gallery Dear Adoption, You are This and You are That

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Dear Adoption, You are This and You are That

You are Happiness.

You are Unhappiness.

You are Safe.

You are Dangerous.

You are Loving.

You are Hateful.

You are Joyful.

You are Angry.

You are Encouraging.

You are Discouraging.

You are Successful.

You are Unsuccessful.

You are Hopeful.

You are Defeating.

You are Healing.

You are Hurting.

You are Good.

You are Bad.

You are More.

You are Less.

To everyone out there who doesn’t want to see and accept all parts of adoption (good and bad) I wish you could just read my words and believe me. I feel all of these things about being adopted. On the outside I am a happy teenager but on the inside I am all over the place in just one day sometimes. My parents think I’m just really happy and bubbly. I don’t share this stuff with my parents because they only see the good things. They pretend to see the hard stuff but really they just minimize how I feel and make statements like this,

“We know you miss your birth parents but you have us now and we love you.”

Not helpful.

“We were supposed to be a family. We’re so glad God brought you to us.”

Not helpful.

“You have to rise above the obstacles in your life and just move on. Everyone has hard stuff in their life.”

Not helpful.

“This was the plan for your life and you’re so much better off.”

Not helpful (and nobody knows if that is the truth or if that isn’t).

“You can talk to us and cry anytime you need to because we love you.”

Not helpful (and not true because they obviously take my pain personally).

When they say those things I get frustrated and I just say I’m okay. I just wish they would say different things. Like they could ask me what would be helpful. They could just listen to me about my feelings and not try to talk me out of my own feelings. They could actually learn about all the bad stuff in adoption and try to help stop it instead of pretending there isn’t any bad stuff. They could stop saying I was saved. They could stop saying my life would be worse in the place I idolize (which is India). They could stop thinking that doing a couple Indian things a couple times a year makes up for anything.

The thing I want people and my parents to know most about adoption is that its really hard and that no one can change that its hard. I think I will go to India and help stop adoption there because its more important for families to stay together. I love my family but they don’t understand and I think a lot of people think they do understand and I think they think they do but they don’t. I just feel confused about why everyone thinks this is so good when its so hard. I have a very nice life and I don’t think that will change but this is still very hard.

This piece was submitted anonymously by a 15 year old Indian adoptee at a camp writing workshop.

31 comments

  1. I suspect that anyone who is an adoptee reading this yin & yang set of couplets can easily understand your simple lines… some of us will feel the second lines while others will feel the first of them. I identify with the first lines of each couplet … but never with the first.

    Keep sharing your thoughts and keep writing. Both will help you far more than what you know. Best wishes.

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  2. Looking for a true understanding you will find it when you least expect it. Trust your gut feelings, believe in yourself no matter what happens. I will pray for you every chance I have that you find the sttength,courage to work out the way you feel right now.

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  3. You are a very wise and aware person. I am glad you can recognize your parents responses for what they are and I hope you find others that you can talk to who will truly listen. Maybe an intl adoptee group even if it is only online.

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  4. This is awesome. I’m 61-year-old adoptee and I agree with you. Yes, reunion and return helps. I support your going to India, and I support family preservation. Your adoptee peeps will help you. Your adoptive parents would be wise to proactively help you reunite and invite their new family members (your birth families) to join the circle of your family. Blessings to you on your journey.

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  5. You are such a wonderful writer. God Bless you. Keep writing, for the solace it gives you and for the hope it gives others.

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  6. Let them read this! Share with them this lost part of your soul. I wish I had with my adoptive parents. Remember, they have pain associated with adoption too. They have a heart full of love and you have a heart desiring love. Share, they do care! I pray for you a peaceful heart! Something at 51 years old I do not have because I never believed in trust.

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  7. I adopted a baby boy,2days old left at hospital. Have loved him.He loves me. We both hope he finds birth families. We love each other anyway.

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  8. [They could stop thinking that doing a couple Indian things a couple times a year makes up for anything.]

