It’s been awhile since I’ve seen these types of comments shown below in italics that are made in response to someone talking about the hard parts of being adopted, and that, the feelings are not necessarily once and done. I thought we’d been there, done that, and had entered the new age of not using a single adoptee as the voice of all adoptees and all things being adopted. Instead, it’s me choosing to avoid people who speak to what they don’t know, haven’t experienced.
“Adoptees don’t suffer lifelong trauma being adopted.”
Some do, some don’t, some revisit the trauma throughout their lifetime when an event triggers further reflecting and carry-on in between. Some never felt different, until they did. What I do know is that we aren’t a monolith, some will say the above quote is correct, others would disagree, still others would find the middle ground. And many of them will note how they felt at a particular stage of life and that they now find themselves standing in a new understanding of this adopted life.
And all of them are correct.
I can say that for me, feelings about being adopted have been processed over and over. My lived experiences triggered diving deeper each time; when I a gave birth and met the first person I was related to, when my son passed away, to each parent passing on, to all sorts of processing when I found out my mother had already passed on, then when my father passed to a certain extent.
We process being adopted in our own way, everyday lived events can trigger them, being let go at your job, breakups in your personal life, not getting the promotion, the loss of a parent – regardless of which parent (adopted or first). It’s amazing how something not related to being adopted can still trigger adoption processing, but it can if it centers around loss. As a child I remember sitting on the floor in the shower crying my eyes out, it was my go to place where I was able to just let it all out and no one knew about it. As an adult, the phrase everyone leaves, not if, but when echoes through my mind when I get triggered by something in my life.
If you don’t think being adopted can be hard at times, you’re fooling yourself.
Fast forward to now that I’m old, most of those feelings have found a place to live inside, but the ramifications of being adopted haven’t fully abated, I can still get upset by some aspects of my story. My self-confidence still isn’t what it should be, and it stems from feeling like I was not being good enough to be kept, that little devil sitting on my shoulder waiting to pounce and remind me. And yes, I know my mother really had no choice, that I didn’t do anything to cause it, but that doesn’t matter, logic loses out to a feeling you can’t remember not having.
“Some adopted children are deeply grateful and love their adoptive parents and say they are their true parents because they did the work.”
If you aren’t adopted, nix the word grateful from your lexicon when it has anything to do with adoption and adoptees, (I despise that word and that is still thrown at adoptees all the time). But seriously, if you are good folks and do parenting well, even if you didn’t have much in common personality or interest wise, isn’t it common sense that you’d have a decent relationship with your children? Honestly, this statement is infantilizing, and based on the wording, it is asked to adult adoptees, not adopted children because you’d likely just ask them if they loved their mommy and daddy. And yes, adult adoptees have been asked if they have a good relationship, love, etc., about their relationship with their parents, and are still asked that by random adoptive parents. If you ever see that happen, turn it around on the asker and ask them the same question they just asked a grown-ass adoptee. It usually shuts them down.