The last post dealt with the early reactions of others to my being adopted. But there is a flip side to their reactions…my acceptance. How did we accept being adopted? And why?
I’ve only thought about the concept of accepting my adoption recently. It’s nothing that could be changed. Adoption was all I knew, and I really didn’t have a choice. But as an adult I can look back and realize that the concept alone is overwhelming. Some unknown woman gave birth to me and chose to give me up, and some people that I did not have any connection with took me home with them and provided love, food, shelter, and possibilities for me. Amazing!
As a young child, I had an idea where babies came from. Some of my friends had new babies coming into their homes every year of so. For them, new kids were the norm. They saw their moms pregnant, visited the nursery in the hospital, and relinquished some space in their homes or their room when these new kids came home with mom. Also, Mom’s attention was now stretched to include this crying, labor-intensive infant, and oftentimes the older kids had to do a lot more on their own. My reality was coming home with these people and having a normal childhood. While my parents were not there when I took my first breath, they were there through good times and bad times over the years. They made a huge sacrifice taking in a stranger as well as a huge risk. I was told that I spent sometime in the orphanage with some condition. Never did find out what it was, and today I’m generally healthy. But my parents took a risk with unknown health issues that I might suffer.
My parents had no difficulty with my being adopted. They were proud of my accomplishments and shared the paddle with me when I acted out (Corporal punishment was accepted when I was growing up. This was prior to today’s time out, but it was effective and the bottom only hurt for a minute or so.) I was fortunate that my parents did not introduce me as their adopted daughter but rather I was just their kid. I learned as an adult that my parents were unable to have children, and at age 40, after many years of waiting, I arrived.
Personally, acceptance was not an issue. As a teenager, I was upset that I did not have any family or medical history. When I started to gain weight, I blamed my birth mother. It seemed easy to do this as I had no info and needed a scapegoat. I never connected the hot fudge sundaes to weight gain! Also, not being able to understand my roots was a big deal for me. I embraced the history of my parents’ families and tried to learn as much as I could. They were German (mom) and English-Irish (dad). So I asked lots of questions and was proud of my heritage. But I had no real idea of my birth roots.
I’m very interested in hearing your comments about accepting your own adoption. If you were part of a family with biological children of your adoptive parents, I look forward to your comments. One of my adopted friends said she felt her situation was mine, ours, and the “no one’s,” with my friend being the latter.