I’ve learned over the years that there are two basic kinds of people when it comes to those who are touched by adoption. There are the ones who don’t dwell on the adoption and the ones who do. There are very few people who fall in between.
I, admittedly, am in the first group. I’ve even been accused of being in denial about my adoption, whatever that means. I was adopted at birth by a family who gave me a number of great childhood years, followed by some terrible years. I no longer speak to my adoptive parents. I am very excited to be in reunion with my birth family. I don’t, however, believe that being adopted affects my everyday life.
Before I started writing for an adoption website, I would go months at a time without even thinking about the fact I was adopted. The best way I can think of to explain it is that being adopted is about as significant to me as my having blonde hair. It’s a part of who I am, and some people could use that to describe me, but it’s not an ongoing significant topic. It means that I have a family dynamic that’s a little different. So do lots of other people for many different reasons.
The people who dwell on the adoption seem pretty downtrodden to me. They take every bout of pain or sadness and attribute it to their adoption. Sometimes adoption can be very emotional, and that’s understandable. Birth moms need an opportunity to mourn the loss of their child, and many adoptees have abandonment issues. The truth is, sometimes people just get sad or lonely. Sometimes it’s for a valid reason, but sometimes it’s for no reason at all. Emotions aren’t always tied to the adoption, otherwise we would be the only ones who experience them.
I’m not saying that either group is right or wrong, but I can tell you from my experience that I see not dwelling on the past as easier. That doesn’t mean I have suppressed my feelings or am denying myself an emotional release. All it means is that I have dealt with life head on. I have worked through whatever problems or issues as they have arisen and moved on with my life.
I am an adoptee, a wife, a mother, a child, a sister, an aunt, and a friend. The people in my life who mean the most to me are a blend of my biological and adoptive families. Most days I feel happy and fulfilled. Other days I’m sad or frustrated because there aren’t enough hours in the day, because I’m worried about my kids, because my phone battery died, because my hair won’t cooperate, or for 1,000 other reasons that don’t have anything at all to do with adoption.