I’m always fascinated by the different feelings about being adopted, how or when they change in either direction. I shy away from most of the super positive about being adopted adoptees and the very negative about their being adopted adoptee. Neither end of the spectrum is healthy because life is never all rosy without a glitch or hint of sad, or the opposite, always bad. There are exceptions to my shying away, I have a sweet, gentle friend on FB who would be seen as a super positive about being adopted adoptee. She expresses her feelings about being adopted, yet she is also open to listening, looking for similarities to what someone is saying, looks at her experience, and finds things in common. I think perhaps we are very similar, but our personality and language used, is what makes us seem different.
Anyway, I’m rambling to give you an idea of what’s running through my mind today. Every once in a while, I go to a positive adoptee FB group. I don’t stay long. Today, the first post was about language used such as birth father and how they don’t consider their sperm donor to be anything but a sperm donor. In the comments, terms such as the vessel who brought them into the world to be raised by their real parents. Yet, from what I can tell, many have apparently have met their parents by birth, so they obviously searched as they are my age? They blame posts that turn into train wrecks on angry adoptees who join their group, but it seems to me as an outsider looking in, they are creating provocative posts with the intent to cause angry comments back, so they can show those angry adoptees how stupid they are, all the while claiming they just want to have a positive supportive group to be in, and talk about being adopted. For the life of me, it reminds me of high school and bullies. If that is what it means to be a super positive adoptee about my adoption, count me out. Other posts are ones with the silly sayings on artsy backgrounds that you find commonly on places like adoptiondotcom, there will be a couple of two or three word comments made, but there is no discussion, or even conversation, because what is there to discuss about some silly saying? I enjoy conversations about adoption; critical thinking about how it works, what works well, and what should be trashed, what should never happen, the laws, the process, the experiences from all sides, the similarities, and distinct differences.
While reading that FB post today I was thinking about the study I talked about on the other blog. Below are snippets from that post. Tell me what you think – it’s worth reading the study.
Interesting study (2007) on adult adoptees…
I Sat In Silent Musing did a post recently that highlighted Adoption Reconstruction Phase Theory. It piqued my interest and I searched hoping to find I could get access to the paper. I did.
From my reading, this study came about as a result of a different study Borders et al. (2000). Respondents to this study came from the original study. They were originally recruited primarily from a statewide adoption and foster care agency in North Carolina. Some that had contact with the agency in the previous 5 years were sent letters, others responded to a notice in the agencies newsletter. Overall, for this second study they ended up with 100 respondents between the ages of 35-55, with an average age of 42.7 years. 78% women, 70% married, 78% had children, 57% college grads, 35% had completed some college, 88% were middle class or higher, 100% adopted as infants, 84% in North Carolina, 75% were placed through a cooperating adoption agency.
The study tested the hypothesis that there were 5 adoption reconstruction phases for the adult adoptee. Read the study to get descriptions of each phase below.
1. No Awareness/Denying Awareness (Ignorance Is Bliss)
2. Emerging Awareness (Curiosity Killed the Cat)
3. Drowning in Awareness (Ill as a Hornet/Mad as Hell)
4. Re-emerging From Awareness (Rising From the Ashes)
5. Finding Peace (Let It Be)
Reconstruction of Adoption Issues: Delineation of Five Phases Among Adult Adoptees Judith Penny, L. DiAnne Borders, and Francie Portnoy