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Old 09-27-2012, 07:02 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,594,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
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.
I have started to have feelings about my adoption over the past few weeks of reading these threads. I didn't even know I could have such strong feelings, lol. Somehow, when I went to visit my orphanage and so on, I had emotional reactions but my emotional landscape was flatter. Now it has much more depth and I have to admit I'm not used to it, yet. I think you really nailed it by pointing out that a lot of the emotions around adoption can't be fully processed until adulthood. Who knows how much deeper the landscape will get in the future.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:13 AM
 
393 posts, read 503,474 times
Reputation: 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artful Dodger
Sheena,

I don't understand what you are trying to say here. Who is calling themselves an Adult Child?
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.
"Adult Child" was the term I questioned. Or are you trying to imply that once an adoptee reaches the age of majority that they are no longer adopted? If yes, then when your daughter reaches the age of majority are you no longer her [adoptive] mother? My understanding is that adoption is forever.

Identifying the role an individual plays in regards to adoption - on an adoption forum - which is speaking too adoption - is something everyone on this forum does. You identify your position in adoption as an adoptive parent, I identify my position in adoption as an adult adoptee - please do explain how it is okay for you to identify as such, but casts me as "grieving for life" by identifying myself as an adult adoptee. What is striking is that is the first time I have used those terms on this forum and completely nor understanding what I have said that would come across as "grieving for life".

Seriously though, adoption has some very dark chapters that are being brought to life around the world today. People think that those practices are from before and now is different. For some agencies it is different, but many agencies those same practices are still in existence with brand new marketing buzzwords and spin - it was not acceptable then, and caused untold pain and suffering, so therefore it is not acceptable now. Striving towards better adoption practices for all, is really something to be lauded - not mocked.

As to your "PS" comment in a separate response...you have no idea why I chose the name Artful Dodger...you "assumed" incorrectly, and would be embarrassed to know the real story which is night and day from your implication...but you aren't interested in that story, or your would have simply ASKED instead of ASSUMING.

Last edited by Artful Dodger; 09-27-2012 at 07:47 AM..
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:16 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
I have started to have feelings about my adoption over the past few weeks of reading these threads. I didn't even know I could have such strong feelings, lol. Somehow, when I went to visit my orphanage and so on, I had emotional reactions but my emotional landscape was flatter. Now it has much more depth and I have to admit I'm not used to it, yet. I think you really nailed it by pointing out that a lot of the emotions around adoption can't be fully processed until adulthood. Who knows how much deeper the landscape will get in the future.
Yes, Nim. This is important for people to understand, especially if they have loved ones who are adopted. Much like someone that is abused in childhood will not be able to process the full extent of what happened to them until adulthood, adoptees are not always able to properly process their adoption experience until adulthood. Children do not process death/loss in the same way adults do & our ability to grieve is further complicated by the perception that our misfortune was somehow also good. Most adults can eventually wrap their heads around paradoxical feelings like that, but children can't.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:32 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,594,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Yes, Nim. This is important for people to understand, especially if they have loved ones who are adopted. Much like someone that is abused in childhood will not be able to process the full extent of what happened to them until adulthood, adoptees are not always able to properly process their adoption experience until adulthood. Children do not process death/loss in the same way adults do & our ability to grieve is further complicated by the perception that our misfortune was somehow also good. Most adults can eventually wrap their heads around paradoxical feelings like that, but children can't.
The same is happening to me in regards to abuse as well, and I think there are a lot of parallels. Abuse and abandonment make a person feel like a non-person. My intentions are not to wallow in self-pity or feed a victim mentality, but just to realize that when someone is made to feel like a non-person, they have to take back that personhood. I am just now learning how to reclaim my personhood. I wouldn't be surprised to find that a lot of adoptees and abuse survivors, and people who are both, only really learn to reclaim their personhood in adulthood. A lot of it is subconscious, which is what makes it hard to acknowledge and process. It's not like I consciously think I'm worth nothing, but subconsciously, I am sometimes surprised to find that I see myself as lesser than. It's a matter of having to reset the subconscious dials, turning one knob from the "less than a person" setting to the "I am a whole person" setting. The feelings are scary, but this is good.

