20 Things #4

3. Your existence is justified.

Some would have you believe that your existence is only justified on this Earth as an adoptee. If you hadn’t been adopted you would be nothing but a Dickensian waif thrown into a orphanage and ultimately destined for a life on the street begging, selling oranges from a cart, or engaged in the rough trades.

Don’t believe it.

They tell you, and in truth themselves, these things in order to justify their own actions as adoptors, perpetuate stereotypes, and/ or make brownie points with Jesus. The fact of the matter is, if they hadn’t adopted you, someone else would have. There are, and have been waiting lists for children, since time immemorial. Why do you think perspective adoptive parents bitch so much about the wait? It’s because you were a commodity in demand.

The bleak images that many within the adoption industry seek to promote at every opportunity are for the most part a complete fabrication. The worlds of Oliver Twist, Jane Eyre, and Little Orphan Annie, just don’t exist. There are no work houses, no foreboding buildings filled with rascals that break into “It’s A Hard Knock Life” while scrubbing the floor, and no being put into service. The fact is, if you were adoptable, somebody would have adopted you. Hell, citing the examples above everything would have at least been interesting even if you hadn’t been adopted.

Your existence is also not justified by the need that you fill in your adoptive parents lives. You are not here only to fulfill their expectations. You ave the absolute right to the life you chose to live. As we have already established, your adoptive parents were lucky to get you, were granted the opportunity to raise a child, and took the child that was available. They should expect nothing more than that. They have plenty of cute pictures to show off, just leave it at that.

You did not escape a fate worse than death because your parents adopted you. You could have ended up in a variety of situations. Better, worse, or most likely very similar to the one you grew up in. This is something you had absolutely nothing to do with. You were not even a legal party to your own adoption. This very fact speaks volumes of how much you were truly considered in the process.

You aren’t here as a poster child for the adoption industry either. You are in no way obligated, a. to tell everyone you meet that you were adopted or, b. spout warm fuzzies about your experience if your adoption becomes the topic of discussion. The adoption industry employs many people to do just that, let them do the work for you. It is not your responsibility to make everyone in the world feel good about adoption. If you were to be a cheerleader, you would have come with a pleated skirt and pom-poms.

Many people decided your fate. All motivated by their own perceptions, prejudices, and agendas, none of which you have to justify. Considering that some of these agendas were in direct conflict with each other makes for an impossible task anyway. You are not Superman, please try to keep in mind he is also fictional when thinking about your role in these matters.

Your existence is justified because you are here. You are living a life, effecting the outcome of other lives just by being present. You cannot be expected to be able to adjust your every thought and move to other expectations. The fact is most people’s perception of you doesn’t have to have everything to do with your being adopted. You do have some control over this.

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7 thoughts on “20 Things #4

  1. boo hooo hoo.

    This actually made me cry.

    I love you Addie.

    I really do.

    This has been the hardest thing for me, the having a right to exist thing.

  2. oh my gosh this may be, and I think IS, the most important thing I have read in forever. I am so glad you wrote this. It is SO important and true.
    xoxo

  3. Addie,

    Keep it comin’ babe. You’re a great voice in a stadium trying to drown you out. This is how my close friend puts it….

    You’re in bed and you have cancer – you can bitch and moan – or you can look at your situation and make something of it. But you can’t pick the bed, get out of the bed. Your bed was picked for you.

    It’s those who are touched by adoption that will come to make a lasting difference. Not politician, judges or other “public servants” who have no clue and never will..

    Can’t wait to read more!

  4. I find it bizarre that some adopted adults feel the need to pay their adopters back for being “saved” by advocating for the industry. If that is the adoptee’s job as an adult, then it certainly doesn’t jibe with adoption being “just another way to create a family” or adoptive children being “just the same as bio children.” Because bio children don’t seem to feel compelled to advocate for the adoption industry. Such a job is unique to adoptees. Why should this be their job? Wouldn’t a simple “thank you Mom and Dad” suffice so they can then get on with their lives?

  5. Great post – thank you!

    When I was a kid, I’d occasionally say that I hated being adopted. I got this one in response a lot: “At least she didn’t abort you.”

    Makes me want to throw up.

    “It is not your responsibility to make everyone in the world feel good about adoption. ”

    Now that I am an adult, I run into people who are looking to adopt a lot. It’s hard because I feel that if I don’t tell them I’m adopted and they find out later that I am, I’m being dishonest. If I tell them I’m adopted, then I’m supposed to say how great it is that their “rescuing” a child from Ethiopia (or where ever). If I am totally honest about my adoption experience – yeah right – then I am seen as that FEAR OF ALL FEARS: The angry adoptee. GRRRRRRR!

  6. Addie,
    I am a mom who lost my daughter to a forced adoption, and I just wanted to tell you that you are amazing and I hope that my daughter is as strong as you are. I am searching, but noone wants to release any of my daughters information. I have a blog myself, and if you would like to see adoption from the otherside, I am a angry mommy who was robbed of the child that she wanted with all her heart. As for Andie, I am outraged that someone said something that hateful and hurtful to you. It is no one’s job to make sure the world feel good about adoption, adoption is bad for the child and bad for the mother and good for the lawyers and agencies. Bless you all, I wish you much happiness. http://iamamomnotabirthmom.blogspot.com/

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