roller coaster ride in regards to adoption and reunion. It isn’t easy putting such things into words. If given a choice, I think I would prefer to put it another way, and in the words of a Robert Earl Keen song, “the road goes on forever, and the party never ends.”

There’s more to come. Stay tuned for Isn’t Life Interesting Part 3. The fun is just beginning.

 

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