When people try to deny or minimize someone's feelings, they don't realize they are trying to take away that person's ability to heal and become wholesome again. Having "negative feelings" is often looked down upon in our culture, but they actually serve a purpose: they fuel healing and can be transmuted into their upsides. I welcome any negative feelings I have, without squashing them or buying too much into them. I welcome them just enough so that I can transmute them. Feelings of abandonment turn into unconditional love for the self and others (and by proxy, you show other people how to love themselves when you love yourself, and allow them to love you). Abuse turns into an amazing ability to not only heal yourself, but to help others heal themselves as well. And then you find yourself in this network of healing, where you are healing yourself, and meet other people who are healing themselves, and you all help each other to heal. How is that not beautiful?

Last edited by nimchimpsky; 09-27-2012 at 07:43 AM..
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:44 AM
 
95 posts, read 62,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
I have started to have feelings about my adoption over the past few weeks of reading these threads. I didn't even know I could have such strong feelings, lol. Somehow, when I went to visit my orphanage and so on, I had emotional reactions but my emotional landscape was flatter. Now it has much more depth and I have to admit I'm not used to it, yet. I think you really nailed it by pointing out that a lot of the emotions around adoption can't be fully processed until adulthood. Who knows how much deeper the landscape will get in the future.
Here is what is interesting to me. Someone said on here that grieving the primal losses for life requires a diagnosis or something like that. To me, grieving losses through adoption is an entirely different experience than grieving the death of a loved one. For me, the grieving of my losses through adoption has been an experience of self-discovery. Yes, these losses are sad for me, but recognizing this has allowed me to grow and identify a part of myself. By truly realizing what I have lost, that my feelings are valid and what impact that has had on my life is empowering, rather than crippling. It is something to be embraced and not dismissed. It is easy for those people that don't understand to to be so dismissive.

My brother died at a young age and I grieve his loss every day. (Yes, he has been passed more than 5 years). I don't think that grieving losses have a time limit and I miss him deeply every day. It is definitely a different type of grieving than the above, however neither is crippling or require a diagnosis.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:09 AM
 
10,366 posts, read 8,361,533 times
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Changing to a related aspect:

Might it be helpful for all involved in adoption in one way or another to acknowledge that there are always uncertainties about things which occurred in the past, and that such uncertainties may go back many generations, whether those generations be biological or adoptive? So many times, there are simply no complete answers to questions concerning why things occurred as they did, or why decisions were made, or what other options might or might not have been viable. Yet the impact of the past continues to resonate, often very painfully, into the present.

It seems to me, that attempting to find conclusive answers to things which occurred long ago, especially as those involved then may be long gone, far away, or otherwise out of reach, can lead to continuing frustration and pain and a lack of resolution. Might it therefore be wise to attempt to learn whatever one feels compelled to learn about the past, but also to realize that many times, there are no accurate answers to be found, and while incorporating and grieving that lack of information, also move on to more productive living?

I am not adopted. Yet there are things in my own biological heritage about which I wonder - hidden (Cherokee??) ancestry and ancestral brick walls in one branch of my family, hereditary genetic conditions in another branch, emotional instability in yet another branch which had lots of cousin-intermarriage in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

I also wonder about family attitudes of a few generations ago - a lot of hush-hush about a family member's death, a doctor who was ambushed and murdered in the mid 1800s, as if it was the fault of the victim somehow. It was only recently that DNA tests conducted by other members of one of my ancestral families showed that this family was Irish, rather than French, in origin - when was such knowledge lost to that family's descendents, and why? These are things which all helped shape me, though I have no answers. In addition, I wonder why I feel so at home with my maternal family, and so often like a fish out of water with most members of my paternal family. All are good people - but it's clear which side I most resemble.

I think unanswered questions of this kind may be common in all people who are curious about their heritage(s), whether biological or adoptive. One of my adult relatives who was domestically adopted in infancy wants to join me and another relative in exploring sites connected to our family next summer. This relative has also asked me to bring along all the old family photos and records I can find, for copying. My relative was extremely close to their adoptive parents, perhaps more so as an adult than during childhood or adolescence. I have never asked this relative if they're interested in finding their biological family, about whom I know only a tiny amount, shared with me long ago by my own parents (and also known by my relative), but if it ever comes up, I'm open for discussion and will support whatever occurs next.

