Dear Adoption, You Can’t Fool Me Any Longer
For so long, you made me believe that I was “less than.” You fooled me into believing I was alone, and that I would never find a place to belong. You silenced my voice, and dismissed my feelings and beliefs. You tricked me into thinking that I did not matter as much as those around me, and gave me no space for an identity of my own.
Why did you want me to feel as if I was floating, never grounded to this world? Why did you make it so hard for me to connect? Why did you make me live between two worlds, never allowing me to find my place in either of them? Not American enough, not Indian enough.
Why did you assume my feelings were invalid? That I was being “too sensitive” or “couldn’t take a joke” or “always taking things too seriously?” Why did you make me believe that there was something wrong with me? Recognizing pain does not negate appreciating beauty.
Why did you assume I did not deserve confidence? Why did you suppress my truth? Why did you make it so hard for me to recognize my strength? Invisibility was my comfort zone, oppressing any trace of individuality.
But now I know. You can’t fool me any longer.
Adoption, I am who I am because of you and in spite of you.
I am a survivor. I am a fighter. I have earned my place in this world. I deserve to be here. I belong. I am a proud underdog. I am not apologetic. I am passionate. I am compassionate. My truth matters. My strength is immeasurable. My voice is powerful.
Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is a transracial adoptee, adoptive parent, and psychologist specializing in trauma and adoption work. She is the author of “EMPOWRD! Ways to Respond to Adoption Questions,” an activity book for elementary-age adoptees, and the creator of numerous blogs and educational videos for foster and adoptive parents. For more of Chitra’s work check out Growbeyondwords.com.