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Bet that headline grabbed ya, didn't it? Even if you're here out of morbid curiosity, thanks for stopping by. Because I'm holding out hope that I can find someone in a similar situation . . . or even someone who can remotely understand or just plain empathize. Everything else I've tried has been in vain. Try googling "I'm resentful of my adopted siblings" and you'll get a big fat zero in the way of help. Dare to mention you harbor any ill will about them to anyone and it's akin to confessing you love to drown kittens in your spare time. Particularly if, from all outward appearances, they're well adjusted, happy, successful, and the poster children for adoption done right.
I wasn't resentful from the get-go, but have gotten that way over the years as I've been repeatedly disappointed. It's all compounded by the fact I never say anything negative to anyone about it for fear of being judged. Drowning kittens, remember? To this day, any misgivings I have about my life being turned upside down by complete strangers have only been shared with my husband, two grown children, and a few counselors along the way - unless those google searches count. It's bugging me enough lately, however, that here I am - looking for empathy, someone to tell me it's okay to feel this way or, best case scenario, a kindred spirit.
Before I really get going, a few caveats: a) I realize how horribly selfish all this is going to sound, that's part of the struggle so please don't pile on by pointing that out. If you've a rosy adoption story, I'm happy for you. b) I love my parents and although I don't feel the same about my siblings, I also don't wish that my parents had done anything differently. I wouldn't want anyone to grow up the way they would have had to if they'd not been adopted.
Little background: I was an only child until my parents adopted my youngest sister. I was 10, she was an infant. A year and a half later, my parents adopted again. This time another girl and two boys, ages 3, 5, and 7. They are biological siblings and, I think, this plays a big role in the dynamics that exist between us. Also - I'm white, like my parents, and they're all Asian - another "obstacle" I could never overcome.
My struggle: I'm resentful of them because, despite years of trying, I feel like I've always been left out and have never really been important to any of them. It's affecting my every day life because I just can't seem to let it go.
If I had to put a finer point on what I wrestle with, and what's contributed most to the growing resentment, it would be this: I have, since the very beginning, failed to feel accepted as a sibling. Have never felt like I was part of them and was always jealous of their connection. I exist in this strange "other" category. Like they view my parents and I as a unit. We do this superficial act-like-we're-siblings thing but really it is a siblings-in-name-only thing or a she-came-with-the-house thing. I absolutely think it is exacerbated by what I mentioned earlier - that because the three kids in the middle are biological and undoubtedly bonded by the trauma that led up to them being placed in an orphanage - they didn't "need" me like I "needed" or "wanted" them. So, for me, it's literally been 47 years of struggling to feel accepted. And this isn't just something in my head - I've been left out of weddings, not included on vacations they take together, never been invited to either of my brothers' houses, and have a hundred other examples of exclusion I could list. Two years ago this July an incident happened that, to me, was the last straw and I finally gave up. I was literally tired of trying. I haven't heard from two of them since, and I've heard from the other two once. Soon as I quit making an effort, I ceased to exist.
A few things that haven't helped the situation:
1) the world's attitude about adoption. And maybe this is where a post like this might be helpful to someone. As a child, when you're presented with the prospect of your parents adopting, it's framed as the most wonderful, selfless, giving act you could ever hope to participate in. EVERYONE gushes about how great your family is, how special your parents are, what an amazing thing you're doing for others . . . for cripes sake, we made the front page of the local newspaper when we adopted . . . so what kid is going to feel like they can voice ANYTHING negative or utter any misgivings? In reality, my whole world was turned upside down and my mother, who'd spent every waking minute prior to this making me the center of her universe, was instantly consumed by a houseful of little people she couldn't even speak to. I get it. I respect that. But to say I took a back burner overnight is an understatement. The remainder of my adolescent life was polar opposite of what it had been. And while I get that nobody's life is ever the same after the addition of siblings, adopted or not, the "instant family" feeling I thought I'd get to make up for it never manifested.
