Adoption Survivor

dealing with it

Why can’t people believe that we do exist?

with 7 comments


A question asked earlier today spoke of those adoptees who were happy with their adoption and who don’t want to search for their birth parents or feel that they are living in a state of loss. Someone remarked, in response to that question: “[I] didn’t go past your first paragraph, because [I] totally disagree. [W]hat normal human being does not want to know where they came from?”

Well, here I am and I know that I’m not alone. I was adopted as an infant and have been with my family since that time. I have a loving mother and father as well as an “egg-head” sister and a “goofball” brother. I love them all unconditionally for who and what they are, my family. It’s been that way for the 45 years of my life thus far.

I’ve never felt any sense of loss over being adopted. As far as I’ve ever know or considered I am of Scottish decent, the same as my family. I’m bald, my (adopted) father is bald. When I had hair it was reddish brown, the same as my (adopted) grandfather on my (adopted) mothers side. I’ve loved camping my whole life while my (adopted) brother and (adopted) sister consider the Banff Springs Hotel as being as close to the great outdoors as they care to get. (I put the word adopted in brackets only for clarity sake)

And most shocking to some, I’ve never felt a need to search for my birth parents.

Why is it that people expect us to believe their stories of pain and suffering over adoption issues but at the same time they deny that some of us are happy and well adjusted in our situations? Those against adoption will rant on and on about all the different ways they feel their rights have been infringed upon which affects their right to be happy. Does trying to deny my happiness and that of others somehow balance things off for those who are unhappy?

  • 9 hours ago

Additional Details

8 hours ago

And for those curious about what I meant by my brother and sisters idea of the great outdoors…. check the link:

7 hours ago

Thanks for the psych analysis Gershom. Next time, can I lay on the couch?I assure you, I am very happy and well adjusted. I’ve got a successful career, a wonderful family and I’m secure in both who and what I am. If you choose to believe otherwise though that is your right.…

My Answer – NOT Chosen Best Answer:

I believe your experience and that you exist.

I also believe my experience and that I exist.

Our truths co-exist.

The vast majority of people I meet get really excited about adoption – it’s one of those things a lot of people entertain doing. I know I did at one point. And then they find out I’m adopted and they get all happy. And then they find out my outcome was not a happy one, and then their first response is to look for ways to continue being excited about adoption. These are some of my closest friends! So my reality gets denied all the time too, Randy, in a very personal way. So I feel ya.

The thing we share, though, is I never thought adoption had anything to do with my unhappiness for the last forty years of my life. Two years ago I may not have painted as sunny a picture as you do, but I wouldn’t have ascribed any of my unhappiness to adoption. And all my life I totally rejected the idea of searching for my birth mother. Had no desire to do so. She was irrelevant. Adoption was not an issue, and even if it was lurking there somewhere, my emotions were so completely compartmentalized I wouldn’t have recognized it.

The thing we don’t share, however, is that back when adoption wasn’t an issue with me, I never would have thought of coming on to a public board defending my adopted status. So those of us who have come to the realization that adoption, actually, had a pretty huge impact on the direction of our lives, wonder why the content adoptees are even here at all, why they are thinking about adoption at all, and why they protest so much. It’s just a curious phenomenon is all. One I don’t understand.

Adoption did not become an issue for me until I had a major major MAJOR crisis in my life. Major enough that my very existence was a tenuous prospect. If that hadn’t had happened, I would probably be carrying on the same way I always had – where the word and the concept of adoption never even entered my thoughts.

Sometimes it takes facing something as big as death to look at the intangible parts of your deepest being that are all intertwined with abandonment, and how adoption complicates and obfuscates that. Previously, identity as a concept didn’t register on my radar either. I mistook it for personality. I’ve got one of those, so I didn’t need to think about it further. But almost dying makes you face the profundities of life. And birth and identity are part of that.

I’m happy for you that you got a good match, that you don’t know any different, that you feel secure, and I for one am totally willing to let you go on feeling that way. I’m just trying to explain how some of those who aren’t willing to let you feel that way might have come to that conclusion.

And, of course you know adoption is a political issue as well. And though our grievances get a little equal time here at Y!A , they get practically zero time in the real world. So a lot of us feel like our voices are being negated by the happy adoptees. Because we’re surrounded by people who want to believe only the good things about adoption, as if it was only all good. The thing people miss is – WE wanted to believe too. We truly did.

Our realities can and do co-exist because our truths are our own. It’s just stupid to fight about it. I see you. Do you see me?

