Tag Archives: Family Tree

Leave My Family Tree Alone

You can find value in Theresa’s posts on ANY given day, she gives a real world, no nonsense POV that smacks you but good. I will admit that that stories she Diggs are usually highly triggering but I read them because it really does no good at all to bury ones head in the sand.

A while back Theresa did a Digg (or is that dugg) on something printed in the Humboldt Beacon entitled Grafting on to the Family Tree. It was written by Paul Rodrigues in response to a straight forward plea for open records written by Mara Rigge entitled Adoptees Discriminated Against. I can’t seem to get Rodgrigues’ response out of my mind. As a matter of fact the more I thought about it the more angry I became.

Rodrigues comments; “Both of them had questions about their roots as it pertained to their adoptive family, and I explained to them that they were grafted onto the family tree, and like a branch that is grafted onto a living tree, it is just as much a part of the tree as one that had grown naturally.

On the surface it’s easy to see why Rodrigues’ response would be triggering but I had to dig (no pun) deeper than the surface to figure out why it bothered me SO much. Then it came to me. This superimposed work of fiction by Mr. Rodrigues epitomizes EVERYTHING that ends up imparting irreparable damage on adoptees . To suggest that an adoptee is simply grafted onto the adoptive family tree is both completely dismissive and entirely disrespectful not only to his children but to each and every adoptee out there.

I wish it worked this way Mr. Rodrigues, I really do. But the fact of the matter is you simply cannot create fact out of fiction. The only way you can effectively assist in working through the unique issues your children WILL face by being adopted is by acknowledging truth and fully supporting them in that very personal journey of self discovery. You do them NO favors by forcing them into a designer pair of rose colored glasses in place of real, honest, roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty….work.

I know as parents we want to protect our children from ever feeling sadness or pain. Unfortunately adoption NATURALLY comes with some measure of both. It’s OK, really. Far better to acknowledge it than force your children to pretend everything about being adopted is perfect. Speaking from experience I can tell you that pretending things are as they are not puts FAR more pressure on your kids than allowing them to acknowledge reality and work through the resulting emotions.

I know PLENTY of adoptive parents who work tirelessly to understand the many nuances of raising an adopted child (just take a look at but a few over to the right listed in my AP links). They try, they fail and then they TRY AGAIN. Just as so many of us adoptees do as we work our way through the labyrinth of the unknown that IS our historical identity. And what our place is in it. You ask too much of us when you suggest we live in a land of make-believe where ones true biological history can be grafted elsewhere. Closet dwelling biological families would do well to grasp this too.

I remember my visit to Ellis Island which I blogged about way back in o6′. This is a place where the blood of our ancestors seeps from the walls constructed in their honor. I ask you Mr. Rodrigues; what honor is there in a lie? The truth may not be a pretty or comfortable place to visit but that is exactly where you will find your children’s dignity.

So as for this whole grafting idea? You are definitely barking up the wrong tree.

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Filed under Adoptee Family, Adoption Schmoption, Adoptive Family, Natural Family