If I could turn the clock back 25 years…and meet myself as a child adoptee, what I would have told myself to help me overcome all of these fears and aftermath of being adopted.
First and foremost I would have told myself that the pain from adoption wasn’t love. To never let pain define love from everyone telling me that adoption is beautiful, that my mother made such a “loving” decision to give me away, never associate pain with love. That no matter what if it hurts it isn’t love. Love is beautiful, and as a child I didn’t understand that, in fact I didn’t understand it until I had children of my own. Love is pure, it is unconditional, it doesn’t give you away, it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t weaken you or leave you feeling empty. I never would have let the industry or adults in my life tell me adoption was beautiful. It hurt me. It still hurts me. There is nothing beautiful about losing your heritage, rights, family, identity and beyond. Adoption is pain.
I would then tell myself that its okay to hate adoption. Adoption is an industry. I can hate adoption, and love all 4 of my parents. Adoption didn’t give me love for my parents, they gave me love and would have with or without adoption being in our lives. That any hate for adoption does not by any means reflect on my relationship with any of my parents. Hate for adoption is a resistance of the industry.
I would tell myself that all of my parents love me. That my mother who surrendered me, loved me, but letting me go wasn’t a reflection of her love. I have every right to be hurt from her letting me go. I can hold onto that hurt for as long as I want, its mine to let go of when I feel fit to do so. Don’t however, let her abandonment reflect on your relationships with other people throughout my lifetime. That I know its going to be so hard to trust, after your own mother said goodbye, but living a lifetime without trust, is so much harder than living a lifetime with it. People are going to let me down for the rest of my life, but not nearly as much as I’m scared of. Despite the state of chaos the human race is in, there are so many beautiful people in the world, who are worthy of trust, and who won’t let go. If you continue to hate the world, and live without trust, you’ll create a barrier between yourself and society that eventually will exclude you all together. Once your feet are on the other side of that barrier in “no trust land” it’s SO HARD to come back. You constantly walk in a state of paranoia of who’s lying, who’s deceiving you next, how can you manipulate the situation to get what you need while protecting your heart in the process….its tiring, draining, exhausting. I’m 32… and just learning this.
I’d tell myself about the world, money, politics, laws, industries and how adoption became one. I’d tell myself about selling children, stealing them from their mothers and fathers, baby scoop era, evil adoption brokers, baby rings, foster care corruption, infertility and open up the doors to the bigger picture of what my mother and infant self got caught up in. Then tho…I’d have to tell myself that my mother wasn’t one of them. She chose it. She chose my parents, with promises that were not kept, and her choice wasn’t exactly informed, never the less…I wasn’t stolen like I wanted to believe for so many years. My father didn’t fight for me, like i talked myself into believing, in fact he didn’t even admit I was his until I found him at 21. That I was the accident from a summer fling and my mother truly did want more for me then at the time she felt she could offer. Not a day would ever go by however that she didn’t miss me, want me and pray for me.
I would tell myself that one day I would have 3 beautiful daughters. I wouldn’t abandon them, like I was scared I would. I wouldn’t ever let them down the way I was let down. It will be hard, it will be the greatest challenge of my life, but I will raise them, teach them values, trust, love and compassion, and I will break the cycle of abandonment and rejection. I’d prepare myself for pregnancy and the pure terror I lived in thinking some crazed PAP or agency worker was going to kill me and take my unborn child from my abdomen. I’d assure myself that it won’t happen and hopefully prevent the months of nightmares that woke me in sweat and screams from fear of losing my children by abduction.
I’d tell myself to remember however, that when I do have children…sometimes I need to set them down. That I will exhaust myself trying to hold them and keep them from crying at all times. That its okay to go outside with them, and into public areas. It’s okay to let strangers look upon them, and appreciate them, and that holding them, keeping them on your body at all times of the day will keep them from learning to crawl, explore, socialize and eventually become independent on their own. Well…lolll I take that back…my oldest got so tired of me carrying her everywhere she forced her own Independence on me, of which I translated into rejection at the time and took personal, but it wasn’t personal, it was her growing. It was her forming her own Independence something we all want our children to do and should appreciate and value when they do it. Its healthy.
