Did you just find out? Was it sprung on you suddenly, and now your world is in question?
I’ve always known I was adopted. I don’t remember being told-it was just a plain fact, like having elbows. But I do remember being told that it made me special-that my mother and my father wanted a daughter badly, and waited for me, picked me. It was never anything I was ashamed of, or upset about. My parents picked me! They wanted me!
But there comes a time when you wonder who you are-where you came from, whose hair you have, who to blame for your big feet. You wonder if the all encompassing loneliness that you always feel, the otherness, has anything to do with the fact that you were separated from your mother so early. You wonder if your mother felt betrayed and sad when pregnant with you, explaining your own sadness through your life. You wonder if you’d be happy if you weren’t adopted.
I’ve always believed that holding back the adoption talk until the kid is “older” is wrong, and mean. By 16, you’ve formed your sense of self-you know who you are, or you think you do. It’s like believing you’re white all your life, and then having someone explain to you that actually, you’re asian. I cannot imagine how incensed I would have been to only be told at 16 or 18.
Being adopted isn’t a bad thing. It’s weird sometimes. It can feel isolating in the context of circumstances tailored to biological children. And yes, it can be confusing-who am I? Where do I come from? These questions take on a new meaning for the adoptee, because they really don’t know.
What’s even more confusing is finding your birth family. The people who gave you away. The people who look like you, but aren’t you. The people you feel a connection to, and yet don’t. You’re out of step with them, almost the same, but not quite.
It’s confusing to see what could have been yours, where you could have been. The life that was denied. Its confusing when they try and make it up to you, try to bring you in, hold you within the family they couldn’t offer before.
It’s confusing when they reject you because you aren’t what they want you to be. It’s confusing when you feel like you should care, and you really don’t.