***This post is dedicated to Manuela who it would seem has had the distinct pleasure of coming into contact with the same breed of fool as I have these past few weeks.***
(To those who would; The thoughts below are my thoughts and mine only so please don’t go giving flack to Manuela simply because I recognized her here.)
Oh yes, I am having a major meltdown today. I think it’s time I do a little in-house cleaning due to the high number of foolish and unthoughtful people I have come into contact with over the past week. I have decided I am going to rant about some things that really piss me off about adoption.
Oh my, we lost some there didn’t we?
Part One ~ Gratitude
When I first began searching for the part of myself that had been lost I was completely naive as to the complexities of what I was about to face. In retrospect I can say with great certainty that the part I was missing wasn’t lost as much as it was stolen. Normally when someone steals from you the reaction is one of anger, even rage. Gratitude usually doesn’t come to mind but that is exactly what we are expected to have for the thieves who stole one of the most precious and valuable posessions we own-our identity. I am speaking of society as a whole, not a particular group here.
I have been doing this whole search and reunion thing for a long time, years in fact. Boy was I a novice. That’s not to say I don’t have tons of things to learn still but back then I was seriously blind to the complexities of the journey I was about to embark on. It’s easy to spot a novice. They are the ones who make comments like “I just want to tell her thank you for giving me life” or “I just want to get some medical history, perhaps see some pictures of somebody who looks like me.”, rarely do you hear a novice say something like “I demand to get back the part of myself which has been stolen from me!” nor do you hear them say “I am prepared for whatever I may find.”. The latter makes sense for it is human nature to wish for the absolute best outcome. You don’t sit and pray that you will be denied contact, you see the flowers in the airport scenario, that’s just human nature. You dare to dream even if it is only on a sub-concious level.
In all my years doing THIS I have yet to run across anyone who, when getting closer to their goal of finding, didn’t begin to shift even slightly to wishing for just a bit more. Daring to dream that an actual face to face could take place, starting to humor the idea of a relationship of some sort. That’s not to say they aren’t out there but I have NEVER run across one in all these years.
Why, do you suppose that is? Probably not wanting to seem ungrateful is the biggest catalyst. Always the good adoptee, forever GRATEFUL for a chance at life. I remember during my first (one of only two) face to face meetings with my birth mother she told me that she could have aborted me, that her friends had told her that’s what she should do but she didn’t. I think I said something at the time like “well I am GRATEFUL to you.” Of COURSE I am grateful, what else pre tell would I be you silly woman?
I have been through hell and back because I searched. That’s not to say I wouldn’t do it all over again and you will hear this time and time again by other’s who have had similar experiences to my own. Why? Because searching for the lost part of your identity isn’t a WANT its a NEED. For those of you who intend to comment that you have no desire to search, that it is not a need for you I say CONGRATULATIONS that you are able to completely detatch your left arm from your body and not miss it. Blog about it and come send me the link. Do I believe there can be totally well adjusted adoptees? OF COURSE I do. I am not one of them but that certainly doesn’t mean they don’t exist. But it drives me crazy when certain well-adjusted adoptees try to sell the perspective that if you do not feel just like them you must be really messed up. HEY LOSER, nobody wants to be told they are messed up even if it happens to be true! Do you really think we would be here if we weren’t acknowledging the fact that we need some work?!? And for the record (this goes for adoptees, aparents and yes, birth parents too) chosing to acknowledge our loss DOES NOT EQUAL A COMPLETE LACK OF GRATEFULNESS for that which we have been given! Don’t try to sugar coat it, it is a loss no matter how you slice it and this doesn’t change even for people who were far better off having been adopted. A loss is a loss.
Still grateful by the way, just being real.
All too often I see adoptees, myself included, having to explain their sense of gratitude. Gratitude to birth mothers for their unselfish act, gratitude to their adoptive parents for giving them a family, gratitude to society, gratitude to him, to her, to them….. When Timmy fell down the well and was saved by Lassie I bet he had a new found appreciation for life, when joe schmo decided not to go to the light I bet he too became far more grateful for life. LOTS of people have been through ordeals that have made them recognize the gift that life is. But it seems to me that adoptees are the only group of people who are forced by society to constantly PROCLAIM that which should be evident to all but the biggest of idiots.
We can’t say “I am feeling a sense of loss” without constantly backing it up with “but I am certainly grateful for what I do have!” No kidding. Thanks for bringing it to my attention that my loss means nothing, that in fact it should be totally erased by gratitude. My job in life is to take the pressure off of you, to ease your conscience. Please, by all means use my emotions to make yourself feel better and ease any guilt you may be feeling. Just call me the grateful doormat. WELCOME! Wipe yourself clean all over me! NO, of course I don’t mind! I am here to serve. Oh, and don’t worry I would never make you feel bad by telling you that although I am pleased that I have brought you joy, eased your discomfort, made your regrets easier to swallow, filled a void, complied, that I can’t help but wish sometimes that I had been made into a blanket instead. No, of course I won’t mention my sense of loss for that would make you uncomfortable and I don’t want to seem ungrateful!
Of course I am not comparing being adopted to being a doormat. What I am saying is that with adoption comes loss. I dare anyone to tell me it doesn’t, but I would like to take a moment to just sit with my loss, without having anyone try to mask it or cover it up or change it. Is that alright with you? How many times do we need to say the words I AM GRATEFUL before we are allowed to acknowledge other aspects of being adopted? Ten billion you say? Surely I have met my quota by now!
And still I can’t help but think there will be those reading this that are right about now screaming at me to acknowledge the gift I was given, where oh where is my gratitude? It’s there doofus, haven’t you been paying attention?
Hey you were warned. I have a lot cleaning to do. If it makes you feel better you may go ahead and label me a “bitter and angry adoptee” because today that is exactly what I am. But keep in mind that just because I am angry right now does not mean you may label me as such for eternity, nor does it define me and for the love of GOD don’t you DARE call me ungrateful!