I’d then tell myself about relationships and how much I deserve. I am not the mistake I lived a lifetime feeling like. I do not have to apologize for everything that happens and isn’t my fault. I cannot apologize for my existence. It is nothing that needs an apology for. I was meant to be here, and have a right to be here, I have a right to be equal and treated with respect, compassion and love. Being a mistake…and a victim of the adoption industry doesn’t mean I need to keep men in my life who treat me with the same disrespect. I do not have a curse on me that makes me unworthy of real love. But in order to be loved…I HAVE TO LOVE MYSELF. Loving myself would be the greatest gift I could ever give to me as well as my family and especially my children. That when I can look into the mirror and honestly be happy with who and what I see in the reflection … then I’d have done okay.
If I could have met myself way back when, and told myself all of this…I think I would have spared myself a lifetime of pain. I think, i might have been a little stronger, had more stable relationships, lived in less fear, and walked with more strength as I ‘grew up.’ I think it could have saved a lot of heart ache, who knows…maybe this will help another adoptee one day.
Oh and…as my blog re-grows… I”ll most likely be adding more things here so this is subject to change whenever I want it to 😛
It would be incredible if we could talk to our young self. I wonder if I could believe what I’d say? Probably not. Have to live it.
I got the platitudes of be careful (regarding boys)…no body really ever told me anything and the people I asked (friends ) lied. So fast forward to today 44 years later and I’m being told yes but would you have listened? And I ‘m left with the exasperation of You could have offered the information I so clearly did not have… You, (being parents, Dr. Therapists, ) could have tried. By not sharing information and knowledge I was guaranteed to be confused
Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog from the keep your baby website. Love all the things you have to say! I am a young single mom to 2 wonderful joyous children, and reading your stuff makes me so glad I never bought into the “your life is over!” And the “give them a better life” crap! I’ve always ben interested in the sociological aspects of adoption since I became a mom at 14, 8years ago. I now have a 16 mo whose father is adopted. His parents, who are white and jewish, already had 2 natural children before they adopted his older (unnatural) brother and himself, who are black. I keep wondering why they adopted these children and how adoption may have played a role in the choices my daughter’s father has made in his life. I have been finding myself desperate to know more about his natural mother, so that my daughter can share her ancestry, and also because of the role young motherhood has played in my life. Do you have any suggestions? I want to do a search for her myself, but obviously that wouldn’t be very sensitive to my daughters father, or evenhis mother.
Iwanted to read your previous posts, but I se e you’ve cleaned them out . I look forward to reading more from you!
*i now have a 16 month old, beside my 8 year old son 🙂
Hey Lin, Thank you for your comment. What a powerful testimony you have about keeping your own baby. Amazing work, I cannot imagine how hard it was to do at 14…I really hope you’re proud of yourself and I hope your life together has been good. ❤
About your new babies father and adoption… that's a lot! Depending on the state your child's father was adopted in there are different laws surrounding a search for him. First and foremost tho I do believe a search on his behalf should not be initiated if he doesn't want it to be. I think if he is against it, that a talk about the importance of your new child's medical information and ancestry might help lean him in finding more information out about himself.
You can start with non identifying information, if you leave me your state, I can direct you to the correct place to write for it. I don't agree with non identifying information, I think its a mockery to my birth record rights… but it is available to him most likely, and would be a good place to start any search or look into a little self discovery.
My suggestion would be to talk to him about how you feel, and see how he feels and take it from there. Seaching can be uprooting to someones emotional stability. I was a mess when I found my family…. like…mess is an understatement, i was in a state of emotional vomit at every corner I turned.
For most people…searches take time. Give it to him ❤
I did recently delete my old posts, 7 years worth…it was cleansing for me. Like shedding layers and saying goodbye to a part of me I don't want anymore. I don't want to give any more energy into that which binds us…I only want to speak of freedom. Its this change I'm going through loll. So I am trying something new, to only speak on progression for adoptees, and change for us. Focusing only on things which move us forward ❤
Congrats on your two beautiful children. I have 3 🙂 Everyday is a miracle with them. Well done !
Thank you so much!
Also sorry I forgot to tell you I live in Illinois.
It has to be the state he was adopted in…but here is Illinois’s just incase that is the one 🙂 this page tells you everything he has access to as an Illinois Adoptee. Let me know if you need anymore help!
“Emotional Vomit”…that is a great description of the agony …black humor seems to be a consequence of adoption…;-)
Unbelievable, after the last part of your message, starting with: “I’d then tell myself about relationships and how much I deserve” I recognized myself in every word.
Although I’m not an adoptee, but I’m considering adoption and summon information.