2) my mother's relentless drive to make sure no one could ever say we're not loved equally. Mostly because she usually accomplishes this by making sure never to point out anything special about me. If she did, that would (by default), mean she didn't love them as much as me and, God forbid, what would people think? What kind of adoptive mother would she be if she appeared to favor her own flesh and blood, if only for a second? This has also manifested itself in a weird reluctance she has to acknowledge anything dealing with genetics. Once, when my great-grandmother was still alive and we were all together, I asked someone to take a picture of our hands lined up next to each other (I was fascinated that they looked identical). My mother absolutely FORBID anything of the sort because it might make my siblings feel bad. Okay to deny me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity though because it meant she wasn't showing favoritism.
3) there's absolutely NO chance of addressing this with the people that matter. I got brave enough (or was full of enough wine) to broach the subject ONCE with three of them several years ago and, at the time, felt some hope that things would be different going forward, but they weren't. Additionally, I would NEVER reveal my feelings to my parents. They're in their 80's. They did a good thing. They need to go to their graves feeling like they did a good thing. Hurting them (which knowledge of this would) is not an option.
Where does that leave me? Thankfully I get some support from my husband and girls but generally I feel like they're tired of hearing about it and think I should move on. So that leads me here - looking for support from strangers. And creating a loooooong, albeit cathartic, post to ask the question - is there anyone out there like me? any only children whose parents adopted and you felt like you were never part of the club? always outside looking in? your identity never really separated from your parents?
Bueller? Bueller? Sigh.
Last update on February 9, 4:52 am by Kelly Newell.
My 4 boys are adopted: they are 2 sets of bio brothers. But mine were fostered first so that may have made a difference. I thing I notice is the age difference. My bio sister and I are ten years apart and weren't close as kids. We're nominally close now. Another factor is their nationality and the fact that there's a bio group. That's sort of a plus for your parents. It probably would have helped if one was white but you never know how things will turn out. I know bio siblings who don't speak so having a bio sib isn't a guarantee of anything. Adoption is based on loss The adoptees lost their culture and extended families. People don't talk about that. Maybe if you try to empathize with them, you'll feel better.
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Advising me to empathize is really proving my point regarding the expectations that surround bio kids. And I know how horribly defensive this response is going to sound. I appreciate your input and it’s got some good insight. But suggesting l empathize? I’ve been empathizing my ENTIRE life. I welcomed them into my home, called them family, shared everything l had including my parents, have traveled to their home country three times, visited the original orphanage where they were abandoned, met their birth family when they were located and embraced them as my own, rescued one sister from a possible suicide attempt and have repeatedly let an alcoholic brother take advantage of me and verbally abuse me because l could empathize with both of their pain. So empathy? I think I’ve got that part down. In reality, the fact that the empathy has not been returned in part or in kind is exactly the point of my post.
Oh Kelly :cry: my heart goes out to you. I'm probably not the help that you are seeking, but I wanted to reply to this. I can't imagine you are the only person this has happened to and I truly hope you connect with others that have had the same experience. I am thankful you shared your story and I think it's a very real concern that parents like yours should be aware of.
I did relate slightly. I too am an only child. My situation didn't involve any adoptions, but I acquired 2 step sisters along the way and they are biological sisters. I'm also 10 years older and always tried forming some kind of sisterly bond with them, but it never panned out that way. And like you, I finally stopped trying. I know it's not the same thing, but I do know that feeling of not fitting in.
I think you did the right thing by trying to reach out to people with a similar situation. Considering you don't feel you can get anywhere with your family, I think it's your best bet towards a solution ... at least that way you can swap stories, get other perspectives, and be a support system for each other. That would help take away the burden you may feel it puts on your husband and kids. Now we just need to find you those people!
I may have read something wrong, but what about the first adopted child? Asian too? Does that one fit in with the 3 that came later?