Running into adoption, yet again…

22 Jan


The other day, I was chatting with one of the guys in my class, talking about our stories, and I explained one of the reasons I’m there is because of being adopted, the lack of family health history that I wasn’t allowed to know, because by law I couldn’t know my family of birth.

Well, it turns out he had a couple of cousins who were adopted… 

This time though – there wasn’t the veil of adoption is beautiful, just the reality that being adopted adds a lot of complexity, issues, hurt feelings, different feelings between siblings with one wanting to search, and the other not which caused problems between them.  He clearly understood that being adopted was hard at times.  Of course, I forgot to mention how “the loyalty factor” to the parents plays a role, and how that can cause division, angst, anger at the other sibling, I will have to remember if we talk about it again, to weave it into the conversation as something many adoptees feel deeply, because I think he was pretty close to them to know the depth of their feelings. He did a great job of respecting their privacy by only speaking to the effects of adoption as he saw it, not their stories.  He brought up that all adoptees should have the right to their records as adults, so we talked about that, and he could see that adoptees can feel like second-class citizens being denied the right to know their origins.

Looking back at the conversation, after all this time, even I fall victim to “the loyalty factor” in regards to adoption and how the public views it.  I didn’t roll-over like I would have when I was younger, but, I could have done a better job of validating his cousins experience was one many adoptees had lived, get into more of the nuances and conflicting feelings, how it helps to be part of an adoptee community.

I am very glad they had an empathetic cousin on their side…

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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Adoption


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