Sleep deprived awareness…

03 May


I am always amazed at bursts of awareness about adoption, for some reason my assumption was that I had already been there, done that, and all I ever needed to know, or feel about adoption had already been dealt with…

I was wrong.

One sentence out of a birth family search shown on Ancestors in the Attic made that assumption moot.  I can’t give you the exact quote, but it was about Mary going to South Korea to find her birth family, and find out what the life she was supposed to have led, would have been.  Now of course whatever the sentence was, and what it was supposed to be about, may be night and day different from what it did to me watching it in a sleep deprived haze at 3:30 am.

I have only done the broadest of the broad strokes of “what if” because I am a realist, and lean more to the analytical side than the emotional side.  Doing the “what if’s” just takes you down a path that can never be resolved, has hard questions about your life lived, people in your life, and being unable to tease apart what the nurture given added to who you are, would a different nurture have added the same, so it becomes a question without answers – so there is no point.

Yet, I trace the path of my both my ancestors and my parent’s ancestors – dad’s in particular, spending hours searching for, and then reading dry history books to gleam what a day in their life looked like, or just a reference to a specific ancestor.  Where they lived, who they lived with, worked at, owned, education attained, religion, migration, gains and losses from the choices made, challenges faced and overcome (or not) – all with the expectation that I could know what it was like to have lived their life.

At the same time – I can’t do that for myself and create an alternate version of my life, tracing out where I would have lived, gone to school, what profession I would have worked towards, if I would have married….that person never existed.

The life I was supposed to live never happened, so no matter what – I can’t trace that path that I was supposed to have lived.

People point to choices made that changed their life, the fork in the road, and speak of it as life-changing, and I am sure it is.

Adoption isn’t life changing.

Adoption changed who you were into someone else.

I’m going to explore how I feel about that…I may find it too can’t be resolved…maybe that’s why Brodzinsky named his book – being adopted – the lifelong search for self.


Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child


Tags: , , , , , ,

6 responses to “Sleep deprived awareness…

  1. Don't We Look Alike?

    May 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    This is a good post. Interesting what you say about “tease apart what the nurture given added to who you are” is something which at this point in human knowledge is such speculation. I’ve just spent some time with my adult kids (both were adopted but have different birth parents), and it’s interesting how they say stuff like “You got that from Dad” and “That is the Mom part of you.” I think our family has created our own culture (maybe a blog post) and my kids choose to see nurture in themselves a lot. Their friends see it in them, too, so it’s possible that they have encouraged that from others as a way to see our family. But this is all how we have created our family because none of us knows the answer to what is nature and what is nurture in our lives (except looks?).


    • Don't We Look Alike?

      May 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      And health issues which are genetic, certainly.


    • TAO

      May 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks for that – perhaps nurture is more the nurturing of what is inside the child that with nurture becomes more prominent? I wonder – do I think like dad in terms of ethics because of dad or because it is my nature. Likely we will never know for sure – but without nurture would those characteristics ever mature? Perhaps that is the answer?


  2. eagoodlife

    May 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    As adoptees we are always full of potential.If we have nurturing aparents they bring out our potential and help us to have a full life.Sometimes it takes others to help us and sometimes a lifetime as Brodzinsky indicates. My own experience was fairly munbdane but indicative. My amother hated cooking. I took my first halting steps as a teen then went to live with another family who cooked, loved food and appreciated it. I never looked back. Discovering my half-sibs was a revelation, all the family cook, our father cooked well and professionally.My mother and her family also were professionals so the genes come from both sides and would not be denied it seems!


  3. misseyjane

    May 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    “Adoption changed who you were into someone else.” So true!



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