Assembling Self

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Adoptee Roots


People really have little idea how much of their lives, thoughts, and communications revolve around family.  Family that is living and those who have passed away or previous generations.  The recent genealogy fervor is proof of that.   Many adoptees are all too aware because of the lack of having it.

Adoptees recognize and understand this behavior in others, as they long for it themselves.  Habits, hobbies, careers, physical characteristics are passed along from generation to generation, and parent to child.  Over the years of watching reunions between adoptees and their families I have heard countless remarks such as "We both bite our nails the same way", "We both gesture with our hands exactly the same way", "Now I know where I get my love of such and such" comes from and the evidence is overwhelming that genetics DO make us who we are.  Just as nurture impacts who and what we are, so does nature not just in physical characteristics like hair and eye color.

I found out at age 39 that my dream of becoming a Prima ballerina or a concert pianist was inherited.  My mother's favorite past time is dancing and my biological great grandmother was a concert pianist and music teacher.  I was teaching children and music privately while pursuing a degree in dance and music therapy before I found this out.  I've always been a high strung person (NOOOOO say it isn't so lol) and found out in my information taken about my biological family before I was born my grandmother was described as a very anxious and nervous person.  It's not a character flaw it's in my GENES!

My biological mother sent a letter to me through the adoption courts describing in detail everything she could about her without giving away her identity.  My friends cried upon reading it stating "Karen if I didn't know better I'd say you wrote this yourself".  My exhusband noticed even our handwriting was the same. 

Adoptees should not have to waste time, energy, and money to find out where they came from.  We should not have to grow up or spend our lives guessing, imagining, and navigating life without pertinent and life affirming information.  Rights and reunions are two separate issues.  I have a right to my family history just as others do, even those who search via genealogy records.  People who say being adopted doesn't matter don't know how much it DOES matter.

Only in adoption are genetics whitewashed as unimportant.

1 comment:

  1. Your post really resonates with me, even though I didn't have any of those "ah that's where it comes from" moments in my reunion. What a beautiful gift your letter must have been, though if that is all you have received in reunion (sorry, this is the first post I've read here, so not sure how your journey has fared) I can only imagine the hurt that having so little could also bring.