I’m starting this blog at a point in my life where I have many conflicting emotions about the institution of adoption and my life as an adoptee.
I’m 30 years old and yet I feel like a child, trapped by my own fear of speaking out about my feelings. The adoption industry and society in general are so pro-adoption at all costs (literally) that anything said to the contrary puts people immediately on the defensive. I have to ask myself, unless these people are personally affected by adoption, why are they so quick to put down anyone who speaks in any way negatively about it?
I suppose I can answer my own question. Until fairly recently, if anybody had asked me whether being adopted could have played any part in my low self worth, feelings of being ‘ungrateful’, self esteem issues, depression, alcohol abuse or self-destructive tendencies, I would have immediately said no and shut down all further attempts at the conversation. I had managed to convince myself so successfully that being adopted had had no impact on me or my life that I wouldn’t even entertain the idea that it could have. I believe this was a defense mechanism and also a by-product of the mainstream view of adoption as only being a positive thing.
In the past year or so I’ve become more and more aware of my true feelings regarding being an adoptee. I’ve read books (Journey of the Adopted Self by Betty Jean Lifton, The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier, Blackbird, Still Waters and Found by Jennifer Lauck), started reading adoptee blogs and joined a support forum. I’ve also become slightly more vocal (only in places where it feels safe to do so). Even so, the following responses seem to be commonplace:
“Not everybody feels the same way about being adopted.”
“Why are you so angry?”
“What would you change about the way things are done?”
“Why don’t you do something about it?”
What I want to know is, why do I have to be taking action against something just to be able to speak negatively or truthfully about it? Why do my feelings and opinions not matter in their own right?
I’m writing this in the hope that one day someone who is just as afraid as I am will see it and speak up too.