I feel the same way about my four other relatives who were adopted in infancy or childhood. Two are still minors, but the others are adults, and if they ever ask me to support or assist them in finding their biological families, of course I would be supportive and help however I could. When the two young relatives are adults, they would receive the same support, if they wanted it.

But if they encountered brick walls, lack of information, or yet more puzzling questions with no real answers, I'd tell them some of what I posted about my own ancestral searches: things can get lost, mistakenly recorded, telling details can be omitted, false information can be added, and sometimes, there just are not any answers to be found this side of heaven, and that this is the human condition, certainly common with adoption, but not limited to it.

I'd also encourage them to try to reach some sense of resolution: perhaps to construct a feasible scenario which might explain some of the seemingly irrational or puzzling aspects of their pasts, and to make as much of and as good a peace with it as they can, always realizing that if other pieces of the puzzle are found in the future, they can be put in place and a fresh viewpoint - and one hopes, understanding - can then result.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:23 AM
 
203 posts, read 199,902 times
Reputation: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Changing to a related aspect:

Might it be helpful for all involved in adoption in one way or another to acknowledge that there are always uncertainties about things which occurred in the past, and that such uncertainties may go back many generations, whether those generations be biological or adoptive? So many times, there are simply no complete answers to questions concerning why things occurred as they did, or why decisions were made, or what other options might or might not have been viable. Yet the impact of the past continues to resonate, often very painfully, into the present.

It seems to me, that attempting to find conclusive answers to things which occurred long ago, especially as those involved then may be long gone, far away, or otherwise out of reach, can lead to continuing frustration and pain and a lack of resolution. Might it therefore be wise to attempt to learn whatever one feels compelled to learn about the past, but also to realize that many times, there are no accurate answers to be found, and while incorporating and grieving that lack of information, also move on to more productive living?

I am not adopted. Yet there are things in my own biological heritage about which I wonder - hidden (Cherokee??) ancestry and ancestral brick walls in one branch of my family, hereditary genetic conditions in another branch, emotional instability in yet another branch which had lots of cousin-intermarriage in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

I also wonder about family attitudes of a few generations ago - a lot of hush-hush about a family member's death, a doctor who was ambushed and murdered in the mid 1800s, as if it was the fault of the victim somehow. It was only recently that DNA tests conducted by other members of one of my ancestral families showed that this family was Irish, rather than French, in origin - when was such knowledge lost to that family's descendents, and why? These are things which all helped shape me, though I have no answers. In addition, I wonder why I feel so at home with my maternal family, and so often like a fish out of water with most members of my paternal family. All are good people - but it's clear which side I most resemble.

I think unanswered questions of this kind may be common in all people who are curious about their heritage(s), whether biological or adoptive. One of my adult relatives who was domestically adopted in infancy wants to join me and another relative in exploring sites connected to our family next summer. This relative has also asked me to bring along all the old family photos and records I can find, for copying. My relative was extremely close to their adoptive parents, perhaps more so as an adult as during childhood. I have never asked this relative if they're interested in finding their biological family, about which I know only a tiny amount, shared with me long ago by my own parents (and also known by my relative), but if it ever comes up, I'm open for discussion and will support whatever occurs next.

I feel the same way about my four other relatives who were adopted in infancy or childhood. Two are still minors, but the others are adult, and if they ever ask me to support or assist them in finding their biological families, of course I would be supportive and help however I could. When the two young relatives are adults, they would receive the same support, if they wanted it.

But if they encountered brick walls, lack of information, or yet more puzzling questions with no real answers, I'd tell them some of what I posted about my own ancestry: things can get lost, mistakenly recorded, telling details can be omitted, false information can be added, and sometimes, there just are not any answers to be found this side of heaven, and that this is the human condition, certainly common with adoption, but not limited to it.

