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.