A recurring theme here at Creating a Family is that not all adoptees are alike. No one person can speak to the universe of all adopted people. To understand adopted people’s feelings on being adopted it helps to listen to many voices.
This poem we received as a comment on our blog How Adoptees Feel About Being Adopted literally took my breath away. With her permission I am so very pleased to be able to share one adoptee’s feelings on being adopted.
I’m adopted…but I constantly find myself lost. In a crowd of a million people I’m searching for those who look like me.
I’m adopted…yet my search is never over for information pertaining to my heritage. All the family traditions I lost of my biological family.
I’m adopted….I look at those around me posting adoption posts and struggle to be happy for them as new parents. My first thoughts are…”oh my, this poor baby had no voice in this.” This baby will constantly have to do school projects based off their adoptive family when the point is to find what you inherited biologically from your parents. THIS BABY will grow up with issues he/she doesn’t understand…and their parents may not either.
I’m adopted and I struggle connecting with my adoptive mom on pregnancy related issues. She’s never experienced it…so when I talk about it…it makes her sad. So I close down and don’t talk about it.
I’m adopted…and until I was pregnant myself and gave birth…I had no idea what that biological bond meant…or felt like. I didn’t even realize what I had missed out on my entire life until this very moment of creating a tiny human myself.
I’m adopted and I can’t EVEN GET PAPERWORK RELATING TO ME RELEASED TO ME. Even as an adult I can’t get pre-adoption papers. Like did I not exist??
I’m adopted and when I finally get the paperwork from the state telling businesses that they have to release documents to me…I get questioned in a million in one ways….why I want these papers.
I’m adopted and am tired of being portrayed like a gift. Told I should be lucky and blessed when I try to talk about my experience.
I’m adopted….excuse me? When did I say I wasn’t blessed or lucky? This doesn’t erase what I mentally go through.
I’m adopted….I have problems enjoying people for fear they will leave me. Sometimes I push them to leave me just because I don’t feel worthy enough for them.
I’m adopted…and while I may have been “chosen” I was simultaneously “rejected”…while they could have been legit reasons…it doesn’t take away from the fact that I wasn’t kept. There aren’t enough programs in place to help struggling expectant mothers.
I’m adopted…and at 28 I’m just now learning about my heritage and where my biological mother’s family came from.
I’m adopted….and although I found information on my birth…it opened the door for even more questions….Like who is my father really? Why he is not on my live birth but he somehow signed off his rights to me??
I’m adopted…and somewhere around the age of 8 my paternal adoptive grandmother made sure I knew she wasn’t my real grandmother. But she also made sure I knew how lucky I was to have her love me. That’s love right??
I’m adopted…I love my adoptive parents with all my heart and honestly wouldn’t change much EXCEPT THE FACT THAT THEY WERE MY BIOLOGICAL PARENTS AND I NEVER HAD TO GO THROUGH ALL THE MENTAL AGNST.
I’m adopted…I love my Birth mother no matter her flaws and decisions.
I’m adopted… I have a giant family, blood and non-blood related.
I’m adopted…just wanting to have my voice heard
I’m adopted…I want all sides to be shared and give the innocent a voice.
I’m adopted… I’ve had a good life…
I’m adopted and want to uncover my truths.
I’m adopted…I remain adopted as I age and as much as adoption defines me, it’s not who I am.
I’m adopted and yeah…I go through a lot of confusing and contradicting feelings.
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I think this poem came along at just the right time for my daughter.
Thanks and love,
Full Spectrum Mama
You are so welcome. It’s been timely for many of us.
Thank you so much for sharing your real, honest, and raw feelings. How you feel is valuable and it is powerful to share it. I hope someone has said the following to you before, especially after sharing this, but if not, I will say it: I’m sorry this happened to you. It was not your fault and you should have never had to go through this. And it wasn’t your biological mother’s fault. Of course I don’t know her, and that’s the rub, but as a mother myself (and you are a mother too, congrats!!), I’m sure that your mom loved you very very much and she always will. She is just glad you are safe. And finally, if that was the wrong thing to say, just tell me flat out with a huge frown on how presumptuous I have been. And to not stick my nose into your business ever again or presume to know you, or what was best for you. What do I know anyway if I haven’t gone through what you have? Although I’d like to tell your adoptive grandmother a thing or too, you certainly don’t have to care what I think. You are a survivor and your feelings about this are the ones that matter. That is a fact. Hugs, Liz
Liz, I have met my biological mother in 2008. I am a duplicate of her. I joke with her that she gave up her look a like..which is freaky in a sense. I harbor no feelings towards her other than love and appreciation. She was a victim of her own childhood and I am forever thankful. I think society has much to learn though on how to treat and raise adopted children. As for my paternal adopted grandmother, I love her as well. I think she grew up in a different era which molded her mind and thoughts much differently. She was already upset that my adoptive father (very polish) married my adoptive mother (very german). She was upset that he married a woman with an associates degree compared to what his first wife had which was a masters in math. All her own children are brilliant (including my Dad). I think she was just a tad bitter and didn’t understand how to not be. But I loved her even if it was a tad toxic.
