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Old 09-25-2012, 03:58 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 987,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
At the same time, people who have been adopted and were adopted into imperfect homes should think about the fact that plenty of people were also born into imperfect - and worse homes.
The difference is that people who were born into imperfect homes were not abandoned, then PLACED in imperfect homes on the broken promise that it would be a "better life." Biological children do not have to struggle with being failed by not one family, but two families & an agency/industry. Biological children also do not have to deal with strangers telling them how lucky they were to be adopted by abusive people. They also do not have to deal with identity/attachment issues that specifically pertain to adoption, layered ontop of abuse issues.

Quote:
My parents were always mildly rejecting of me. However if I keep calling myself an Adult Child of Rejecting Parents, who wins? Certainly not I.

The same applies to referencing myself as a Secondary Infertile.

There is more to me than narcissistic parents and a disease.
Again, you have discussed your struggles with infertility & your relationships with your parents on this forum as much as we have discussed our struggles with being adopted. Why you seem to think what we are doing is different or worse than what you are doing is really strange.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:01 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 987,082 times
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Another problem is most people expect adoptees to resolve the bulk of their adoption issues in childhood or adolescence, when the truth is that many things cannot be properly processed until adulthood. How many memories have you had as a child that could not be put into context until adulthood? Adoption can be like that & that is why our thoughts/feeling evolve over time.

No matter how well you explain the circumstances that led to our adoption, most children will interpret the information as a great injustice (it is unfair that most mothers keep their children, but mine couldn't) or utter rejection/abandonment (not one person in my family cared enough to keep me or even know me).

As the child grows they might even obsess over, "What does my mother look like? What did my father look like? Do I look like them, like my friends look like their parents?" If I went to the mall or grocery, sometimes I would point to random women & ask if they were my mom. In the case of closed-adoption the questions can be never-ending, although the lack of information eventually prevents you from asking out-loud.

My amom told me that when I learned about stop, drop, & roll, I had reoccurring nightmares about my birth-mother dying in a fire. I was afraid she wouldn't know things I was learning.

Around third grade schools usually start teaching genealogy. This is the age I remember becoming aware for the first time that adoption meant my grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins were also not related to me. I was hit with a flood of feelings I struggled to process & I kept them all to myself, forced to research my parent's bloodlines & pretend like they were my own. I found their ancestry interesting, but I also remember how sad & confused I felt. My parents & my entire class were able to be curious about their families, but I was not... They had so much information, sometimes they even had photographs of their great grandparents, yet I didn't even know what my mother & father looked like.

The older you get, the more you learn to block out or rationalize those feelings away. This is often seen as adjusting, but honestly sometimes it can be a defense mechanism. By the time I was in my teens I was convinced that biology never meant anything to me & adoption never had a negative impact on me (obviously this was denial as I had forgotten all of the above experiences). Occasionally I would feel a great sense of loss when spending time with my friend's parents, especially the ones raised by their single, young mothers. For a fleeting moment I would wonder why they kept their children, but mine didn't. They would say things like, "Having my daughter was the best thing that ever happened to me." Keeping their daughters didn't ruin their lives? At the time I didn't understand how that could depress me.

Obviously as an adult my feelings have evolved from that point. I am no longer afraid to admit that biology is as important to me as it was as a child, or that the experience of being adopted can be complicated at times. I resolved the anger I had for feeling abandoned as a child & was able to find that I have a sister that has searched for me her whole life! I was able to care enough about my health to seek an updated medical history. My life does not revolve around being an adoptee beyond this forum & I lead a very fulfilled life, thanks for asking.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 09-25-2012 at 05:10 AM..
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:59 AM
 
393 posts, read 504,941 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
At the same time, people who have been adopted and were adopted into imperfect homes should think about the fact that plenty of people were also born into imperfect - and worse homes.

My parents were always mildly rejecting of me. However if I keep calling myself an Adult Child of Rejecting Parents, who wins? Certainly not I.
Sheena,

I don't understand what you are trying to say here. Who is calling themselves an Adult Child?
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:47 AM
 
203 posts, read 200,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
At the same time, people who have been adopted and were adopted into imperfect homes should think about the fact that plenty of people were also born into imperfect - and worse homes.
My parents were always mildly rejecting of me. However if I keep calling myself an Adult Child of Rejecting Parents, who wins? Certainly not I.
I have never referred to myself as an Adult Child of Rejecting Parents. I refer to myself as a lot of things: woman, wife, mother, aunt, daughter, niece, cousin, adult adoptee, marketing copywriter, journalist, etc. The list is long and varied. Sheena, in another thread, you commented on how several people at your church made insensitive remarks to you regarding infertility. One of those comments that you found hurtful was "infertility isn't the worst thing in the world."

