I am 31 years old and although I had known that I was adopted from an early age, my adoptive parents never told me. I was adopted when I was three, from Poland, by a Unkrainian couple, living in the States. I looked like them. But yet somehow I just knew. The puzzle pieces of my story just never seem to fit to me and so I always felt "different" as a result. I grew up in a very happy home with loving parents. We were part of a very close knit community at church, and socially. I know that lots of people in our lives knew that I am adopted yet it has never been discussed. The first person I ever mentioned it to was my highschool boyfriend, who I ended up marrying. Otherwise, I have never discussed this with anyone else. Not with my husband's family, not with friends, and not even with the people with whom I grew up, who know but don't bring it up.
I feel like I haven't been able to truely open up to people as a result. And so those feelings of being different that exhisted in my childhoon, have followed me into adulthood as well. But how do you say to someone you know, "by the way, I'm adopted" I don't know why I can't. Simply talking about it usually brings me to tears. I can talk to my husband, who has been so supportive over all these years. And recently a therapist. But that's as far as it goes. Yet, I want to be free of this shame, to be honest. I just need to find the strength to do so. And I don't know how....
I had a hard time talking about being a birthmom.. What I did was go to twelve step program and tell everyone :)
At a twelve step meeting a person can share their feelings etc in a safe manner.. I felt safe when I told people about my birthson..
I know twelve step program is not for everyone but I believe the lesson I learned is that practice makes perfect..
I started out by going for therapy like what you are doing..
As I said, my parents NEVER actually told me that I was adopted. Not in the true sense of admission. It was almost like a subject that became somewhat open for discussion. For example, my mother had gall-bladder surgery and mentioned that I was her adopted daughter. I still remember my tears welling up since we never discussed it openly. I think that growing up feeling the lack of communication, the lies, has hindered my ability to communicate with others and to get to know them deeply. Most likely a fear that they will try to know me too. The lies continue since I never tell anyone... Someday I hope to have children of my own. Being 31, I'm faced with some issues of infertility. The docs feel that with assistance we'll be able to have kids of our own, but I've put the process on hold until I can come to terms with my own "self".
I feel to do that I need to probably talk to my adoptive mother (my father passed away 11 years ago) And then maybe I can start to tell some of the people around me....
What you write is almost parallel to my thoughts..
I a birthmom..
I dared not talk about my son.. I convinced myself that no one wanted to know.. I would look for an expression of boredom when I first started talking about him..
Thomas Moore's book.. Care of the Soul was a good read for me..
He talked about standing back and looking at ourselves.. See what we were doing.. and he had a person look at the role they have taken in life.. Then he talked about connecting to the soul self..
I think I did that by grieving my loss.. The loss of not having my son in my life.. Maybe that's the answer for you.. Grieving that you could not be comfortable about your adoption in your life.. That your mom had issues.
I have read posts from amoms on this forum amoms who are having a difficult time....Other places as well..
They (some of them) have a lot of issues to deal with.. Lots of fear..
My goodness can you imagine raising a child and then having that child say "I am out of here".. How does one deal with that?
We are all human.. We all mess up.. I think that is the bottom line for me.. I usually defend the rights of the birthmom who does not want contact.. I want to make sure everyone knows how tough it is to go into the secret keeping after giving a baby up under duress.. The amoms who can not talk about the adoption IMO are just like the birthmom who will not connect.. They IMO took a wrong path..
They got bad advice and went along with it..
Forgiveness.. I forgave my mom.. I forgave her and then let all that bad stuff go..
I swear this is a journey..
I am so sorry that your parents never discussed your adoption with you. It was thought at one time that when we were adopted that we became for all intents and purposes the child of the adopted parents. It was like our bparents never existed. It was also thought that if it was never talked about ,the adoption never really existed that we were our aparents children.
I was told that I was adopted very early on but other than that it was never discussed.
I can see where if you had never been told you might feel that there is some shame involved because of the secrecy. But being adopted is not shameful. I believe that no matter the reason we were given up, we had no choice in the matter. We are not bad people because of it and I also believe that our bmoms in a lot of cases had very little choice in the matter. (Especially bmom's who gave up children in the 40's and 50's and even later in some instances and in some countries.)
Even though I knew I was adopted from an early age, I too could never truly open up to people and have always felt "different' too. So some of what you are feeling may just be a result of being adopted not of the secrecy.
Maybe, if you feel comfortable enough, you could start by telling a trusted friend. They will not be able to understand totally. No one can understand what being adopted feels like except another adoptee. But they may be more understanding than you think.
Please PM me if you need someone to talk to.
i've always know i was adopted.but it was never talked about now that i am opening looking[may have found] myaMom didn't want to talk about it am 52 so it just wasn't talked about.people who know you won't care if your adopted or not.its not something that comes up when your talking to someone. don't worry about what other people think since your aparnets were good to you
I'm sorry about the way your past was a kind of secret. Interesting, though, that your mom mentioned it around her surgery so long ago. Was she aware of what she was saying or under the influence of anesthesia? My own mother used to give indirect messages all the time, and so did I when I was younger.
I agree you should try to start with your mom. Have your husband there maybe for support, if necessary, especially if they get along well. Tell her how much you love and appreciate her. Thank her for your loving, happy home. Then tell her that you heard that comment years ago and have always wondered why it didn't seem like you could discuss it, but that you would like to now. Tell her how difficult it is for you to talk about and that you cry when you think about it. Maybe you should write her a letter and "make a date" to talk. That would give her a little lead time. Perhaps she is a tearful person too. I know how that is. I cry all the time.
Do you know anything about your birth parents other than they were Polish?
I support you in this. Secrets are so stressful to keep. How much more so when it is your own past. God bless.
I understand that it's sometimes hard to come out with it. I've never worn my adoption like a banner but I tell people if the opportunity arises or I feel it's appropriate. Most people are either suprised ("what?! you're lying. You look just like your mother." -jerks.) OR uncomfortable, why I have no idea. But overall - supportive, positive reactions. When I was in elementary school people thought I was COOL for being adopted because I was like Little Orphan Annie. :) - BUT it's OK to feel the way you feel - YOU have to be comfortable with saying it - otherwise how can you be expeted to deal with others' mixed reactions?
It's OK. You're making great steps already, by talking about it to your husband, seeking therapy, and these forums will help you ALOT!!!
You said it, Jackie - It IS a journey...
I've finally opened up and started talking about my adoption. First I had an opportunity to talk about it with my mother's god-son who is close in age to me and like a brother. He was shocked to find out that my a-parents NEVER discussed my adoption with me. He was always aware of it as he was about 5 when I came into his life. It was a great start. Yesterday I finally told a friend/co-worker. We had a few minutes "down time" and we were talking about having babies. I'm trying to work through these issues before starting a family and so I decided to open up and explain it. I don't think the impact of having opened up has hit me yet. It maybe that it isn't as big a deal as I have made it out to be in my head all these years. In any case it does feel like slowly digging out of my deep abyss... in fact I felt like I needed to grab each and every last coworker yesterday to keep going and tell them all.... I work in a dental practice and we're a pretty tight group. There's about 10 of us... who knows what today will bring ... maybe I'll have to keep on my "roll" :) :)
I was told at a very earlier age that i was adopted but the day that i was given up, before all the court drama happened, i knew. my adoptive mom always told me that was just crying and crying before i came home. even now its a sensitive thing to talk about. i resent my birthmother alot because she was never there for me and all i want to know is why. :(