I used to avoid talking about my adoption. It was the last thing I wanted to share. I'm not sure why because the fact that I was adopted was evident. People could clearly see that I was not biologically related to my family members.
The fact that I didn't resemble anyone in my family was a painful truth. My being different, in that way, was embarrassing. It made me feel like I didn't belong. Like I couldn't ever really be included, or claimed. So very often, I wanted to hide.
Hiding was safer than facing the questions that would surely be posed by others outside of my family. Hiding was safer than expressing my true feelings within my family and risking their disapproval. Even worse, their rejection.
The wound was raw. I could feel it. Eating away at my joy. Sadness became a constant companion. I just didn't feel like I could be happy. I lived between two realities and I didn't know which me I could safely be: the first me before adoption, or the me I was now. The only identity I knew to offer was that of an adoptee.
Yet, this was a word that made me mourn my life, for a time. It did. How can you celebrate living when a part of you feels dead? Banned from existence. Silenced. The title of adoptee meant someone or something had been lost. How do you celebrate loss?
The label of adoptee seemed to prevent me from fully living. It segmented my emotions and my feelings. It drew a line that I couldn't step over. This word, this title, made me feel so small and discarded. Why couldn't I just rip it from my being and move forward? Free. Happy.
Why was I forced to speak of my own abandonment as if it was conversation for someone else's entertainment or curiosity? I didn't want anyone's pity. I didn't want to be seen as someone whose first parents had left. I didn't want to nod my head in agreement at how good my adoptive parents were for saving me. That hurt. Time and time again, it left me in pieces. I wasn't charity. I was a child. I just wanted to be my mom and dad's kid. Their daughter. Their girl. Without any explanation of why or how. I just wanted to be.
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