This poem is really powerful, and as I read it, I can relate to a lot of your feelings you wrote about growing up as an adopted person, becoming an adult as an adopted person…of course, loving the parents that raised me and the family I grew up with, but feeling like there were big parts of me missing and feeling like I was a puzzle piece that didn’t quite entirely fit. Not just in looks, but also in personality. My parents did a great job telling me about my adoption from a time even before I could even fully comprehend, honoring my biological mother like she was some sort of saint for blessing them with a baby. Now,I am one of the “lucky ones,” being able to find, meet, and spend time my biological mother about a year and a half ago and get all of the answers I was looking for. At first, it was bliss- finally after all of these years, I can see who I look like, I know how I came to be, and why I was placed up for adoption. We have personality traits in common. I like her. I like her family. All was right with the world. But I also learned other things…like that she was married to a great man less than 2 years after I was born, that her grandmother advised her to keep me, and that she adopted a son with her new husband. Originally thinking she was younger than she was when she gave me up, and learning, really at the age she had me was within a range of being able to suck it up and keep me. That she had a huge, wonderful extended family (many of whom I have met, many I have gotten to know through stories) that would have pitched in. Being told by her that she has no regrets- even after meeting me and spending time with me…what I am to make of that? This past summer, I spent ten days with her (after a few other shorter visits within the year and a half since we were reunited), and was left with a very similar feeling- like I am a puzzle piece that is just a bit too small or overlaps just a bit- not quite fully fitting in- because I am also a product of the family I grew up with. I still feel like I don’t quite fully belong. And, feeling like you do- I had no say in this huge choice she made for me- and I feel like I can’t voice those feelings because I don’t want to make her feel badly. It was a very lonely feeling. And now, once again, I am renegotiating in my brain and reforming who I am and where I belong in this world. I wanted to share this experience with you because, as you continue with your process, I want you to be prepared for the possibility, that even once you find everything you have been searching for, and even if you find yourself in the best of situations, like she, too has been searching for you, and she is a completely normal and wonderful person, and you are happy she is in your life now, you still may be left with the same feelings.
Amy, thank you for sharing. I have actually found who I believe to be my real biological father. I didn’t set expectations at all with this new information. I have chosen to be humble with this experience and even though I am human and still struggle from time to time with things. I understand I am not alone and this is a journey. I make myself who I am and I can mold my adoption story now that I am an adult. The man who gave me DNA is not a monster but is sadly not a father either with 20 of us he never fathered. I am okay with this because in the end I know the past can’t be changed; I can choose to move forward and help mold adoption for others by sharing and bringing to light issues that have been hidden for ages. Everyone has a purpose and we should never loose sight of this even if we have no idea what that purpose is. LIVING is a great purpose in itself.
Finding the group Adoptees Only: Found/Reunion The Next Chapter on facebook has really helped me pull the TWO me’s together. For so long I have struggled with the adoptee and “ME” I am making for myself. I have always kept the two very separate. At the time it felt like it was easier, but in reality I didn’t see it was causing more angst. Since embracing both I have been able to find my thoughts and put them into words. I have been able to move past certain fears in my life. I have never kept the fact that I am adopted a secret but I never really knew how to let it live inside me and accept it. Before this year I will admit I lived in this fake reality that adoption was all rainbows and fairy dust and that’s how I admittedly always portrayed it to others. I didn’t allow myself to feel what I knew I was feeling. Lately I have been able to embrace it, I ended up writing a college paper turning it into a business (not an adoption business the exact opposite) and I received 200/200 points. I also have been able to be more raw and open with others regarding what we adoptees go through. I have felt stronger as a person lately. I want to give credit to those in this group because I feel before this group I didn’t feel I was able to own my adoption like I am. I see you all; I feel I know you all. YOU all have become my brothers and sisters that I share this experience with. I realize that we all have our bad days and good days; I see we write our feelings and those who don’t understand the adoptee mind may see us as ungrateful or a little mentally destroyed. Yet to understand that adoption isn’t just who we are alone but a step in our life that helped mold us is more powerful. YES adoption is in my mind a lot but after being a part of this group I have realized that adoption has given me power to be empathetic, to relate, to grow, to overcome fears. I want you all to know how much you are loved today, how much you mean to me. Too embrace your adoption and love yourself.
Kathryn, This is a beautiful, honest and real piece of writing! You did good!
As a fellow adoptee, I LOVE your poem! It says everything I have felt all of my life. I am 48 & just located my biological family this past January. The answers have been truly liberating. I have recently started my own blog about my feelings & my journey. I would love to post your poem, as I feel this truly lets others get a glimpse of what adoptees go through, and at the same time, helps other adoptees with their struggles. May I please have permission to post it?
It’s beautiful and powerful, isn’t it?
Please feel free to share the link to this post, giving credit to the author and to Creating a Family.
Okay, thank you!