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National Adoption Awareness Month – Day One

01 Nov

Day One of the longest month of the year (despite being only 30 days) where we all get to hear how wonderful and downright beautiful adoption is. We’ll see lots of adoption meme’s – some better (or less icky) than others, lots of trite phrases instead of facts or discussions about foster care that the month is actually for; lots of patting each other on the back, but I digress. I was thinking I might try throwing out questions for Adoptees to answer throughout the month, how many responses I’d get is unknown, but I’m giving it a try on Day One…

Adoptees – we all know we process things about being adopted many times throughout our lives; some we weren’t even old enough to remember, others times we do. When we’re older the processing can be triggered by a life event such as giving birth. We also know we can get wrapped up in the loyalty thing and never wanting to hurt our parents and whatnot that can limit us. Today’s question is asking you to think back to what decade of your life did you allow yourself to really go deep into how the hard parts of being adopted had impacted you; and where you also stopped being willing to only feel, show, talk about the good of being adopted? That acceptance and willingness to acknowledge both the hard and good of your adoption (both/and) rather than either/or. Some adoptees call this coming out of the fog, not a phrase I particularly care for, but also apt and an easy way to describe the shift into accepting all being adopted holds, if you think about it, it’s the next stage of processing where you are comfortable enough in yourself to acknowledge that you may have paid a price and, it’s time to nurture you, be angry if you feel that way, find the right space for all adoption is to sit in your consciousness. Hope that made sense.

Note, not saying all adoptees are ever in a “fog” (just don’t like the term, someone give me something better, please), or even ever had challenging feelings about being adopted, or that they even feel they lost anything. You do you, I’ll do me.

Anyway, I created a poll, may not be perfect as it’s early morning – but I’d appreciate if ADOPTEES ONLY took the time to answer.

 

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Adoptees: Do feel free to just leave a comment rather than the poll, or to dive deeper into the subject. Other readers, feel free to chime in, ask questions if you want to, offer questions you’d like posted this month for ADOPTEES ONLY to answer.

 

 

 
17 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2019 in Adoption

 

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17 responses to “National Adoption Awareness Month – Day One

  1. Lara/Trace

    November 1, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Can I share this at my AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES blog?
    You are so wonderful to write this month.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      November 1, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      Absolutely Trace – I’d be honored.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  2. maryleesdream

    November 1, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    I knew something was off when I was very young, but did not allow myself to think about it too much. I really started to think and speak about it when I was a teenager, when I began drinking. Drinking gave me the freedom to finally speak about my adoption, and tell my friends.

    I remember feeling angry so much of the time.

    Liked by 3 people

     
  3. Snarkurchin

    November 1, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Late teens/early twenties is when I began to realize that adoption is not “a thing that happened to me,” but a huge part of who I am–and that I’m allowed to have feelings about that. I’m in my mid-fifties now, and this realization process will probably continue all my life. Both my APs have died, but I will never not be adopted.

    Ain’t November grand? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • TAO

      November 1, 2019 at 4:14 pm

      I’m pretty much the same. Thrilled you posted a new post today and hope you start posting on your blog more, it made my day.

      Liked by 2 people

       
      • Snarkurchin

        November 1, 2019 at 4:30 pm

        Aw, TYVM! Glad to see your post today, too. I’m trying to get back in gear.

        Liked by 2 people

         
        • TAO

          November 1, 2019 at 4:56 pm

          Looking forward to you getting back to blogging – I’d like to see a shift from FB back to blogs…feel to vulnerable on FB at times.

          Liked by 2 people

           
          • Snarkurchin

            November 1, 2019 at 5:27 pm

            I know what you mean. I feel vulnerable online in general, but FB can be a beast.

            Liked by 1 person

             
  4. Lara/Trace

    November 1, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    I think the fog cleared for me in my late 30s after therapy but to be honest, I studied adoption like a college course in 2004-6 and learning all this stuff, changed me profoundly and of course more fog lifted.
    Thanks Tao, I am working on a link to you and others today. xoxox

    Liked by 2 people

     
  5. L4R

    November 2, 2019 at 3:17 am

    I was never the good adoptee. I always wanted to find my family, and I definitely saw the negatives from an early age. I don’t think I was ever fully in the fog.

    But, I felt the full extent of the loss at 40 when I was able to obtain my OBC and found both parents within a year of that. I had to take the time to fully grieve the loss if my family and the loss of the person I could have been.

    Liked by 3 people

     
    • TAO

      November 2, 2019 at 3:50 am

      That’s the problem with the fog as a label, no nuance, wish there was a way explain it better. I know I was very overwhelmed meeting my family, so many emotions cascading over me, I really shut down for a while.

      Like

       
      • L4R

        November 2, 2019 at 3:58 am

        Yes, I definitely shut down. Probably took me two-four years for adoption to no longer be the main focus of my thoughts.

        Liked by 2 people

         
  6. Pj

    November 2, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Came out of the “ fog” in my 50’s…but teen years I was totally in (an) outer space. Amom said at ~14 I “ left the planet but fortunately came back”…..many decades later.
    So frustrating because many non-adoptees comment that’s just what the teen years are supposed to be like. Uhm….NO !! Until you walk in my space boots 🙂

    Like

     
    • TAO

      November 2, 2019 at 10:19 pm

      ***teen years***

      Like

       
  7. Nara

    November 4, 2019 at 7:47 am

    I find “the fog” a very demeaning label, in my experience usually used against adoptees by adoptees. (Other adoptees aren’t the enemy… are they?)

    I’ve probably always been “the good adoptee”, probably still am. Especially in comparison with my sibling. Who probably started processing things earlier. Feels the loss more keenly. I do feel the loss but for me there’s nothing I can do about it and I’m the kind of person who can compartmentalise. I just lock it away and hardly ever take it out.

    Our lives were complicated by other stuff – mainly racism and bullying. I always blamed that experience rather than adoption, though of course we probably wouldn’t have experienced it if we hadn’t been adopted into a white environment.

    I became active in adoption online communities about early to mid thirties. Before then I read everything I could about adoption, but I felt completely alone. Online communities made me realise I wasn’t. But also scared me.

    For a while I found community. But I think Facebook as a whole is pretty toxic and brings out horrendous behaviour, a real bullying and mob mentality. The worst bullying I had was from a non adopted POC. It just didn’t make sense. I left earlier this year and I feel much better.

    I’m conflicted about “the fog” idea because I feel much happier when I just get on with my life and don’t dwell on adoption (and race) issues. I still read blogs and articles and books but not really engaging in the community any more works for me. I don’t need to be constantly triggered and reminded about it.

    Does that mean I’m back in the fog? I don’t think so. I’m still super sensitive about race issues and I work hard to ensure that my child doesn’t have the experience I did. But can I take on responsibility for all the young transracial adoptees today? (Which is effectively what we were being asked to do online, like it was our civic duty as adult transracial adoptees to educate adoptive parents and bring young adoptees out of the fog.) I refuse to do that.

    I could help for a while but I refuse to do it at my own cost. It got to the point where it would eat into my work and home life, and I’d be upset about some online interaction when I should have been enjoying my life. My life outside of online adoption communities is hunky dory, and I gain nothing from them but a passing validation I no longer need. 2019 is about reclaiming my time.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      November 4, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      I’m with you on the term and all you said, wish there was a word that explained a more nuanced way to explain a shift in consciousness and evolution to accepting all adoption is. I’m glad you pop in here now and again, I try my best to not allow it to become toxic.

      Like

       

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