It interests me that you found this comment by those in the "fertile world" hurtful to you as an infertile person and yet here you, as a member of the "non-adopted world" make a similar comment to those who were adopted. It is my feeling that anytime a person who is not part of a certain group tells that entire group ("infertile people" or "people who have been adopted") to think about how "it could be worse," it really comes across as insensitive and negating of the group as a whole. I have never told anyone who feels strongly about any circumstance of their lives to remember that "it could be worse" because to them at the time they are sharing their feelings with me, those feelings are valid and deserve to be heard.

Last edited by gcm7189; 09-25-2012 at 08:01 AM..
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:33 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,677 posts, read 23,252,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artful Dodger View Post
Sheena,

I don't understand what you are trying to say here. Who is calling themselves an Adult Child?
I am refereing to the way you collectively present yourself as that. That is how it seems to me.

It's the way it seems. That you define yourselves as the fact that you have been adopted.

I think there is an acceptable time to grieve. Your entire life appears to long to me.

I just got off the phone with a 50 year old sister who want's to plat who had it worse with me.

she's an orphan in her mind. She is not over our mom's death which did change our lives. I am not arguing any longer.

Peace.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:34 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,677 posts, read 23,252,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I am refereing to the way you collectively present yourself as that. That is how it seems to me.

It's the way it seems. That you define yourselves as the fact that you have been adopted.

I think there is an acceptable time to grieve. Your entire life appears to long to me.

I just got off the phone with a 50 year old sister who want's to plat who had it worse with me.

she's an orphan in her mind. She is not over our mom's death which did change our lives. I am not arguing any longer.

Peace.
PS Your screen name is a giveaway. I read "Oliver Twist".
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:25 PM
 
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Not a single one of us adoptees on this forum has ever referred to ourselves as an "adult child" - we are adult adoptees, and that is how we label ourselves. I think that some people around here either have trouble reading or just read what they want to read but don't worry, we are quite used to being treated like children by now since, for example, we are not allowed access to our own records without parental consent.

In terms of the original question, I think the answer is both and more. The experience of being abandoned by my biological mother at birth and handed around to strangers for 7 weeks before landing in my adoptive family has definitely damaged my psyche. Something that has always interested me is that when a baby is kidnapped, people go on and on about how damaging it is for the baby to be away from their mother, that it will cause psychological damage, but apparently the same doesn't go for adoptees - the adoption decree is somehow meant to make everything better. For the baby, the two experiences are identical.

My adoptive mother has very different values to mine, despite the fact that I was raised by her. She is all about appearances and as long as everyone looks happy, that is all that matters. She doesn't like people who are physically unattractive, doesn't like particular physical characteristics and is racist and ignorant in many ways. I couldn't care less how someone looks and have found in my 40 years that plenty of attractive people are ugly inside which alters their physical appearance to me. When I was reunited with my natural mother, I found that I was exactly like her both physically and how we look at the world. She is a nurse; I wanted to become a nurse and was so discouraged by my adoptive mother that I gave up.

The conflict that arises in adoptees is more often than not a basic cognitive dissonance. We become a part of a family who we are not related to by blood, therefore we do not share the same genetic potential. Everyone tells us that there is no difference between creating a family naturally and creating a family through adoption, that we simply become a member of our adoptive family. But we don't have the same skills, and we might not share a sense of humour, and we might have different values, and we look completely different. No matter how many times someone tells us we are a part of a family, there is a big part of us that is not, our genes, and nothing will ever change those.

I know many late discovery adoptees who grew up not knowing they were adopted but who have all said they felt out of place, sensed a difference, wondered why they didn't look like anyone in their family, wondered why they were great with numbers when their family were not. So you don't have to know that you are adopted to feel the cognitive dissonance.

I know that some people just don't understand why I define myself as adopted, as an adult adoptee. There are many reasons. It is a very significant part of who I am and how I view the world. It is as much a part of me as the fact that I am female, caucasian, blue eyed and occasionally blonde - OK, I am more adopted than blonde. I believe that there needs to be significant reform in the way adoption is viewed and practised so I participate in all of the adoption related fora, conferences and letter writing campaigns I can find to share my experience of being adopted. I believe that before there can be reform, there is always resistance, people understand the status quo and do not like change. So I wear my adoptedness as a badge of honour. I am proud to be adopted and proud to be reunited with my natural family and proud to work on reforming the industry. I am a woman, I am a daughter, I am a wife, I am a daughter in law, I am a sister, I am a mother, I am a retail manager, I am a cook and I am an adoptee.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:51 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,863,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I am refereing to the way you collectively present yourself as that. That is how it seems to me.

It's the way it seems. That you define yourselves as the fact that you have been adopted.

I think there is an acceptable time to grieve. Your entire life appears to long to me.

I just got off the phone with a 50 year old sister who want's to plat who had it worse with me.

she's an orphan in her mind. She is not over our mom's death which did change our lives. I am not arguing any longer.

