Tag Archives: adopted adult

Feeling Different

Today’s post is from John, an adopted adult who shares his views and feelings…

When reading the stories of other adoptees, I often feel that I am odd or unusual. Going for a walkTheir stories talk of a yearning to find out their roots, or of feeling a sense of loss or anger. Yet, I have never had a deep longing to discover my roots nor I have ever felt a sense of loss or anger. I have always just accepted my adoption as a fact of life and feel secure in my identity as my adoptive parents’ son.

I have met my birth mother. She gave me up voluntarily and clearly loved and cared for me. I wanted to let her know that things had turned out well. We do get on and I do see our similarities but, for me, there is not the deep connection others sometimes speak of.

I often wonder what makes my story different from so many others.

I was given up voluntarily by a loving, responsible birth mother who cared for me in the womb and for the first week of my life. I believe that I was given up because of her love for me. I am sure that she would not have given me up had she not felt it was in my best interests. I was also adopted as a month and a half old baby into a well matched, loving home by parents who were utterly devoted to me and who told from me from an early age that I was adopted. I cannot remember not knowing. I also look very like my adoptive parents so I could easily hide that I was adopted if I wished. I did have difficult times in my teenage years but I don’t believe these were any more difficult than any other teenager trying to find their place in the world.

I have been reading the Primal Wound. As an adopted person, I do not particularly recognise myself in it but I do believe what it says is true of other adopters. I see much of what it says in the experience of my sister. She has felt a deep sense of loss and anger which she has had to work through over many years.

Clearly, there is something subtly different in my sister’s experience of adoption and my own experience. We have both enjoyed a similar upbringing and much of what I describe above about myself is true of her yet her emotional response to her adoption is completely different to my own. I have my theories on why this is. From reading the Primal Wound and from considering my own experience and my sister’s experience, I believe that first few days after birth are critical. I was cared for by my birth mother for a week after my birth. She was not.

This is why it is so important to hear from adoptees. Each adoptee has their own, distinctive story of adoption. We need to hear their story to understand why one adoptee has one experience of adoption and another a different experience so that we can use this information to improve the experiences of the adoptees of tomorrow.

We must give adoptees the space to share their story. It will be in this patchwork of adoptee experiences that answers can be found that can help the adoptees of the future.

Anna Writes: It is what it is

PhontoToday we’re pleased to bring you the first post from our newest regular contributor Anna W, who is sharing her thoughts as an adopted person.

 

I felt really, genuinely excited to see a call out for blog posts from The Adoption Social…finally, I thought, I can say something (hopefully) useful about adoption. This excitement was quickly followed by the same, familiar old feeling of ‘well, what have you got to say that would be of any interest to anyone in the adoption community’ , self doubt forever the evil twin of my fragile confidence.

I emailed Vicki, just to double check that it was ok for me to write as an adopted person, not an adopter, she sent me a lovely welcoming email back, encouraging me to write- I emailed back ‘what shall I write about?’ and quite rightly, she didn’t respond immediately- hell, here I am being given an opportunity to write about my experience and I feel I need to ask permission, to be guided, to fold everything inside one massive caveat that says (meekly) ‘I’m here, is it ok if I say something?’.

This is familiar ground, in spite of 35 years on the planet, it still feels difficult to find a place here, to be without apologising, expressing gratitude or placating others before getting my own needs met- its a well worn path and one that crops up again and again on adoption sites, blog posts, books and articles on adoption.

I can’t speak to other peoples experiences of being adopted but for me, I know that being adopted runs through me like the letters printed in seaside rock, its an indelible mark, a dislocating experience that puts me outside of the ‘norm’ (whatever that is) I don’t really understand the concept of ‘love’ although I feel a fierce bond to my children and let them know all the time how ‘loved’ they are, I figure just because I haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean I can’t try – and I mess up, like we all, adopted or not do, and I learn new ways of doing things and I hope that I wont feel defective forever.

I wouldn’t have been this way if I hadn’t been adopted, but who knows whether the alternative would have been any better?…by all accounts having found my birth mum and heard her own difficult story, life would have presented a whole set of alternative challenges.

So, I put up and shut up and the world is always ready to tell me to be grateful and that ‘your adoptive parents are your real parents, they were the ones who brought you up’. Yes. I noticed, I was there. And I have stayed quiet for them, I have stayed quiet to be the good, thankful child and I can’t possibly ever, ever tell them about the things that happened to me at the hands of one of their fathers, because that would break them too and I’ve learnt that shame is a very effective silencer.

Apologies if this reads like a misery memoir, but it is what it is, the life in a day of an adopted person.

Anna. W