After reading a horrible adoption story published in the NY Post written through the lens of the adopting parents, I realized, that I forgot to say how lucky I am in that post to being able to decide when (or not) to share My Story.
I’m lucky that My Story wasn’t posted for public consumption. It didn’t appear in print anywhere.
My Story wasn’t included in the telling of how mom and dad came to adopt me, the events that led up to me becoming one of the family, or what it was like after I came home. That was our story, my story of coming home, not my original story of why I needed adoption (even if it was incorrect). The two stories were treated as separate. Mom and dad respected the fact that my story, my mother’s story, wasn’t theirs to share, or talk about to others. I’m sure they may have told close family members about My Story at the beginning, but if they did, they picked people who wouldn’t turn around and share it to others. They only talked about my story in our home with just us present.
I feel so bad for adoptee’s growing up today whose most intimate stories of why, how, when, who was there, who did what when they lost their families are posted all over the internet. Their first parent(s) stories told by their adoptive parent(s) and sometimes by their first parent(s) too. When I say that, I mean told by people under their own name with details, not anonymously and told with deep respect to being vague to protect their child’s privacy, that’s different. Even under your own name, being vague helps.
I just can’t imagine what these adoptees will feel when they grow up and realize that their story doesn’t belong to them to share when they are ready, if they are ever ready. Perhaps, by then, the concept and value of privacy will be seen as some long-ago old-fashioned value people held. I can’t imagine coming upon a story about the day I was born, nor the story about losing my birthright, my privacy, my agency about who could know the most intimate things about me and who I came from.
I’m thankful that after all these decades I got to decide whether to share what little I’ve shared.