I’m a victim of an unloving parents. I felt my whole life like a stranger in my own family and like a mistake. I still do feel like a mistake in my disfunctional marriage and towards my parents, which still treat me like a mistake. Especially my father, who treats me arrogantly, like I’m “nothing”, like I don’t exist, cause he always wanted a boy. And when I remind him that I exist, it’s very disturbing for him. My mother is vain and treats me like her retirement fund and like I owe her, although never spent a penny on me or a day with me together and never helped me when I was in need. I grew into a perfectionist with highest demands on myself in every aspect of my life, I spent decades building a better person which is worth loving… but it’s still not enough to notice that I exist, neither for my husband nor my father. I had a perfect facade but inside I was crying out loud. I had life full of depressions, multiple burnouts, constant state of anxiety, doom & gloom, fear of abandonment and other disorders. After I found my husband is a repetitive lier and cheater, my life & health went down rapidly. My heart and soul are so wounded and bleeding…
Then I realized that I must learn to love and accept myself unconditionally and in every aspect of my life. I must stop waiting for my parents or my husband to start to love me, they don’t have love, they are not able to love and that has nothing to do with me. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) helped me a lot. The best relationship one can have is with your own self.
I forgot to say that I also have a huge fear, that my babies would be taken away from me. I’m even afraid to have children. I have no idea where this fear result from. I only remember that my parents and my grandma threatened to give me away to an orphanage when I misbehaved.
Really sorry to hear, that must have been horrible o.o what an awful threat.
My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and thought I might check things out.
I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking into your web page again.
This is absolutely beautiful and insightful. Thank you. As a fellow adult adoptee, I wish I could have told myself the exact same things.
Thank you Peach, nice to see your name around still ❤
This was an amazing post. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your raw honesty.
Incredible post, I keep reading it over and over – took me 55 years to figure what messed me up so much, didn’t have a clue about it until I started searching the effects on adopted children – wish I could go tell that little boy pretty much what you posted,
right? I just sat down one night and was feeling so perplexed and outright angry at the adoption community for being so ignorant on the effects of the industry, separation, and adoption on us, and just wanted to write it all out for myself. This post… kinda healed me a little,…and the validation I find from adoptee readers makes me feel even better. It can’t by any means fix the damage done to us by it all…but maybe we can find some unity in validation and find a way to find some peace in the midst of all this chaos of the industry. It scares me that so many adopters are popping up on my feed…i fear they think that someone has the “solution” for them to tell their child adoptees so that they can “fix” everything and the adoptee will live a whole healthy life. Which … most of the adoptees reading here know will never happen. But the post made me feel better nevertheless. I’m glad you found a connection to it as well. 🙂
You touched on a very important topic – healing. I find that reading other people’s views and stories has provided me knowledge and understanding of the issues that many adoptees have in common. I consider this a pre-requisite before any healing can/might manifest.
I met my mother a few months ago, my thinking was “This is it, I am going to get healed” TOTALLY WRONG – In retrospect, I find humor in that thought.
On a positive note, we have quickly developed a wonderful relationship.
Congrats on the reunion ❤ I remember feeling the same way, that the reunion would be the bandaid I had been looking for… and while it might have triggered the lifting of many fogs for me, and allowed the healing to progress, it certainly wasn't the "end" loll. More like the beginning to an emotional rollercoaster. Release after release after release was how it went for me bleh. I find humor in the thought of thinking reunion would heal me as well. Cheers!
one more thing…i’m actually trying to keep the energy for this blog right now geared towards moving forward. I don’t want to get caught up on the negativity as I have done here in the past, thus the reason why I deleted all of my past posts. I just want to focus on adoptees right now…and how we can better ourselves on a whole. ❤
I may be able to help keep the energy going, I have 2 adopted sisters and I will point them here, they don’t think they have issues but they most certainly do. I have a couple of adopted friends as well, will see if they are open to discussion.
I will do a Blog soon on my experiences, actually have written a few drafts but I keep trashing them. It’s pretty odd cause I have 4 full blooded siblings.
Negativity is extremely hard to avoid on this subject, I think you can have positive negative content.
Not use to “Cheers” at the end, thats very British and my wife is British.
We adoptees are too good at keeping things happy lol. it shouldn’t be hard. All kidding aside… there are enough blogs and sites devoted to the pain… I want one that takes from the pain…finds the lesson and works towards healing. One that isn’t for anyone but us.:) I know I can be one stubborn angrate, but I want to find things that work for me, coping mechanisms of sorts lol. Healing. I want to heal. Honestly adoptees who “have no issues” usually hate my blog…. don’t point them here too soon lol.
Still reading over and over, very very very powerful post
thank you ❤
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