Spin-off and continuation of the last post “Family trees and whatnot…” because Beth’s comment left on the post both answers my questions, and then, spins the conversation further into the generational affect of adoption, plus so much more. Beth and I have been online friends for years, she’s funny and so much wiser than I’ll ever be. Below is Beth’s comment and tale I loved, she always tells the best stories.
My kids (adults) have a hard time saying “my 3rd great grandfather”. Like me they tried “my Adopted 3rd gg” …
Either can be awkward.
I guess because it’s a lie and not a lie, real and not real, true and not true… It’s pretending with a legal pass – believing anything else can make you insane I think.
Family History and Ancestry are not the same, but they are the same.
I retold my son that he can claim these Adopted Ancestors whenever he wants, or not, it’s up to him. It was like he was asking for permission, was uneasy about it, since it’s not “true”. I told him, again, I’ve, we’ve paid that price, we have the printed ticket, we can claim and never have to utter the word Adopted, that’s how it works. If anyone disputes your claims, I have a certificate of birth as proof. “You sir, are free to use it whenever you choose.” So my son enjoyed his lunch in the tavern that his many times great grandfather built as an inn for seafaring men 300 years ago. And was rightfully honored as a many times great grandson. His grandfather is very, very pleased with it all.
My daughter is living in the land of her adopted grandma’s mother’s ancestors. They founded the place, even says so on many of their gravestones, “founded this place”. It’s kind of funny, and not. I had to tell her too, give her permission that it’s okay to claim them publicly as family. In historical preservation and ancestry groups she had little issue in claiming her grandma and those ancestors.
It was all fairly easy until she ran into an Adoptee who was adopted out of this family, had recently found this original family of hers, and was a DNA match with grandma. I was very happy when my daughter immediately, and with great concern, told this Adoptee that they were not genetically related, since I’m Adopted. Also asked her, please don’t blow my cover in this Facebook group! LOL
And yes, of course (just like mom guessed) this kind and recently reunited adopted person completely understood that request and agreed 🙂
More power to em, I hope my kids continue to use their secret powers whenever they are of benefit.
I find it troubling to tell my children it’s okay to… Pretend is the nice word I guess. It’s against my mom nature to do that LOL. It does make me feel better that they are uncomfortable enough about it to ask me if I am sure it’s okay to do. I’ll always say, Yes, I paid dearly so you could. Yes, please take that ticket and run with it whenever it will do you good! Take full advantage, whenever you find it, take it if you wish. I’d suggest that to any and all Adopted ones.
Of course on the other hand, I feel like I’ve raised some very understanding and tricky little liars.
That’s normal, right? Ug. Maybe they’ll do the same for my grandkids. 😉
(ME) I’m also including Beth’s additional comment below, posted later when I asked to use her comment in a follow-up post because it really is a continuation of the first…and it has a question for adoptees as well.
I’d love to hear anything from others about the kids and grandkids of Adoptees, and how it all works for them. It’s been a huge part of my motherhood, my Adoption. It’s not about me so much, it was them that really pushed me to learn more about it all, including their/our ancestors, all of them.
Oh yeah, I find saying ‘my Adopted 3rd great grandfather’ entirely too strange and awkward. I’d forgotten, but a long time ago I changed my language. Now I say “my Dad’s 2nd great grandfather. Which allows me to be more specific while avoiding saying ‘my” anything, other than “my Dad”.💕
Which I believe is how it should be. To me it just feels a little disrespectful to that family otherwise.
I feel more respectful when I’m pretending, if I acknowledge the pretending to myself first, before I pretend. Like, I’m not lying, but it’s okay to pretend, without telling anyone involved, you know, since we’ve been given that pretend pass. Ug. Does that make any sense? Lol
I’m still laughing a bit at this thing 🙂 Somehow my daughter believes it’s okay to lie/pretend with the nonadopted, no need to tell a thing. But it’s likely safe, and only right, to let another Adoptee in on the secrets. That upsets me too, that she knows this phenomenon so well 😦 Maybe that’s just what happens when you’re raised by a bunch of wildlings. I dunno.
Cheers and many thanks to Beth, and to all the adoptees who’ve chimed in over the years that have made this space so special and why I’ve said before, the comments make this blog what it is. Thanks Beth, thanks to all adoptees!