Affirmations that you are grateful to be adopted, grateful you were given up by your birthmother.
Every time I read either of those statements I ponder why you must be grateful for either. Why? You had no say in it, you have no knowledge of what your life would have been like if you weren’t adopted to compare with, even if you know your mother by birth, such life altering event changes you in ways your wouldn’t imagine that also can change the road taken to now.
Why can’t you be (or be seen) as just another person in your family without the need for a preamble about how grateful you are that you weren’t kept? Why can’t you (the adoptee) just be thankful for the family you have and not feel the need to be either/or?
Why must we (adoptees) always feel the need to be other than just part of our family? To prove worthiness with either/or?
Why can’t we be granted by those in the adoption community and/or believe we have right to mourn or feel neutral on the need to have been adopted, and be perfectly content with and love the family we have? Why is that grace given to adoptive parents who can both mourn the loss of the genetic condition and love the child they are parenting?
Why do we feel this need to prove worthiness to be part of our family? Either you are part of your family or you aren’t. There isn’t a middle ground. You don’t need to prove your worthiness to be part of a family.
It’s this type of language and mindset that reinforces that under all the pretty words used in adoption today – it boils down to what my grandfather wrote about us in a letter to a relative – we are our parents borrowed children, not our parents children. His words may be from a different era, but when others in the community need to hear that affirmation of gratefulness before applying credibility to what the adoptee has said, it’s not so different after all. That bias equals other, conditional.
Words matter, biases matter more…I hope this current generation of adopted children aren’t raised to understand adoption means pick either/or family instead of valuing both for who they are.