You probably have opinions forming about me the very moment I tell you I’m adopted. Chances are, no matter how many times I write about it you’ll still maintain your point of view. Most likely, no matter how often I tell you my experience, you’ll still think you’re right. But you’re wrong.
You’re wrong about my adoption.
November is adoption awareness month, something I never had growing up. I don’t feel like I needed it. My adoption was never a taboo subject at home, and while I wasn’t ashamed to discuss it, it wasn’t something I felt like I needed to speak about much, either. When questions from friends arose, I answered them. When I felt I needed to speak about it, I did.
“Do you know your real parents?”
Yes, I live with them.
“No, you’re REAL real parents.”
My biological ones? No.
“Don’t you want to know them?”
Not really. Maybe. Maybe one day?
You’ve formed an opinion, haven’t you? You’ve questioned something, assumed something, formed an image of what you think life must be like for me. Well, let me tell you:
Until I was about 30 years old, I didn’t have much interest in finding out who my birth parents were. Many people found that impossible. How could that be? How could I not want to know?
If you read through the posts I’ve written about the process, you’ll see the rollercoaster of emotions I went through, the frustrations and rewards. What prompted my desire to finally search, I can’t say for sure. Maybe it was knowing I was expecting a child of my own, or maybe it was growing up, or maybe just curiosity.
What I know ..
What I know is that I never felt less than whole. I never felt a sense of loss. I never felt like my family wasn’t my own. I felt curiosity, and concern that maybe they were looking for me (they were not). I felt like I wanted some pieces of my puzzle put together (who do I look like?), and health questions answered (they didn’t help me). In the end, it was nothing like others said it would be.
Before meeting my birth mother, I read everything I could, trying to prepare myself for the monsoon of emotions I knew would hit me. But I felt even more alone in my feelings. None of the things I read resonated with me.
There was no primal connection. I was not “coming home”; it wasn’t a reunion for either of us. We couldn’t be reunited when we’d never really been together. Despite a genetic connection, we stared into strangers’ eyes, and felt little more than mutual relief that the moment was finally over. My birth mother and I haven’t maintained a relationship, despite being happy we met.
That was enough for us. It’s okay that that was enough.
There are adoptees that will never believe this could be healthy. They argue with me that I’m wrong, my feelings are wrong. But this is my experience, this is my truth. This is my adoption.
You are wrong about my adoption.
The #FlipTheScript movement, for the most part, does not speak to my personal experiences. I cannot relate to the feelings of resentment, suppression and I most certainly do not feel I suffer from “developmental PTSD” as a result of being adopted. Sharing my experiences may not ring true with many of the adoptees speaking out, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t factual.
I don’t use the terms “first family” or “first mother” because they do not fit my circumstances. I don’t feel genetics make a family, and I don’t feel any discomfort knowing children are raised in families that did not give birth to them.
I cannot relate to those stories. That doesn’t mean they’re less valid, but it means they do not speak for me.
I speak for me.
And you are wrong about my adoption.
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