Assembling Self

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to not think about being Adopted - NOT

It's there no matter how you try and avoid it all the time.  Most adoptees do try but quickly realize it's futile.  Adoption is everywhere it seems.  Below are some of the ways, in no particular order, that it's nearly impossible to put being adopted aside for any length of time, despite what others believe it's possible for adoptees to do.

1.  General daily conversations - Between various people talking about their "Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Grandparent" etc...and thinking about how you have two sets of parents and grandparents to deal with along with doubles of extended family member, the complication from all of that, and all the missing people you have never been able to find, might not ever be able to find, or who passed away or will pass away without you ever having the chance to meet or know them.  And, how no one around you can understand the complications being adopted brings to your life.  Sometimes I almost can not bear to hear what others can have and take for granted, that is denied me every single day.

2.  TV/Movies/Commercials/Social Media -  It's enough with the "bad" adoptee themes, killer adoptees, stalker adoptees, vengeful adoptees, the stereotypes are maddening to say the least.  Soap operas are filled with themes of adoption long lost children, baby selling plots, and mothers with amnesia however this is probably the most realistic of the TV/Movie adoption story lines, still hard to watch sometimes.   I SWEAR I have contorted my aging body in ways I never thought possibly in the last few months to mute the commercials.  I will dive over couches, leap coffee tables, and if they continue I see a real possibility of a broken pelvis or a dislocated hip in my near future.  Facebook is FILLED with adoption agency agendas and blatant promotion of adoption but only the hearts, love, and teddy bears side without allowing adoptees to voice the most intelligent arguments otherwise.  Even one of my favorite hangouts Pinterest has Pro-Adoption related photos and quotes so escaping there to get away is not an option either. 

3.  Holidays - All of them.  My favorites are Valentine's Day, May Day, and Fourth of July.  Non family related celebrations.  Helps to avoid all the triggers and hide from the festivities you do not belong to in either family or relative you are not accepted by.  And, if you do belong to both how to play diplomat to each by dividing time equally and fairly without pissing off a multitude of different people. 

4.  Search - For many adoptees search is a life long journey to find names and the people who were hidden from you by altered and falsified government documents, also called ammended birth certificates.  Endless preoccupation with ways to find your biological roots, patiently awaiting government and agency adoption documents and the results of court petitions for identifying information, or for responses from family members located by email, phone, or letter is nerve wracking and nail biting and can send the strongest adopted person to the nearest liquor store, pharmacy, or  into a carb or sugar induced coma and addiction to soothe the over loaded brain and nerves.

5.  Adoption Billboards, Signs, and Bumperstickers - These are everywhere in Texas.  Adoption is big business here, literally.  Beside Freeways, on Church lawns, and on cars of all kinds the promotion of adoption is blatantly promoted everywhere.

6.  Birthdays - One of the biggest adoptee triggers ever.  Our birthdays are not about a celebration of life they are often about mourning the loss of knowledge, family members, and the separation from your family of origin.  And, nonadopted persons don't get this without lengthy explanations so instead we usually just plaster on the mask, it's easier than explaining.

7.  Your children's school family tree projects - It was tough enough enduring them when you were child and being told to "lie" (which it was) and use your adoptive family's background, but now you have to explain (if you are into truth telling and as adoptees we mostly HATE lying to anyone let alone people we love because it's been done to us and we know the damage it does) to your children about adoption, what it means, and how it affects them.

8.  Mirrors, Photos, and Belly Buttons - Sounds silly doesn't it?  It's not, it's our life peering into mirrors, searching photos of ourselves for resemblances and biological family members.  Growing up and even now not knowing who the person is who carried you inside her, who you were connected to for nine months, and who gave you life.  It's just surreal and weird to say the very least.

9.  Children and Grandchildren - Some adoptees only have their children and grandchildren to see any recognition of themselves in. I am in that category and may remain there for the rest of my life.  It's almost inconceivable if it weren't so true.  Sometimes I stare at my children, armed with only with the scraps of information I have received about the physical traits of who I came from, and pick out the similarities.  It's a constant piecing together of a never ending puzzle.

10.  Waking Up - That's all it takes to start the above nine items I have mentioned running through adoptee's minds.

These are just ten I thought of I'm sure there are more but seriously, I am exhausted from thinking about least for the next three minutes anyway. ;)


  1. So very true - every one of them. Even mainstream TV shows seem to have at least one prominent cast member playing the adopted person...

    No escaping...

  2. I stumbled across your blog just now. Lots of catching up to do. I too am adopted, my outcome is different. I am VERY sorry you have struggled so to obtain your original birth certificate. I feel your pain. I will be following and again catching up with your posts. PEACE to you!

  3. I remember when a celebrity died every obituary that mentioned his children also mentioned they were adopted. These little reminders that no matter how much lip service society gives to "adoptive families matter!", there will always be that prefix in front of your relationship.

    It makes me feel like there was a hastily scribbled note inserted into my "family program" -- "In this family, the part of Jim and Jane's biological child will be played by (adopted child's name)".

    In addition to the above list, another one for me are preventing teen pregnancy initiatives. Let alone they make me feel that society is *still* trying to prevent my existence, society must truly feel that nothing good can ever come from them (i.e., adoption) if it's still trying to prevent them. (I'm not saying adoption is good, just that whole mixed message of "adoption is wonderful!" . . . but still, let's try to cease the circumstances that caused it.)

  4. This weekend was "Breaking Amish", a movie I stumbled upon, even a horror flick, you just can't get away no matter how hard you try. The "just don't think about it" adage doesn't work....period!