Best Answer – Chosen by Asker

I think what Randy quote from the other question/response says a lot. That the person refused to read more only due to the fact that they didn’t agree with what was being said in the post. That seems rather ignorant to me. You also do have some people who refuse to see things outside their own box. Not just from one one side but both (all) sides.I do have some information in my adoption file if I ever wanted to I am sure I could easily find biofamily if I wanted to. I have my biomothers name and with the internet it makes it so easy to find anyone. However I simple don’t want too. Maybe this fact makes some think I am not normal. The fact is I have never been normal. It’s the strange and un-normal people who are interesting. Seriously what is normal to one is not normal to another. Just check out the National Geographic show Taboo.
  • 3 hours ago
Asker’s Rating:
5 out of 5
Asker’s Comment:
I received a tonne of good answers here but I had to choose one. You captured the meat of my question perfectly. Thank you.I won’t comment on the 17 negative emails I’ve received or the free psych evals other then to say they were read and appreciated for what they were.

Written by girl4708

October 25, 2008 at 6:26 am

Posted in Q&A

7 Responses

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  1. My brother never searched until he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 53. (just in July). Both his Mom and sister died one year ago.
    He never spoke of our adoption as a child, but I blabbed to anyone that would listen! I didn’t know the truth, so I had great stories about my parents being killed in the war. (which there was no war, but the other 4th graders didn’t know that either-lol)
    So I believe you and I validate you (if that matters?) and I appreciate you sharing your feelings about this!!! I have not read the post in question, so just responding to this one.


    October 25, 2008 at 11:25 am

  2. Yeah… Anastasia “answered” my question when I got to the part about how I believed there are adoptees who genuinely just don’t have an interest in searching. They feel their adoptive families *are* their real families.

    She claims they are just in denial because they are afraid of facing the truth if they were to actually search. I disagreed with her saying that if someone doesn’t have any interest in searching… then that’s their perogative. She likes to state they are just in “denial.” >_>

    But yeah, it does show a narrow-minded ness on her part.


    October 25, 2008 at 9:56 pm

  3. I don’t know why some people try to split adopted persons into two categories – happy adoptee/unhappy adoptee, and base this on whether one searches or not.

    For me searching for my parents and family was something I had to do. Was I happier after I found them? Yup. I was also very relieved that I found them all still living. (I share a love of travelling with my a-family – but I share this same like with millions of other people too!)

    Who raised me and the type of life I had with those people had absolutely nothing to do with why I searched for and found my family. Why I searched is pretty simple, really – they’re my family!

    I could care less if an adopted person searches for their family or doesn’t – what I hope for is that even if the non-searchers don’t want to know their family, just support those of who fight for birth certificates to become unsealed. Denying a sector of the population access to their own information is discrimination. it’s not really a “choice” to search for one’s family when that family is “protected” from the adopted person through adoption secrecy laws. The more one delves into the system and history of adoption, the more one learns of its corrupt and discriminatory practices. That’s what makes me angry, not because someone chooses not to search or is happy being adopted.


    October 26, 2008 at 12:32 pm

  4. I don’t understand that either.
    Why you are happy (allegedly well adjusted) if you don’t search and unhappy (allegedly unstable) if you do search.
    In fact if you apply that type of theory (and I DO NOT), wouldn’t the adoptee who was so happy with their adopted family be more LIKELY to want to add MORE family to their life? Wouldn’t the unhappy adoptee cower from the thought of MORE family? We know this is all baloney.


    October 26, 2008 at 1:24 pm

  5. Michelle~ forgot to add that I agree 100% with the open records also;~))


    October 26, 2008 at 1:27 pm

  6. chow-chow, I know, I don’t get the well-adjusted thing either. Does that mean one is well–adjusted in their adoptive family/identity, therefore there is no need to discover one’s family before adoption? What does one have to do with other?

    Well, I guess I’m one if the non-well-adjusted because I searched. Cheers to all the non-well-adjusted adoptees out there! Geuss all the people who search for their relatives and research their ancestry are messed up too. Hell, my ex never knew his Serbian roots – he didn’t even know where his grandparents lived (his parents never talked about them) so he went to Serbia to learn about his roots and family. He ended up living there for three years and loved it. Guess he wasn’t well-adjusted either. Guess anybody who researches anything about the past isn’t well-adjusted.


    October 26, 2008 at 2:15 pm

  7. People dont want to beleive that we exist. If they did then it would end the myth that adoption always leads to a better life.

    The adoption agencies are too busy keeping the myth alive so that they can continue to rip children from their families and continue to exploit third world countries. We are seen as a product to be exported and not as humn beings. There is too much money being made from our blood to end the myth.


    November 26, 2008 at 3:48 pm

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