Lori has good post up today that’s well worth reading about Dear Abby. It’s also a very timely post, as last night I was thinking about how confusing it was to be an adoptee at that age. Specifically, early teens, and how I reacted while trying to define my identity, it was not a wonderful time, to put it mildly.
Here’s Lori’s post: Dear Abby Misses the Mark on Adoption Question
But getting back to me, that age, was the worst time I had in processing both being adopted, and figuring out who the hell I was. Was my nature stronger than the nurture I’d always had from mom and dad. Which would end up winning. What was my nature? Who was I? Stepping back to what I knew then about my mother: she was unmarried, had sex, and I was the result of that sex. That is the sum total of what I knew about her, except for the family religion, because apparently, that was important to know. So what did that make her? What did that make me? Those were the questions swirling around in my head. How any professional thought that zero information about who you came from, the why’s, the how’s, didn’t matter a bit, is simply, ludicrous. That’s the result of the blank slate thinking that was so prevalent back then. I’d like to say things are so different today, but from what I read, there are adoptive parents who speak a whole lot of the negatives of mothers by birth, and don’t focus on any positive attributes, much less, what makes their mother unique, and special, and how they see those special attributes shining through in their child. If that is how the parents tell the stories today, even if there is some contact, I doubt it’s going to be much different for adoptees today.
How different would it be growing up, if I had known that my mother had been in a long-term boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with my father? That was the why, and how, I was created. Doesn’t that put a whole different spin on the fact that she had sex and I was the result? What if I’d known she loved crafting, gardening, and her favorite flower, was also mine? What if I’d known that she was raised by, and still lived with her mom and dad, and had a large supportive family? Wouldn’t that info have helped me figure out how my nature and nurture could blend together, even if they were from different parties?
It could have saved a whole lot of teen angst and stupid decisions, although, I’m not saying I wouldn’t have done some of them, I was a teen. But if I’d have any way to put things in context, it would have helped.
P.S. Dear Abby, wow, you got it wrong. You basically said: she loved you so she gave you away, suck it up and be grateful, so you don’t upset your friends and family…