    My folks have said similar things – you can always “just go back” or you can always “take classes.”

    Time doesn’t work that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I get how you’re feeling and sorry you feel that way, although I’m not so sure why you don’t like your parents saying this: “You have to rise above the obstacles in your life and just move on. Everyone has hard stuff in their life.” I know you may have found things hard in your life, but, trust me the people who have adopted you are amazing. Do they love you? Yes. And they take care of you. I’ve been through this, and i still am, but i know what it’s like not only to lose birth parents but to lose adoptive parents. Losing adoptive parents was worse, as i realised that there was a reason i was removed from my birth family, and i know my adoptive family love me. I’m back with my adopted parents now, but my sister was taken away for a while in sister care. It’s not nice, trust me. Your life here is better than before even if you feel like questioning that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • natzxx2….

      In New York City, people would say that you-and others- have chutzpah to be oh so certain that because X happened to you it happens to all-and that all should ‘trust’ and follow your advice. I suspect that many of us will p-ass on your offer … you have no credibility to offer that for which you are not qualified.

      You are, if nothing else, very pretentious to tell anyone about those they know more about than do you. You have never observed the dynamics of this young woman’s adoption experience and do not know those in that experience. You are not her-and conversely, she is not you.

      Just what makes you so certain that her life is ‘better’ than ‘before’ particularly when she has made it clear that, for her. it is not? And what possesses you to pontificate that her adoptive ‘parents’ are ‘amazing?’ What is so amazing about having your whole identity stolen? What is so amazing about being forced to accept a name and a nation not your own? What is so amazing about being forever told that you are ‘MY’ daughter (or son) when her DNA-and mine and others’- screams that that is impossible?

      Her message is the clarion call of most adoptees: the call that demands that our identities, cultures, genetic ties, religions, no longer be allowed to be severed-not domestically or internationally. Perhaps you should re-read her narrative -especially the first and last sentences last paragraph.

      Don’t sit by your phone waiting for calls which reason says have a chance of slim to none to arrive.

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      • A lot of adopted children should understand how the parents are actually feeling. It’s all about them because it must have been so terrible to be taken from home and given new family. Kids aren’t taken from their home for no reason. It has to be serious enough or possibly parents choice. I know i am not her, but she seems to not understand what it may be like for the parents. Adopted parents clearly are amazing. They took her in and cared for her as their own, they were not financially supported to do this, they’re not paid to adopt kids and they have obviously cared for her. They love her as her own as she doesn’t feel the same way. Why? Why shouldn’t she? After all they’ve done for her. She is allowed to have these feelings of course and may want to see her birth parents as i do, but her adoptive parents have given her a new life, and it’s not a had one.

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      • natzxx2….

        Stop your pro-adoption agenda! Grrrr to your ‘after all they’ve done for her’ ‘allowed to have feelings’…. “its not a bad one’ -another grrrrr to you. You are brainwashed! And as I already noted, pretentious -to which I will now add arrogant and audacious. Your generalization is sophomoric as are the blinkers on your eyes, not to mention ignorant.

        Most of us don’t want your version of a new life. We want our own life-in our own circumstances amongst our own immediate and close family-amongst those who share our physicalities. We want to be with our sibs, our grandparents, our aunts & uncles, and our cousins. We want to know about our own ancestors and our history— OUR history not the court-appointed one.

        Understand how an adoptive or foster parent feels? Uh! Uh! Not until they and the agencies and legislatures and courts, et al understand us-and stop treating us as errant children in need of a keeper! (And by the way, children are wrongfully removed from their parental homes…. best get rid of those rose colored glasses and the con job you bought from your state and see the real world of foster care … And I might add, take your own medicine to understand why your parent(s) reacted to you and presumably your sibling as they did.)