Peace.
Don't forget also that a lot of adoptees who go through a reunion with their bfamilies are required to face their situation, probably the first time they have had to do it in their lives. Most adoptees just "put it away in a cupboard" metaphorically speaking so they never really have to deal with it. That is OK and in fact, I don't think anyone should go through reunion unless they are prepared to face all the emotions that come with it.

I, for example contact, bfamily 3 years ago so now they are part of my life too, so thus adoption is more likely to come up in conversation.

Also, I originally came online 3 years ago to get other people's points of view re reunion and did get advice which is great. However, I did also get to know other adoptees, bmoms and aparents and discovered that there are a lot of injustices done in the name of adoption to all them (see, I'm even including aparents) especially in the US and internationally. I am forever grateful that I live in Australia. That doesn't mean I'm anti-adoption. After all, acknowledging a lot of injustices are done in the name of God doesn't make someone anti-God so why would acknowledging that a lot of injustices are being done in the name of adoption make me anti-adoption?

I personally wouldn't say that I define myself by the fact that I am adopted, however, it is part of who I am, and since reunion, it is even more so. Don't forget that this is a forum about ADOPTION thus we are obviously going to be talking about our adoptive experiences.

Last edited by susankate; 09-26-2012 at 09:03 PM..
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:11 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,677 posts, read 23,252,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susankate View Post
Don't forget also that a lot of adoptees who go through a reunion with their bfamilies are required to face their situation, probably the first time they have had to do it in their lives. Most adoptees just "put it away in a cupboard" metaphorically speaking so they never really have to deal with it. That is OK and in fact, I don't think anyone should go through reunion unless they are prepared to face all the emotions that come with it.

I, for example contact, bfamily 3 years ago so now they are part of my life too, so thus adoption is more likely to come up in conversation.

Also, I originally came online 3 years ago to get other people's points of view re reunion and did get advice which is great. However, I did also get to know other adoptees, bmoms and aparents and discovered that there are a lot of injustices done in the name of adoption to all them (see, I'm even including aparents) especially in the US and internationally. I am forever grateful that I live in Australia. That doesn't mean I'm anti-adoption. After all, acknowledging a lot of injustices are done in the name of God doesn't make someone anti-God so why would acknowledging that a lot of injustices are being done in the name of adoption make me anti-adoption?

I personally wouldn't say that I define myself by the fact that I am adopted, however, it is part of who I am, and since reunion, it is even more so. Don't forget that this is a forum about ADOPTION thus we are obviously going to be talking about our adoptive experiences.
I am honestly happy to hear that you are not anti adoption.

I also am happy to hear that in your case your reunious went well. I hope you are all happy.

We - in our family, do not pine for such a reunion and would not welcome it. We meaning my husband, my daughter my son and myself. The woman who has now gotten on with her life, did not want to be part of a big happy family either.

It would be my hope that you would understand that it's not for all people in the adoption Triad.
It's for some. There are also heartbreaking stories of failed reunions and of one side wanting a reunion and the other side not.

This is why we chose and choose again to adopt internationally. We do not desire to co-parent.

I accept that what you did is best for you.

Can you accept that what we are doing is best for us?

Here is my promise, if someday down the road my daughter changes her mind, I will post that on this forum.

Fair enough?
I really would. But until that time, I'd prefer not to deal in hypothetical situations.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:13 AM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,863,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I am honestly happy to hear that you are not anti adoption.

I also am happy to hear that in your case your reunious went well. I hope you are all happy.

We - in our family, do not pine for such a reunion and would not welcome it. We meaning my husband, my daughter my son and myself. The woman who has now gotten on with her life, did not want to be part of a big happy family either.

It would be my hope that you would understand that it's not for all people in the adoption Triad.
It's for some. There are also heartbreaking stories of failed reunions and of one side wanting a reunion and the other side not.

This is why we chose and choose again to adopt internationally. We do not desire to co-parent.

I accept that what you did is best for you.

Can you accept that what we are doing is best for us?

Here is my promise, if someday down the road my daughter changes her mind, I will post that on this forum.

Fair enough?
I really would. But until that time, I'd prefer not to deal in hypothetical situations.
The reason I said what I did is that you said this:

I think there is an acceptable time to grieve. Your entire life appears to long to me

And I was pointing out that in my situation and in many other adoptees situation, it isn't until they have gone through reunion that they feel anything because it is the first time they face anything, so in fact many adoptees are only just starting to grieve what was lost.

Thus I am unsure though why you have interpreted my above post as having anything to do with or being a reflection on your personal situation.

Your daughter can do what she likes. I think I've made it quite clear in the past that each adoptee is entitled to their own feelings and opinions.

I have made comments elsewhere that as long as their adoptive parents don't project their own insecurities onto their children and are allowing them to be themselves, then I couldn't care less what an adoptee does. If that is not relevant to your situation then it is something you can happily ignore, knowing it doesn't apply to you.

Last edited by susankate; 09-27-2012 at 01:00 AM..
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