In some recent posts, I’ve explored some of the lamer attempts of adoptive parents, and others involved in the adoption community, to identify with adoptees. These have ranged from evoking the Gods to symbolically killing off their own parents. Not one of them made a bit of sense.
The astute Coco commented that this was an attempt to roll us all into The One Big Happy. This is true. But why do they feel the need to do this? What is it within them that wants to make us like them, or them like us, to identify with us? And why aren’t they willing to give up anything to get this?
Everybody else sacrifices. Our natural families sacrificed their own flesh and blood. And so much more, they many times sacrificed peace of mind, confidence, and security. Even if they went into his arrangement knowing full well what they might be giving up, I doubt any of them guessed the extent that this would continue to effect them.
We, the adoptees, sacrificed. We were taken from the life that we were destined for and given something else. No matter how well, or how poorly, things went for us, we will never know what could have been. Who we would be. At the very least, adoptees have more “What if?” questions than anyone raised in a natural family could imagine.
I can’t go into everything we gave up, it’s all really bee covered . But I do think we can agree that adoptees give up a lot, and no one even asks us if it’s OK before they take it away.
Even if this need by adoptive parents to find wht that they have given up, something that makes them the same as the adoptees, comes from acknowledgment of our losses, it’s still lame and unnecessary and comes off as patronizing.
Just face it, being adopted is not something you can identify with unless you have been through it. Because you may understand some of it does not ean you understand all of it. You are not like us. You never can be. This doesn’t mean that you cannot love us, raise us well, or come to know us deeply. But please do not claim to understand. It lessens you.
Adoption isn’t like anything else. It is a unique experience. Saying that it is like something, especially something that isn’t absolute, or even real, does not make sense to us. It might be fine for you to discuss with your monthly adoptive mommies playgroup, but don’t expect us to swallow it whole. Adoption is a life long situation, we’ve had much more time and motivation to think about it.
Like the man says, “They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”