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Acceptance…

21 Aug

By TAO

Several times in the past few weeks the following question has popped into my head:

Is acceptance of what life throws at us easier for adoptees because we are adopted?  Simply because we learned at an early age that we will never know our family of birth, never know answers to so many questions, never know who we were born to be?

Which is followed closely by:

Am I just assuming some/most/all adoptees are like me in accepting what life throws my way?  Which is quite likely, but, perhaps true, at least until we are much older and wiser, or finally, a law is changed that would allow us to finally have a real opportunity to make the decision whether to take steps to answer those questions, or, not take the steps. 

Followed by:

Or, is it simply because of my personality, how I was raised to not expect to get everything I wanted, and the hits I have taken in my life that proved that to me, which allows me to accept whatever it is that isn’t going to happen…

So, I am throwing it out for discussion if anyone else is interested. 

Are adoptees (specifically closed adoptions) by the very nature of being adopted, and learning very early in life that we just have to accept that things we might want won’t happen, better able to accept as adults the hits life throws our way – than the general population of non-adopted…

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19 Comments

Posted by on August 21, 2013 in Adoption

 

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19 responses to “Acceptance…

  1. Brent Snavely

    August 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Perhaps it is a matter of our having learned that we are/must be largely self-reliant, and in this way we are “at home” where ever and when ever we find ourselves to be and therefore relatively unencumbered by expectations about the circumstances or individuals we deal with from day-to-day.

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    • TAO

      August 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Self-reliant is probably a better way to term it – will have to mull on that. I just find whenever something isn’t going to happen I just find a way to deal with it and have wondered if it comes down to early age impacts…the last part of your comment is intriguing as well – our level of expectation.

      You have given me lots to think on…

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      • Beth

        August 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm

        I think some of this may fit in there somehow/where… still pondering on it all.
        http://www.wikihow.com/Handle-Rejection
        I was sent this link because all in my immediate family are now sales people. And the happy newbies are now having to learn how to deal with rejection a little better – thought they could handle it, and can, it’s just thrown a couple of them for a little loop LOL

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    • eagoodlife

      August 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      I have always believed I could make a home anywhere and have been self-reliant and determined always to be self-supporting.I am also an optimist but a realist which I believe came from being an adoptee.What it is like to be a non-adoptee I’ll never know and can’t compare!

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  2. cb

    August 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    This is an interesting question at a lot of different levels which sort of makes it hard to answer because I keep thinking of different aspects so this reply will be all over the place and possibly not make much sense to anyone but me..

    I suppose I see it as being adaptable. Perhaps because we have spent our life adapting to others thus as adults we can adapt more readily to different situations? Even though our parents “adopted” us, we end up “adopting” their way of life – we are expected to adapt to them rather than the other way around.

    As for self-reliance, there is truth in that too as everything Von said is exactly like I am. I like the descripton also of “optimist but a realist” which is very different to the “positive thinking” mantra that seems to preclude ever looking at the dark side of anything.

    Looking at acceptance from an other angle, I accept my life and situation, however that doesn’t mean I should accept any irregularities in adoption. The end does not justify the means. My life was fine but if my bmom* or other bmoms weren’t treated as individuals or with respect when making their difficult decisions, then I wouldn’t necessarily consider those adoptions to be “a success”. In my case, I’m not really sure how she was treated and thus will not opine on my own adoption. What I will say is that knowing what I know of the organisation through which I was adopted, my bmom might have had more options* in 1944 than in 1964 – that seems rather sad to me.

    *the organisation was originally started in 1943 to help mothers get on their feet by helping them with jobs, somehwere to live and most importantly childcare. There was no sign of any of this after about 1950.

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    • cb

      August 23, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      Btw I just want to point out that my bmom may well have still chosen adoption in 1944 but at least I would have felt reassured that she might have been presented with various valid options. I can’t feel the same reassurance about her options in 1964.

