I’ve listened to adoptees who say that they never experienced trauma or felt loss. That they don’t dwell on being adopted. That they love their families (adoptive) and don’t understand why other adoptees had such a bad experience. That many have known their family of birth for years, if not decades. That’s the shortened version of the divide between adoptees online, on the same websites, adoption websites to be specific.
I’ve watched this ongoing divide now for the last decade. And yet, when I read conversations, in-depth conversations they are part of, I can’t see any difference in their stories, compared to those who speak of having felt/feel loss, have been, and may still be challenged by being adopted, and all the feels that come with growing up in a different family than you were born to. They speak of going through phases growing up, having big feelings that had to be worked through, some included counseling, just like those they say had a bad experience. If you drill down, they also see problems in how adoption is practiced, too.
And, I’m wondering, why, then, is there a disconnect, a divide, between us.
Is it the words commonly used by adoptees to define what they’ve gone through, felt? Does saying you felt/feel the loss of your other family, somehow, challenge their perception of their family (adoptive) and mean they should view them differently if they felt the same? Does the word trauma mean something different to them, or does it make them think their family is guilty (or culpable) for adopting them, when they hear it, name it? Does naming their feelings instead of just describing a time they were challenged by being adopted, make them feel wrong for loving their adoptive family, or disloyal to them? Why? I can separate my family, my feelings for them, from my being adopted, the effects of being adopted, be critical of the way adoption was practiced then, and now. Is the difference really based on the individual’s ability to separate family from adoption in their mind and words?
Does it have something to do with knowing their family of birth for years, if not always, play into it at all?
And I’ve left that term dwell for last. They are on adoption forums, whether it is a message board, blog, or facebook, talking about adoption, their experiences. Yet, they don’t dwell on adoption, but feel other adoptees do dwell on it, adoptees, who, typically seem to have experienced the same feelings they have, and came out the other side, just like they did.
I can’t see any difference, can you? Have you pondered this, or do you see a difference I can’t see?