I'd also encourage them to try to reach some sense of resolution: perhaps to construct a feasible scenario which might explain some of the seemingly irrational or puzzling aspects of their pasts, and to make as much and as good a peace with it as they can, always realizing that if other pieces of the puzzle are found in the future, they can be put in place and a fresh viewpoint - and one hopes, understanding - can then result.
I hear what you are saying here Craig. However, the thing is that as a non-adoptee, you can choose to feel however you want about your ancestry and background. Domestic adoptees in the United States are legally banned from even starting that sort of exploration. We start life at chapter two and are legally banned from reading chapter one. I read the two paragraphs you wrote here about your possible Native American ancestry and all the things you already know and I think about how fortunate you are to have the freedom to explore and research your history if you feel this is something you would like to pursue.

Some adoptees might want to pursue their background. Some might not. The choice should be ours to make. We can't even get to the brick walls you reference here because there is a ginormous brick wall constructed by our own state governments which bar us from the world that non-adoptees live in where their ancestry and heritage is assumed to be valuable and informative.

I feel very much at peace right now regarding my personal narrative. There have been extremely positive aspects to my search and reunion (which I accomplished with no help whatsoever from the adoption agency or state government) as well as extremely negative aspects. But I finally know my personal truth. And with that knowledge, I have finally been able to process and find some peace. Which is all a lot of us need. And if adoptees were treated the same way legally as non-adoptees and empowered instead of stifled, we would all have this opportunity.

Sounds like you have some intriguing aspects to your background. Hope you uncover more details. It can really be fascinating. :-)
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:36 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
But if they encountered brick walls, lack of information, or yet more puzzling questions with no real answers, I'd tell them some of what I posted about my own ancestral searches: things can get lost, mistakenly recorded, telling details can be omitted, false information can be added, and sometimes, there just are not any answers to be found this side of heaven, and that this is the human condition, certainly common with adoption, but not limited to it.

I'd also encourage them to try to reach some sense of resolution: perhaps to construct a feasible scenario which might explain some of the seemingly irrational or puzzling aspects of their pasts, and to make as much of and as good a peace with it as they can, always realizing that if other pieces of the puzzle are found in the future, they can be put in place and a fresh viewpoint - and one hopes, understanding - can then result.
What you don't seem to understand is that while you can relate on some level, you can not relate to the degree that most of us have no information & have no experiences with even one person biologically related to us. Look at all the information you just gave us in this thread -- perhaps not all accurate, perhaps some misleading, but much more information than most adoptees can even dream of. Consider that you may take for granted just how much knowing biological family & having access to such information has helped you form your identity.

Quote:
It seems to me, that attempting to find conclusive answers to things which occurred long ago, especially as those involved then may be long gone, far away, or otherwise out of reach, can lead to continuing frustration and pain and a lack of resolution. Might it therefore be wise to attempt to learn whatever one feels compelled to learn about the past, but also to realize that many times, there are no accurate answers to be found, and while incorporating and grieving that lack of information, also move on to more productive living?
Why the assumption that people have not moved on to more productive living?
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:53 AM
 
95 posts, read 62,228 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Changing to a related aspect:

Might it be helpful for all involved in adoption in one way or another to acknowledge that there are always uncertainties about things which occurred in the past, and that such uncertainties may go back many generations, whether those generations be biological or adoptive? So many times, there are simply no complete answers to questions concerning why things occurred as they did, or why decisions were made, or what other options might or might not have been viable. Yet the impact of the past continues to resonate, often very painfully, into the present.

It seems to me, that attempting to find conclusive answers to things which occurred long ago, especially as those involved then may be long gone, far away, or otherwise out of reach, can lead to continuing frustration and pain and a lack of resolution. Might it therefore be wise to attempt to learn whatever one feels compelled to learn about the past, but also to realize that many times, there are no accurate answers to be found, and while incorporating and grieving that lack of information, also move on to more productive living?