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  3. Beth

    August 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    When my Dad made a statement to me a few years ago, just after i had found my lost family, while we were talking about my trips on the crazy train as a young adult and my childhood, this statement, this piece of the puzzle fell right into place, and with it many other pieces.

    He said: “It was as if you felt your mother had set you free into the world the second you were born”
    After reflecting on this for a while – I did think/feel that all along, and still do, and I have gotten so intensely angry whenever I was caged in anyway.

    I often wonder if this is a good way to feel/think. It sure has helped many times, but it has also led to trouble LOL It has given me a ticket on the fun and daring crazy train quite a few times.

    Independent, defiant, self sufficient, invincible, confident, free…don’t need anything from anyone, don’t owe anyone, I can survive whatever comes my way. I’ve even pushed it and found activities to prove it to myself how free and brave I can be. i also think “it” causes me to see the great beauty in natural things, and the beauty of chance. Beauty that some around me don’t see.

    Having kids really threw me for a loop! Being responsible for them, the new limited freedom (unless I wanted freedom to be with them!) having to worry about my own safety so I could stick around for them. Really put a good damper on my independent invincible survival sort of existence. That’s when I started worrying about bad things that could happen to us, before I didn’t worry so much I knew I could handle whatever came my way – or not, and if not, big deal, that’s just how it is. Throw in the kids, and I was terrified for what they might get to deal with. I’ve been a giant protector for them in everyway, throwing myself in front of the train to save them or to divert difficult things away from them – because I knew i could take it and wanted to take it for them.

    TAO, this realm is what I have been pondering lately 🙂

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  4. lea

    August 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    i think i know people enjoy watching an adoptee suffer i think that’s why nbody supports or helps or accpets the adoptee people support the adoptive parents people accept the non adoptees but the adoptee get no support or acceptance from anybdy that’s bad and wrong

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  5. lea

    August 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    no it does not make it easier it makes it harder because you have no support from people because your adopted

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  6. veggiemom

    September 3, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Hmm…interesting. My adopted children are still young so who knows how they would feel about this as adults. From my observations of them so far, one is very accepting of life and, I think, always has been, even before adoption. The other fights everything with all she has and grieves tremendously for what should have been. Related to this, have you looked at 23andme at all? There is a new article about genetic predisposition to PTSD and anxiety related to childhood trauma. It’s being talked about on some adoption forums I’m on and the results definitely hold true with my two daughters and how they’ve reacted to their adoption traumas.

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    • Brent Snavely

      September 3, 2013 at 2:03 am

      I’m on 23andMe, and have found a great deal of “scientific” reductionism at work. I perceive the “scientific” approach to adoption issues, particularly those associated with trans-racial adoptions, a method of avoiding critical issues regarding race and social privilege and, I think not by mistake, the violence that is associated with both of those matters.

      Is it prenatal nutrition and environment, epi-genetics, or straight-up genetic predetermination of characteristics? One is upon a slippery slope here, particularly when situated in culture dominated by the western worldview of linear “evolution” with its adoration of scientific quantification which ignores the application and effects of social/social-psychological theories such as System Justification and would reduce the quality of life experiences down to mere biochemical and biophysical reactions.

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      • TAO

        September 3, 2013 at 3:05 am

        I do think anxiety has a genetic component – from what I have been told my mother worried and I am an extreme worrier – which mom says I have always been. I have a couple of posts on stress which to me is the same. Studies on women who were pregnant during the ice storms in Quebec in 99 (?) and their babes showed higher levels of cortisol in the babes and as they progressed commonalities found in adopted children. Same with the floods in one of the states. If you are interested I can find the posts which link to the article. Those were both non-adoption related studies that looked at stress in the womb. I think Australia did one as well during their floods as they were already studying a group of pregnant women before the floods came. I do think stress in the womb exacerbates – epigenetics – an existing predisposition. Hope that made sense as I was tired. Veggie mom – would love links to articles if you can access them.