        And don’t even dare to attempt to challenge me. I am at least twice (or more) your age, and have a much longer association with the systems than do you. By the time I was 2, I had been brutalized by my parents, abandoned by them, separated from my two sibs, fostered, hospitalized, and terrified by any and all (except one resident physician) .. and by five I was handed over by a court to equally abusive adoptive ‘parents’… for my, as you so cavalierly put it, ‘new life’… I was 25 years of age before I ever beheld another human who looked like me, and that was my daughter who only lived for 4 months.

        It is YOU who does not understand,natzxx2, not I or the young woman who wrote this piece. Unlike you, neither she nor I sit idly by while others try to control our lives and our responses to them. You may be happy with your situation which is your right, BUT do not try to foist it upon others, many of whom reject your acceptance of that we refute and fight as the poison it is. Drink your own hemlock if you choose, but don’t offer it to us.

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      • Yes yes you had a bad life, but telling me your short life story.. what are you expecting that to do? How do you know you’re double my age and i can challenge you if i want. Wanna know my lovely little life story? Well i was moved around a lot when i was a baby and my sister was beat up every time she wet the bed my younger sister when she was a baby was starved but fortunately survived my birth dad’s been to prison for 2 accounts of attempted murder, armed robbery and putting my birth mom is hospital and having a tube into her mouth for weeks cuz he broke her jaw. My mom also hurt all of her 6 kids and my dad beat up my mom and my older brother. I was not taken for health checks when i was a baby and so was dangerously underweight then when i was a toddler i was removed, along with my two older sisters, my older brother and my younger sister, to a foster home. I was there alone for a while then my younger sister was moved to live with me. I was adopted with my little sister a while later and yes I’ve questioned my birth family but my adopted family i am proud of. They took on two children, and cared for us as if we were their own. They never pressured me about whether i loved them more than my birth parents.
        They did get hurt when i talked about them and i understand that. They love as much as any parents love their biological kids and i love them the same back. They’ve cared for me and given me food shelter and love. What more do i really need? There’s wayyyy worse off families than that. A while ago i was put in care due to family problems i was there for 4 months then returned home. I was home for only a week then something happened with my younger sister and i was returned to the same foster carer. I hated it there. I was there for another 6 weeks then taken home by my parents. Social services questioned this but concluded it was in my best interest to stay with my adoptive family. I am with them now and I’m turning 15 soon but there are a lot of problems with my birth dad and issues with my younger sister who’s in care at the moment. I am not arrogant or ignorant or any of those things you decided to call me. I just believe a lot of adopted children do not think how the adopted parents feel. I understand how mine feel and it’s awful. Adopting made my mom mentally ill and caused me to be sent to a residential children’s home for a while. I believe my grandparents and adoptive dad also love my sister more than me. When i tell my mom how i feel, she just says that of course they don’t. It hurts but i have to understand what it must be like from my parents point of view.

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      • Speak about yourself -and do NOIT dare speak of me or others! Bata! Barakat! Enough! Your opinion is yours alone. Do not color us with it- we are NOT you-and do not wish to be colored with your brush. This is my last comment to you and your utter contempt and disrespect. Your beliefs don’t make it so… ‘bye ‘bye
        Enjoy the life YOU choose …. Clean up your own angst …. a better life to you is wished … but what you conceive as better is not what others do… Your conflicts are very transparent… my sorrow for you ..

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      • What actually the fuck is wrong with you? I said nothing offensive about you and you speak sooo weirdly. Learn English before you decide to talk to people. I know my opinion is mine alone. I didn’t tell you to feel the same way as me i just said SOME adopted children are disrespectful of their adoptive parents. You have NO idea how some parents feel. It tears them apart. You are extremely selfish and unreasonable. My beliefs are fact as i have experienced and have seen others a LOT of others and i may conceive better as a bit different from others but that doesn’t mean you go on about it. You honestly are blinded by the fact that you did not like your adoptive parents. I feel sorry for you but many other children and teenagers are just plain ungrateful

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  10. PS My summary was only about 20 seconds of sharing… =Best not tray to tell MY story because you have no idea what it is… Grow up little girl/boy! And do sheath your claws….

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