I am not adopted. Yet there are things in my own biological heritage about which I wonder - hidden (Cherokee??) ancestry and ancestral brick walls in one branch of my family, hereditary genetic conditions in another branch, emotional instability in yet another branch which had lots of cousin-intermarriage in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

I also wonder about family attitudes of a few generations ago - a lot of hush-hush about a family member's death, a doctor who was ambushed and murdered in the mid 1800s, as if it was the fault of the victim somehow. It was only recently that DNA tests conducted by other members of one of my ancestral families showed that this family was Irish, rather than French, in origin - when was such knowledge lost to that family's descendents, and why? These are things which all helped shape me, though I have no answers. In addition, I wonder why I feel so at home with my maternal family, and so often like a fish out of water with most members of my paternal family. All are good people - but it's clear which side I most resemble.

I think unanswered questions of this kind may be common in all people who are curious about their heritage(s), whether biological or adoptive. One of my adult relatives who was domestically adopted in infancy wants to join me and another relative in exploring sites connected to our family next summer. This relative has also asked me to bring along all the old family photos and records I can find, for copying. My relative was extremely close to their adoptive parents, perhaps more so as an adult than during childhood or adolescence. I have never asked this relative if they're interested in finding their biological family, about whom I know only a tiny amount, shared with me long ago by my own parents (and also known by my relative), but if it ever comes up, I'm open for discussion and will support whatever occurs next.

I feel the same way about my four other relatives who were adopted in infancy or childhood. Two are still minors, but the others are adults, and if they ever ask me to support or assist them in finding their biological families, of course I would be supportive and help however I could. When the two young relatives are adults, they would receive the same support, if they wanted it.

But if they encountered brick walls, lack of information, or yet more puzzling questions with no real answers, I'd tell them some of what I posted about my own ancestral searches: things can get lost, mistakenly recorded, telling details can be omitted, false information can be added, and sometimes, there just are not any answers to be found this side of heaven, and that this is the human condition, certainly common with adoption, but not limited to it.

I'd also encourage them to try to reach some sense of resolution: perhaps to construct a feasible scenario which might explain some of the seemingly irrational or puzzling aspects of their pasts, and to make as much of and as good a peace with it as they can, always realizing that if other pieces of the puzzle are found in the future, they can be put in place and a fresh viewpoint - and one hopes, understanding - can then result.
I am not sure why it is that that some people assume that grieving and searching for information is somehow crippling or prevents productive living? I think many adoptees on this board have answered that many times. You know me as just talking about one topic. Why are these things mutually exclusive?
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:48 AM
 
10,366 posts, read 8,361,533 times
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Of course it's not "mutually exclusive", nor is there any assumption that those who were adopted are necessarily hampered by their often very frustratingly difficult lack of information about their biological families and roots. That was not my meaning, and I am sorry my post was misread this way.

Clearly, current laws dealing with confidentiality do not do those who were adopted as infants or small children any favor when it comes to seeking out biological family heritage (older children may have some memory of biological families, and thus may have a little more information with which to begin). I'd like to see such laws changed, with accurate information re. birth parents appearing on birth certificates, and accurate info. about adoptive parents appearing on adoption certificates, and both being made available to adopted individuals at age 18.

It would also be wise to allow biological parents to state whether or not they would want to be contacted by their children when the child is 18. Obviously there are cases of abuse and neglect in which a preference for reunion might not be honored, but the information on the birth certificate should still be accurate and truthful - and available. Any medical information also should be available to adoptive parents and later to the individual who was adopted, for obvious reasons, and I see no reason why information about the child's ethnic heritage or ancestral countries of origin, if known, could not be included as well.

And yes, those of us who were not adopted often do have more info. about our biological roots and families. No doubt our experience of hitting those frustrating brick walls may not be as profound or all-encompassing as are similar experiences of people who were adopted. But it can also be a common experience, if to a lesser degree.

My intention in my previous post was to indicate that such experiences may help those who were not adopted have more understanding of and more compassion for those who were. I believe that it's generally wise for people in both categories to learn about their pasts as comprehensively as possible (and I wish laws would be changed to facilitate this, as I've stated elsewhere), but while we are all affected by our pasts, we are living here and now, and while our pasts do help define us, we all have self-determination and are not entirely products of either our natures or our nurtures.

I'm glad to read that other posters here are living productive lives, and I hope those lives are happy.

Hope this clarifies my POV.
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