Dear Adoption, You are This and You are That

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.