gallery Dear Adoption, It’s Okay

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Dear Adoption, It’s Okay

It’s okay that people tell me I can’t possibly remember crying in my crib, because I was so terrified to be by myself in the dark–when I actually do have memories of this.

It’s okay that my parents didn’t believe me when I was five, and a stranger tried to force me into his car. Thankfully I got away. Even though my parents thought I made up this story, I still remember the man, and I still remember his car.

It’s okay that my mother routinely spanked me when I was in kindergarten, because I had dirt on my clothes. I had dirt on my clothes because an older boy frequently beat me up on my way home from school.

It’s okay that my mother regularly told strangers in grocery stores that I had no control over sugar, so she had to keep sweets away from me. She made it a point to say this in front of me.

It’s okay that my mother as well, told strangers at clothing stores that she couldn’t ever find any clothing for me because I was too big. Again, yes, in front of me.

It’s okay that I had an ulcer when I was eight years old.

It’s okay that I started pulling my hair out of my head when I was 11, and cutting myself when I was 13.

It’s okay that my older sibling was embarrassed to be seen with me in public, because I looked so different than the rest of my family.

It’s okay that when I was an adult and saw an old slide show of a family trip, I noticed that I actually was quite thin. I always thought I was so fat growing up.

It’s okay that small things, like being afraid no one would sit next to me on a school bus trip, totally stressed me out for weeks before the actual trip–even up until I had finished high school.

It’s okay that I never got to know my incredible, colonial American ancestral heritage on my maternal side until my 50’s.

It’s okay that I never got to know my also-incredible ancestral Irish heritage on my paternal side until my 50’s.

It’s okay that I never got to meet or talk to either of my parents, or my sister, as they had all passed away before I found them.

WAIT—I CHANGE MY MIND!!!

Actually, IT’S NOT OKAY.

Never will it be okay.

Not since a search angel, DNA tests, and several kind people helped me find my family.

Never again will ANY of those things be okay.

How sad, though, Adoption, that this took me over 50 years to figure out.

When I was growing up, and my mom became angry (which was often,) she always yelled at me, “THANK YOU FOR NOTHING!” I cringed every time I heard that phrase, as I hated it so much.

But you know what? It kind of fits here so perfectly:

Dear Adoption, thank you for nothing.

This piece was submitted anonymously by a New York adoptee who very slowly is FINALLY learning to stand up for herself.

 

2 comments

  1. Dear NY (?C?) anonymous.

    Bless you for sharing … the 1 year old’s memories that those of us who have them will or already have been very forcibly told by the non-adoptees told that we couldn’t possibly remember-or that they are borrowed from another’s telling; the retarded knowledge of your ancestral history; the feelings of separation and not belonging that pushed us to just want the pain to end… with a razor, a bottle of pills or multiple tankards of hooch; the ‘thanks for nothing’ or all the other ways we were reminded about our ingratitude and our recalcitrance; the flight from the adopters’ home and from the pain… Actually you are right on: NO! IT IS NOT OK for any of this to have happened to you, to me, or to others. And it is also not OK for others (adoptees are the worse for this one) to tell you or me or others that we are wrong (and of course that they are right) or , worse. to insist they know our story better than we do …

    But far worse, is that states such as NYS and 22 others totally restrict access to OBCs of adoptees, 20 others compromise the access -many to such a degree that one is not likely to obtain that access, leaving only nine that have unrestricted access to adoptees and their OBCs. And then there is the issue of the adoption file itself which will contain the final adoption decree and the procedures and protocol followed to secure the adoption. Any and all of this with the express purpose of denying the adoptee any knowledge whatsoever if the state can arrange it. All of this is of course in violation of constitutional, federal, international, and civil law.

    I can identify too well with the contrast of photos being 360 degrees different than how I thought of my self, and the thrill to find my ancestors and their modern and ancient migratory patterns. I was 36 years old before I retrieved my own certified OBC -to fill in my first and middle name with the surname I was born-the latter was all I could remember of my name, and the parent’s names-those who had abused and abandoned me, and who had abandoned my little sister and separated us from our brother. The state separated me from my sister in 1948… parents separated both of us from our brother, who died in 2011 before I could locate him.

    My adopters would scream at me every time I refused to acknowledge their son as my brother, as did the rest of their family.

    Thanks again for sharing. And never let anyone even suggest you don’t know your own life and the part you and others played in it! Best wishes, my dear.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Gazelle's Scirocco Winds and commented:
    This is the narrative of an adoptee who has reached the half century mark in her life. She explains how it was for her… Her story is similar to my own… and in part this was my response to her on another blog:

    … the 1 year old’s memories that those of us who have them will or already have been very forcibly told by the non-adoptees told that we couldn’t possibly remember-or that they are borrowed from another’s telling; the retarded knowledge of your ancestral history; the feelings of separation and not belonging that pushed us to just want the pain to end… with a razor, a bottle of pills or multiple tankards of hooch; the ‘thanks for nothing’ or all the other ways we were reminded about our ingratitude and our recalcitrance; the flight from the adopters’ home and from the pain… Actually you are right on: NO! IT IS NOT OK for any of this to have happened to you, to me, or to others. And it is also not OK for others (adoptees are the worse for this one) to tell you or me or others that we are wrong (and of course that they are right) or , worse. to insist they know our story better than we do …

    Like

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