I’d like to take this opportunity to write a little bit about my feelings about adoption. I have a few thoughts on that subject and can claim experience as well as some expertise since I am adopted.
If you’ve been reading my posts lately about how and why my adoption happened then you already know it wasn’t the greatest or smoothest adoption in history. My history is not the norm. In fact, my history is probably about as close to an After School Special as you can possibly get without an R rating.
The best part is that I survived it inspite of everyone and I lived to tell you about it.
I read a lot of stories about people searching for their birth parents. This has become commonplace these days, especially with everyone wanting to know about their medical genetics and such. I think that’s smart in some ways, and in others I think it’s just a huge waste of your time. If you’re destined to get cancer or be sterile, then you’re just going to have to deal with that when it happens. Knowing who donated sperm or a womb won’t make that go away, but it can give you a load of unnecessary anxiety until the bad happens. If that’s the only reason you’re searching for your birth parents, consider searching for a really good doctor instead.
When I hear “She/he gave the child up for adoption…” it makes my hair curl. Do you honestly think anyone gives a child up? The term “give up” sounds hopeless and a new life is anything, but hopeless. This one statement is what has millions of children asking themselves “They gave me up? Was it because they didn’t love me? Why didn’t they want me?”
Back when I was adopted, the whole process was shrouded in secrecy and shame and trust me, there is no shame in wanting your child to have a better life, or a life that you might not be able to provide. The secrecy is what caused my childhood to be one massive clusterfuck. Whoever came up with that brilliance…thanks a million.
How would you like to start your life out with this kind of uncertainty?
Evidently, being adopted is not for sissies.
There are all kinds of adoptions. Sometimes a stepparent wants to adopt their new spouse’s children so they all have the same last name. Children are adopted from foreign countries by American parents everyday. Children that lose their birth parents because of trauma can be adopted by caring relatives.
Liberace adopted his boyfriend.
This leads me to wonder…what does being adopted actually mean?
According to the Free Online Dictionary it means to take up and make one’s own through legal means. That sounds pretty serious to me. It’s making a lifetime commitment to honor and raise a child as your own. This is not something you can just point at and say “Mine!”. There are a lot of other people involved in the process. Adoption takes planning, counseling and legal fees and that’s not something to sneeze about.
These days when everyone is looking for a place to feel like they belong, instead of in the 90’s when everyone was out there trying to find themselves, I think knowing someone loves you enough to make that kind of commitment is pretty powerful. So instead of wondering why someone might have made the decision to not parent you, how about giving credit to the person that wanted you so much they stood before a magistrate and swore they did.
Tonight I went searching through the thousands of paper photographs I have taken over the years. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but then I wondered if perhaps I was trying to find that one image that marked a time in my life before I knew anything about being adopted. A time when all I knew was that someone loved me and that was good enough for me and good enough for them too. It was a time before the deception that pervades our lives as we age and those around us seek to make us understand that life is not all it’s cracked up to be.
There are people out there that gave us up.
And then I knew which picture I wanted to find, but I couldn’t find it. There are so many photo albums and boxes of pictures, a lifetime of living with pictures from all over the world. I was only looking for one of them, and it alluded me. No worries, I will find it again someday.
It’s a black and white photograph of Jane giving me a bath when I was about a year old. The look on her face is one of pure joy because that is what being adopted truly means…it means that someone out there wanted us enough to share their lives with us.
- How my mum made everything safe, and why anti-gay adoption = anti-waiting child (lastmother.wordpress.com)
- What do Superman, Batman and Spiderman have in common? (searchingforjuno.wordpress.com)
- National Adoption Week – Children need you! (lastmother.wordpress.com)
- Adoption information – types of adoptions (adoptingstory.wordpress.com)