I look back through my blog posts and watch myself go from being naive to aware to activist.Today I want to get back to why I started this blog; helping adoptees find peace and lead positive lives. I realize now this is not as simplistic as I once thought because of the many emotions and trauma that we have faced. No two stories are the same and that creates differences in opinion which sometimes causes arguments when at the end of the day, we should all be standing together. We are fractured and maybe we take out our anger, hurt, and fear on our brothers and sisters. Can we just do some soul searching and get to the root of our issues and stop deflecting? Stop debating other people’s opinions and start healing yourself.
There are many adoptees, myself included, that feel the need to be the perfect adopted child who made the most of their “second chance”. The pregnant, often scared, mother has high expectations for you to have a perfect life. The adoptive parents, often oblivious, have high expectations for you to make them into a perfect family. And sadly, our expectations (the most simple expectation of going to our mother’s arms) are not met, certainly not immediately and oftentimes, never. We adapt, we learn, and some of us even find happiness in our new family. But we never outgrow that unstated expectation of perfection.
This is something I wrote tonight that is just me and about the raw emotion I often feel. I attribute it entirely to adoption; not because of any facts that tell me it’s because of adoption, but because I just know.
Feeling one way then another
At odds inside
Happy but melancholy
Battling that my whole life
Melancholy – but only for a moment
Then the moment is gone and I’m back.
Being an adoptee is complicated in every way. It impacts the way we relate to others, how we feel about “normal” situations, how we feel about ourselves, how we feel about family; it literally impacts the way we see the world. I believe that even adoptees who say they don’t feel adopted are impacted in these ways but don’t realize it.
What’s NOT complicated is how we talk about it. I detest how I’m told what is appropriate to say or not say and what isn’t “cool” to call the woman who gave birth to me and relinquished me to adoption. It seems like everytime a new, politically correct term comes out for her then someone else complains. I am told my words and my feelings are offensive to others and how I should be conveying those thoughts and feelings; sometimes that criticism is coming from other adoptees and sometimes that criticism is coming from other mothers who have relinquished children to adoption.
In adoption land, every single person’s situation and feelings are different about their own place in the adoption. We are all different human beings, not all the same, like snowflakes falling from the sky. We each have our very own DNA, the blueprint to what makes us individuals. It’s the beauty in this world that we are all different. Why must we always try to make “groups” of people and then make them conform to a couple of people’s ideas of what’s the right way to think and right words to say?
We are grouped into adoptees and mothers and adoptive parents, which typically pits one group against another – reminds me of the movie Divergent. My mantra is always “We’re all in this together”. Why must we pick at each other when we’ve all had different experiences? We don’t have to be in one group or all have one thought. Let’s be free to speak as we want to speak; it’s the only way to truth. We shouldn’t candy coat things, we shouldn’t be told not to say “birth mother”, we shouldn’t be told we’re wrong for feeling.
I don’t need politically correct words, I don’t need fancy clinical terms, and I don’t need your theories. I need real talk. I need another adoptee, mother, adoptive parent (who probably feels differently than I do) to tell me what their own words, thoughts, feelings are, not mine. I need to hear your raw and uncensored words. This is how I learn from you. And at the same time, know that I’m going to speak my own truth in my words. If you don’t like them, tell me how you like to portray it instead of just telling me I’m wrong. Maybe I’ll like your words better than mine, maybe I won’t, but at least I won’t shut you off because you’re telling me what to do.
Let’s learn from each other but not by speaking in circles or in big, complicated words and theories, or criticisms. Tell me your truth that comes from your head, your heart, your gut, and I’ll tell you mine. We’re all in this together, let’s start acting like it.
Friends, I have a dream but I need to know if I’m alone in it. My dream is to organize a conference for adult adoptees. There are so many conferences focused on adoption, orphans, and even conferences focused on birth mothers but there is not one conference that I am aware of that is strictly for all adult adoptees that focuses on what happens when the child adoptee grows up. Thanks to the Lost Daughters creation of the #flipthescript movement, adult adoptees began to speak up about how adoption affected them. I have found a lot more friends through this movement and I have learned so much about the myriad of emotions and situations that we all navigate. I think we all learned from each other and through it, we found support and love.
Since Flip The Script, adoptees have finally started to speak up about how adoption made them really feel. It has also brought out those adoptees who don’t agree with many of the things that has been said. It has been clear from the beginning that the intent of flip the script was to provide a safe place for adoptees to speak without being judged, whether you have positive or negative things to say. I have watched this movement change lives and then I’ve watched us continue to be judged however; I was surprised to see other adoptees claim they are being judged for their all-positive views on adoption.