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        • TAO

          September 3, 2013 at 3:06 am

          BTW- Veggie mom you have been very silent lately…just saying

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          • veggiemom

            September 9, 2013 at 12:03 am

            Kids getting older and I’m feeling more like I’m invading their privacy by saying to much. I will say that my younger daughter, who has big time anxiety, has the exact same personality as her younger bio sister. Their mom pointed it out when we spent time together last summer. She could see it in our shared daughter even though they didn’t speak the same language and pointed it out to me. There is a third, even younger, sister who has a very different personality. The two with the same personality just share a mom and I think a lot of it has to do with stress during pregnancy. My older daughter has none of the anxiety issues but her relinquishment was much later in life and I think her mom had a much less stressful pregnancy. It’s all so interesting to me how this all plays out.

            BTW, we went to the Adoptee Rights Demonstration this year for the first time and it was great, especially for my older daughter…so validating for her. 🙂

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            • TAO

              September 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

              I really think the pregnancy does play a role – which is what makes me sad with the infant domestic adoption market – cortisol crosses to the babe – that’s a fact. Our neurons are being created before and just after birth so our wiring is being done then. They used to say stress during pregnancy was bad and people thought it was an old wives tale…you never share anything that I would consider off-limits because you are aware…

              Wow – you went to the Demonstration? Are you going to do a blog post on it – you kind of stopped blogging for a bit but that would be wonderful way to kick start it again. Yeah!

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        • Brent Snavely

          September 3, 2013 at 11:54 am

          As a multiracial “adoptee”, I admit to taking significant issue whenever the discourse starts trending toward biological predetermination. Intrauterine, prenatal stressors clearly impact fetal development, but it seems that we are faced with the “chicken or the egg” or “Nature vs Nurture” — was the “predisposition” purely genetic in nature, pre-established/determined by DNA passed from one generation to the next, or was that “predisposition” merely a characteristic of all bodies classified as human? It really seems to be both…

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          • TAO

            September 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

            Brent who knows how much weight any of it has…I see the genetic similarities passing down each generation – physical and emotional – as genes passed down with a enough variance due to the 50/50 chance in which genes are passed so that all the children aren’t identical. That’s my perspective – then add the stressors in the womb, and no one will ever convince me otherwise that being pregnant and intending to surrender your baby for adoption doesn’t cause the mother to be stressed – again the degree will be based on who she is and how she handles stress – but the price will be paid by the babe. Of course the predisposition is a characteristic of being human. I love to watch how genetic works each successive generation – it fascinates me – both from the personalities and the health outcomes.

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  7. lea

    September 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    I remebr as a adopted child how mean my adopters where to me I didn’t know who my birthparents where still don’t never will but as a kid I wanted my bed room to lok my way I was not allowed to have my bedroom look the way I wanted plus they would not psend money on me I hated them and always will

    I hate my adoptive parents they where so mean to me they didn’t care that I had no birthparents I use to ask them who my birthparents where they would say to me I don’t know and I don’t care

    (admin just combined all recent comments made on this post into one comment)

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  8. veggiemom

    September 10, 2013 at 4:13 am

    I couldn’t reply to your last comment…

    Yeah, the demonstration was great. I was slightly nervous for me, personally, and how it would be but I fit in much better there, even as an AP, than with other APs because I had more in common with everyone regarding thoughts on adoption. My younger daughter didn’t get much out of it other than swimming with friends and being tired of walking in circles with a big sign. It was great for my older daughter though. There are some feelings that mom just can’t validate the way another adoptee can. We’re hoping to go again next year but I’m worried it will conflict with school. We start early in our neck of the woods.

    I’m so conflicted on what to blog about. I just don’t know how to say what I’m thinking without sharing more of the girls’ personal stuff than seems right. I just haven’t figured it all out. It was a lot easier when they were younger and the stories about the funny things they said were not a big deal. The grief/anxiety/etc. that we’re dealing with now is much more personal and hard to share with the world.

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