Dear Adoption, Do Not Tell Me How I Feel
Dear Adoption, I need you to hear me – without interrupting or forming a response before I finish. I am adopted, not you. I have experienced it, not you. My entire existence has been shaped by the construct of adoption, leaving me incapable of imagining my life otherwise. You cannot imagine, so for once, just shut up and listen.
Dear Adoption, do not tell me how I feel. When I say anything concerning my families or my feelings toward them – or adoption in general – do not contradict me as if you know better. As if you have any idea the complex emotions and psychological mindfuck adoption creates. As if you have any basis of knowledge on the subject. You don’t.
Dear Adoption, you have no idea the harm you did, in the name of A Better Life. You cannot know, so do not impose on me your opinions and expect me to take them as my own, like I had to when I was given a false birth certificate and forced to declare it as fact. Do not pretend you have a clue what it feels like to swear you are one thing when you are genetically another.
You do not know my pain, Adoption, because you cannot admit you are the cause of it. You want to think you saved me – that I would have been an abortion statistic without you, that my mother and I would have lived on the streets unless you came along. You are full of yourself, Adoption. So self-absorbed that when I – the product that makes you exist – attempt to share my reality, my truth, you immediately shut me down. You cannot handle that the perpetual child I am in your eyes does anything except sing your praises.
You shame me. You silence me. You attempt to control the narrative. You lie. You pout. You tell me it hurts you that I could state anything other than how happy I am. You lecture me that my “real” parents are the ones who raised me, that biology is meaningless, that I was better off being adopted no matter the actual circumstances. You say I should feel blessed and chosen. But you don’t stop there, Dear Adoption. You tell me how I actually feel.
When I say I feel I don’t belong anywhere, you say I feel lucky to be adopted.
When I say I consider myself a commodity, you say I actually feel like a gift.
When I say I long to connect with my birth family, you say “those people” mean nothing to me.
When I say I miss my original mother, you say I have abandonment issues.
When I say I mourn my bio-father, you say I cannot grieve someone I never met.
When I say I carry great pain, you say you wish you were adopted.
Dear Adoption, do not presume to understand the magnitude of what you’ve done or, worse, to explain it to me. The psychological warfare you wage only focuses my anger where it belongs: at you. You cannot control me with your talk of “God’s plan” and you cannot make me parrot your platitudes. Thousands of us have found our voice and we will not be silenced. Because, Dear Adoption, someday you will be on the wrong side of history – like slavery – and no amount of gaslighting you do now will change that.