gallery Dear Adoption, Why?

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Dear Adoption, Why?

Why are you so difficult to grasp? Why must society tell me how I should feel about my adoption? Why do other people believe they know what it’s like to walk in my shoes? Why must I always be “grateful” for my adoption. I am, but I get to say that, not you. I’m allowed to question what life could have been like if I wasn’t adopted. Why do you have such a negative connotation? Why is it ok for people to say “Thank God my parents didn’t put me up for adoption! I was an awful kid!”? Why do you have to be a bad person to be placed for adoption? Why is the decision to place a baby for adoption bad? Why must I feel shameful bringing up my birth family. Why can’t I talk about my feelings about you? I will be judged, and again, told I should feel grateful that I have this life. Can I not question? Is that not a human right afforded to me because I’ve been given a “second chance at life”? Why am I “lucky”? I am lucky, because I am rich in love and family and warmth. But at the same time, there’s a part of me, a gnawing feeling that someone out there in the world is longing to see me, wondering where I am, and if I’m alive. I think of her too; is she alive, where is she? Is it lucky to feel like you are lost, but also found?

Ashti Mistry is an adult, Indian adoptee currently living in Boston, MA with her husband and dog Zeus. She is in the final semester of her graduate program at Simmons College and will obtain her Masters in Social Work degree in May of 2017. Ashti enjoys spending time with her family and friends and traveling. She loves the beach and warm weather, dancing like no-one is watching (which she does quite often!) and eating Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream.

11 comments

    • Thank you for your support. Questioning is all we do, and I dislike when people judge an adoptee for having questions about their life prior to adoption. Sometimes I think we have two lives, one prior to adoption, that we may not remember, and one post adoption. We don’t know why our birth families placed us for adoption, and we allowed to question our own realities.

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  1. Thank you for this beautiful letter. My 3 sons are adopted from Ethiopia and I cringe every time someone tells us how lucky they are. I know that adoption comes with unbelievable loss even though I love them unconditionally. I will show this to my sons so they know it is ok to ask why.

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  2. Ashti, I gave up my son for adoption. He is now 33 and I recently located him. He does not want to meet me, at least not yet. I did not expect that. I am learning that adoption is not what you expect – not for the birth mother, the child or the adoption family. It’s not a “happy ever after” story but a long tale of questions and regrets and sadness and loss and irrevocable things that cannot be made up for or possibly ever overcome. It is about love and patience and waiting and hoping and imagining and wishing and waiting and waiting. So thank you for what you wrote. It is honest in a way that speaks to me and helps me to understand why my son may be angry, resentful, confused, careful, hurt and ultimately needing more time to consider if there is a way that he can let me in because the threat of me and the fear of what I might bring is too large an obstacle to yet overcome. Thank you, sincerely. Mary

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    • Hi Mary,
      What you write, “it’s not a happy ever after story, but a long tale of questions and regrets and sadness and loss…” is so true. Adoption is not finite, not for any party involved. It’s a long winding road that touches everyone involved.Thank you for your support and kind words.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your perspective as an Indian adoptee living in America. My daughter, now 12, came home when she was 2. My husband and I are taking her back to India this winter because she wants to know what it’s like “to be Indian in India”. She also wants to seach for her birthparents. I pray she’ll find what she needs. I love her more than words can ever express, and I don’t for one second consider her “lucky”. Yes, she can say that if she chooses. She can feel any which way she wants. She has that freedom with us; I wish she had it from others as well.

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  4. I really love this. I was adopted as an infant and grew up in the States. I love my adoptive parents dearly, but they did their best to shield and protect me from the life I lost, and it feels like I’ve been living the remainder of my life trying desperately to grasp what I can from that life and culture that I lost. I am Indian on the outside, but am American through and through so growing up I never felt like I quite fit in with Indians or Americans. I was always told that I am one of the lucky ones, even by my parents. But I don’t think they quite grasp the reality of the magnitude of my loss. Only fellow adoptees can understand the deep, deep longing for the their birth families…the ones who share their DNA. I AM grateful for being given a family after I’d lost mine…but I do not want to be told that I should be.

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    • Thank you for saying THIS: “Only fellow adoptees can understand the deep, deep longing for the their birth families…the ones who share their DNA. I AM grateful for being given a family after I’d lost mine…but I do not want to be told that I should be.” So powerful. I find this so true, only fellow adoptees can understand this limbo we are put in.
      Thank you for your kind words and support! If you ever want to talk, feel free to reach out!

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