When you see all the facets of being adopted

22 Jun

You know a friend who has always loved being adopted, suffered no ill effects from being adopted, the one you always hold up as a positive adoptee with a good experience?

Those adoptees are all around you, everywhere you look, I’m one who has been held up countless times in my circle, two families adopted because I turned out fine, except I’ve always felt the bigger picture, just never shared it with others because I chose to protect my family from other people’s judgement. I’m sure many of my adopted friends have also been held up as the ideal adoptees by others, it’s what people seem to do when it comes to the adopted, judge them as either good or bad. We aren’t allowed to have complicated feelings about adoption, being adopted, and that attitude seems to be getting stronger, not less and that’s a real shame.

And yes, some never experience having a penny drop and walls tumbled down, nothing wrong with that as long as they are happy. Other adoptees may get to a point where they start delving into why they are a certain way, act a certain way, why they’ve been so adamant about how they feel about being adopted, then two and two get put together and a flood of emotions and feelings come tumbling out. Then it starts to make sense why they’ve always been so touchy on a subject, adamant about another, they may even wrestle with the reality that they’ve been protecting themselves, their family, by not acknowledging they were also impacted in other ways by adoption. For some it’s a relief, for others it sets off a cascade of emotions, but ultimately it’s healing because it’s their truth and they now own it.

What owning that truth doesn’t do, or probably doesn’t do? Make them feel different about their family, their memories of years past. What it does allow for all their feelings to be held, validated, honored. So, unless you were a terrible parent or horrible person overall, there’s no reason to fear this fuller picture your child has as to what it means to be adopted, there is however a reason to be thankful though, thankful your child has the strength to own all of their adopted experience, not just the cherry picked parts society deems acceptable.



Posted by on June 22, 2019 in Adoption


Tags: , , , , , ,

11 responses to “When you see all the facets of being adopted

  1. thejazzgirl

    June 22, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lara/Trace

    June 22, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    Tao, I was thinking about this. Was I the good adoptee? Not after I wrote my memoir. My a-family was in a kind of fog about it all… and now that my a-parents are dead, I hear nothing from cousins who I thought loved me. So, that is the paradox – what is real and what is love.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      June 23, 2019 at 3:08 am

      I think extended relatives often do that because what connected you to them is gone. I’m sorry your family couldn’t accept the full you, you all lost.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. juliemcgue

    June 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Some of what you say is true: that you can be the ideal adoptee and then the walls come tumbling down, but that is true with any self-realization. Building yourself back up is called resiliency. I use writing to heal and connect what I’d hidden from myself about my adoption. Now it seems I can’t shut up. So many great books coming out now from adoptees who explore the borders of their adoption experience. Check out Nicole Chung’s memoir, All You Can Ever Know, and Diane Dewey’s book, Fixing The Fates. Educating the world about my adoption experiences is part of healing for me; it is what I can control; and it gives me hope for social change of outdated and ignorant mindsets. It’s why your blog is so important…putting uncomfortable thoughts out there for reactions and opinions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pj

    June 23, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    For me it was a “relief”..AND a “ cascade of emotions”…AND “healing”…AND lots of other stuff 🙂
    I truly believe I’m a better person for it, albeit much more complicated.
    Thank you, Tao..We each have our own journey !

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Nara

    June 24, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    I was probably the good adoptee. And then I became fairly active in the adoption community for a short while. And now I’ve stopped again. Why, honestly I don’t really know but I think it’s mainly that I like my life without “the bad stuff” infusing it all the time. By which I mean both adoptionland drama (it’s just constant) as well as the deep knowing how bad certain APs can be. I just don’t need to live my life constantly being reminded of it. And there are more of us in the community who are starting to feel that way, I think. Ex activists. It’s too tiring to have to educate and put up with trolling all the time. I want to put the lid back on the box. So far it’s working and I don’t feel like opening it again. Does that mean I’m in the fog?

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      June 24, 2019 at 10:50 pm

      No, Nara, I doubt you’ve ever been in “the fog”, you’ve always seemed to have seen and made your choices based on what’s right for you. Not a fan of that labelling, we all just muddle along the best we can, my tipping point was my health challenges, then my delving into the history of this thing called adoption. Hope all is well with you and your little one is good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        June 25, 2019 at 4:35 pm

        Hi TAO, we are good, thanks 💕. I feel a lot better when I’m not so focused on adoption and just living my life. I am sure I would have made different choices if my birthplace were more accessible from where I currently am, but it is what it is. I do think all of us adoptees just have to do what’s right for us. I don’t think there’s one right way to deal with adoption. My adopted sibling was telling me horrified that some friends had told their young child of being adopted and the child had gone “off the rails”… and was actually advocating not telling! Which I was pretty surprised about. I guess we’re all formed by our own experiences.

        Liked by 2 people

        • TAO

          June 25, 2019 at 4:38 pm

          True enough.


  6. beth62

    July 2, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    “I’m sure many of my adopted friends have also been held up as the ideal adoptees by others, it’s what people seem to do when it comes to the adopted, judge them as either good or bad. We aren’t allowed to have complicated feelings about adoption, being adopted, …”

    I’ve found that to be so true. I’ve found it difficult to keep my mouth shut which ever way I and others are judged. I think it’s been the main reason I speak up about being Adopted.
    It really hit me when the internet was invented lol. I got called the bad Adopted One when searching for family info. Awful backstabbing ungrateful slapper of face when I found. Even worse when I chose to meet. I remember it being very ugly when online chats and discussions first began. I was so shocked at the mean things people said to me. Mostly Adopted parents, but Adoptees too. It was hard. I felt really, really bad for others who would follow in my search and find path. I didn’t go along with being silenced.

    I know it’s still pretty ugly out there now. I know it’s changed so much too. I think Adopted people are far more free to discuss and explore today, the big picture, twenty years later. At least the mention of search and reunion might not lead to being burned at the stake? Hey, I am hardly exagerrating.
    The knowledge has been shared and spread. Twenty years ago there was little knowledge out there to be found. I remember the day I said “Alright then, looks like I have read everything there is online about being adopted, now what?” 🙂

    Nearly everything has a good and bad, and sometimes the good or bad judgement depends on the day.
    I’ve been called the good Adoptee by one, and the bad Adoptee by another, in the same moment!
    I am.
    I absolutely love the big picture 💜
    Tao! Look how big it’s gotten, so many of the pieces in place! It’s lovely, it really is, I can hardly believe it. Makes me 😂

    Liked by 1 person


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