20 Things

Continuing my flow, you know, we’re still on #1

1. There is no I in adoption.

Still not convinced? What about when they actually got you home?  It was surely about you then, wasn’t it?  No, not really.

Sure there are about 50 photo albums full of pictures of you before you were two-years-old and your a-parents have about a million stories from that time, but this is really where a lot of the problems start.  During this time when you were dependent, compliant for the most part, and could not talk, your a-parents started to assign you a lot of qualities that you just don’t posses.  If you a-dad was an accountant, they became convinced that you would be good with numbers, if your a-mom was an artist, they assumed you would be able to draw. Your a-parents weren’t evil in trying to assign you those traits, it is natural to wish that what are seen as good things are shared, but none of this was based in any kind of reality for you.  Your inherit traits came from your natural family, they may or may not have matched with theirs.  But in being able to fulfill your role as a baby by eating, sleeping, crying, and goo-gooing they assumed that you would continue to fulfill their ambitions.

So when is adoption about the adoptee?  Certainly not during childhood.  The I in adoption gets lost in striving to make a-parents proud and the insistence that the adoptee be grateful.  Being grateful for what? Essentially being saved from the self that they would be without the intervention of the agencies, the adoptive parents and society as a whole.

The I is definitely missing in adulthood.   Adoption is supposed to be a thing that we are over, a non-event, a curious fact at best.  When you say I am adopted, it is expected to be followed by a tribute to those that saved you from who you could have been.  A thank you for the absence of the I.  The thing that was never really about you, that fulfilled everybody else’s needs is to have made you never realize that the I was ever there at all.

I’m working on it folks….


14 thoughts on “20 Things

  1. When my DH and I first thought about what our children would be like, we realized that WE were so much alike our kids would be bound to be just like us….which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

    It’s so true that our DD is VERY different from us. We could never have produced this child. I’m glad that we accept it so readily. At the age of 2 she’s already her own little woman, ready to take on the world!

  2. margaret,

    Could i interest you in being locked in a room with my a-mom for a day or two while you explain that concept to her?

    God knows I’m not getting through.

  3. Oh, if I thought it would work I would do it! I think sometimes people are just very afraid to see their own faults.

    DH and I were joking once that if we produced a child together, the kid would surely: get cancer, barely speak he/she would be so shy, need a psychiatrist, eat too much, have bad eyesight, and produce waaay too much gas!

    If your amom and adad can laugh at their faults for a second, they’ll feel very happy you didn’t inherit them.

  4. People’s faces really do light up when it’s revealed that I am adopted. You’re so right – they really are expecting the gratitude to come pouring out. The looks on their faces when I start to talk about adoption as it relates to loss tells me in no uncertain terms that they have never even considered adoption to be anything less than a win-win. It’s like telling a 5 year old that there is no Santa Claus.

    I’ve enjoyed these past couple of posts, Addie. Can’t wait to read more.

  5. Wow. You’re right. Adoption isn’t about the adoptee at all.

    I’ve found that so many people expect adoptees to say something like “I WAS adopted”. As if it’s something that happened a long time ago, and we need to just get over it already. As if we should just shut up and be grateful that our bmom didn’t abort or abandon us.

  6. “Angry, mean, adoptee”? Nobody can say that you lack self-knowledge.

    I am an adoptee. I also have 2 kids — I’m a b-dad, and 2 years later an a-dad. I’d like to think that I’m pretty well equipped to avoid the mistakes that your a-parents made.

    It’s hard to miss that my kids are very different from each other, and from us. My a-daughter isn’t going to be like me. She has her own strengths that I never would have imagined or expected. It *is* about her now. She’s still a toddler, but she’s showing us who she is.

    Frankly, my a-parents didn’t make many of the mistakes that yours did. They made different ones, because that’s what parents do.

  7. hahahahahahahahahhaaaa

    S. hearts adoption, he has loads of it and is an expert.


    And he knows all about your aparents, what a wise guy, I mean I have known you for awhile, we have even talked on the telephone, and I don’t EVEN know very much about your aparents.

    But that S. boy, he told you what for. he is a GOOD adoptive parent.

    My hat is off to you S. Whatta GUY!

  8. Oh and Puuuuhhhhlllleeeze stop Addie, you are absolutely making Petunia FOAM over, she is ranting and raging , she is having YET another one of her fits. Boy that lady is scary, I hope if she really does have a child, she seeks some help so as not to expose it to her rages.

    Angry adoptive parents are a scary bunch now that is fo’ shizzle.

  9. There’s plenty of “I” in Petunia and plenty of LOON. She is obsessing over you guys again, that baby she is supposedly being the only mother for mustn’t be taking up that much of her time. Aren’t we lucky?

  10. Addie, you’re on a roll, keep it up!!! YAYYYYYY!

    Paula, my response when I’m not feeling talkative is just a blank stare, but I know, oh yes I know what you mean about the Santa Claus thing.

    S. Wow. Appreciate your insight. Glad to hear your adoptee is showing you two who she is. Does she know who you guys are yet?

  11. Wanna know what my a-mom and a-dad said to ME? This is a good one…

    “You were the perfect child until you started to talk!”

    OMG, who the FUCK says that to their child? Especially as an adult!?!

    I ❤ you Addie, you’re awesome!

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