Processing adoption over the years – input requested

17 Oct

The intent of this post is similar to this post Looking for adoptee input on searching as the response was amazing and I thank each one of you who took the time to contribute. This time, it’s to offer a space for any adoptees who wish to describe the different times in their lives when they processed being adopted and how their feelings and views changed. What life events that triggered reflection, changes based on life stages/ages, understanding of adoption practices, or…

“But feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem.”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

I think it would be valuable to adoptive parents to hear many voices to begin to understand the many different contradictory ways you can feel about being adopted, your adoption, one or both families, even how you view both past and present adoption practices, that none are set in stone when you’re little, or as a young adult, that like most things in life – feelings evolve.

“We try so hard to hide everything we’re really feeling from those who probably need to know our true feelings the most. People try to bottle up their emotions, as if it’s somehow wrong to have natural reactions to life.”
― Colleen Hoover, Maybe Someday

My hope is it will help future generations of adoptees from being compared to that proverbial brother, cousin, friend, person they met on the subway who has “only positive feelings about being adopted” and offer a deeper understanding of the adoptee experience.

My friends, the floor is yours…


Posted by on October 17, 2018 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

11 responses to “Processing adoption over the years – input requested

  1. Paige Adams Strickland

    October 18, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Triggering events for me personally, which caused me to think more about being adopted: 1- pretty much any time a baby was born in my family or circle of friends’ families…especially when I was a kid. I knew that baby would have a “being born story” and a detailed birth certificate with time, weight, length printed on it that I would never have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      October 18, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks Paige, I can see how that would be hard. That never got me because dad delivered babies so maybe it was just old hat and I was one of the youngest in the family so none of them stuck the personal note. Hugs and thank you.


  2. Lora

    October 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I was the perfect adoptee with never a word about my feeling until I was 50, got CA, divorced, my A parents were both gone and went to counseling to see how I could survive. I realized I could no longer stuff everything behind a people pleasing façade. Now I feel some regret for probably being a person that other hold up as “OK about their adoption” I try and open up more with those I feel safe about the complexities of adoptions, but its still difficult.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      October 18, 2018 at 1:39 pm

      Thank you Lora and hoping you are doing better. On the being adopted side – I too would have been one who was held up as OK about being adopted, two people I know adopted because of me. It is what it is but hopefully people stop and consider how they felt at 5, 15, 25 is not how they felt at 35, 45, 75… Welcome


  3. beth62

    October 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    I’ve heard, and heard of, people speak of me as a good adoptee throughout my life.
    Now in my 50’s people are saying, to my face even, that I’m such a good daughter.
    Even those that said I was an awful adopted daughter for thinking of, searching for, finding, meeting and getting to know my original families as family.

    It all hits me as just strange things to hear. Starts the processor. It’s hard to know what to think. Always have to consider the motives of the person saying it.

    Over the decade’s I know (and who would know better than me?) I’ve been a very good Adoptee and daughter. Exceptionally good some days. A new car for you good, clean your gutters good, recovery nurse good… I’ve been a very bad Adoptee, and daughter too, very bad, like really bad. Make that list of “bad things adopted daughters do” and I’m certain I could check off all on the list and maybe even add one or two more. I’ve been mediocre and good enough as well.

    My Alexithymia is kicking in. The thought tornado is spinning to fast to make much sense about it now. I know there is something there to examine, process. I just can’t see it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • beth62

      October 21, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      Oh. Does being seen as a “good” daughter, adopted daughter, lead those people to think Good Daughter, Good Person, is okay with all that is Adoption?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lora

        October 21, 2018 at 2:33 pm

        I would say yes. My brother also adopted was not “good”.In lots of trouble as a kid and adult, and was known to want to look for his birth mother. Maybe for adoptees that is part of acting out. I was afraid to say that because I was the good one, and also because I was so good at stuffing down any feelings about it.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Lynne Miller

    October 28, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    I have experienced a range of emotions over the years since I first found out I was adopted. Finding out at the age of 38 was mind blowing. I felt dazed. I didn’t want to deal with it at all. The thought of having other parents out there was an unwelcome prospect, not something I wished to consider. I pushed it out of my mind, or tried to. Over the last six years, I’ve explored my adoption to the extent that I can. All four of my parents were dead when I first learned I was adopted so I never had a chance to confront my adoptive parents or meet my bio parents. Over the last year or so, I have felt resentment toward my adoptive parents who betrayed me and disrespected me by not telling me I was adopted. I miss not knowing the details about my first year of life. As Paige mentioned earlier in the comments, I don’t have a “being born” story. There are still a lot of holes in my life story, holes I don’t expect to be able to fill.


  5. cb

    October 30, 2018 at 8:02 am

    I don’t think I really processed things until after reunion. I didn’t expect to feel anything because I was *only* reuniting with extended bfamily but ended up having to think more deeply about things than I ever had before.


  6. taoistmindset

    November 3, 2018 at 12:29 am

    My adoptive father was also adopted, it did give me a feeling that someone could relate. I did not have a good relationship with my adoptive mother. I hope its okay to share a post of my childhood? This I think that experience made dealing with my adoption much harder than it should have been as a child.


    • TAO

      November 3, 2018 at 3:47 am

      Feel free



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