Adoption Doesn’t Feel Real (all the time)

A lot of adoptees pull back from adopt for periods of time. They head back to “real life” where they are like everybody else. I do it. It makes sense, being adopted can be exhausting. All the searching, activism, and thinking about hard stuff can wear you down.

Society, adopted family, our friends, our significant others, the government tells us our adoptions are something we don’t need to think about. It’s done, it’s over, it’s not relevant to our lives. It’s easy to believe, even comforting, but it’s also dangerous.

Adoption is real, it does matter, it is relevant to our lives. Every single adoptee could have truly been someone else. Think about it. More than just having a different name, we all so easily could have been someone else. Real life would be a different life. When we are engaged in being adopted, or ignoring our origins, we are always in real life. It just doesn’t feel that way.

I think that’s why when adoptees refer to their “real lives”, many times it’s a life they have built much more for themselves than most people. Most adoptees are very aware of the circumstances leading to where they are, be it for good or bad. We are much more aware  of the  conscious decisions that contribute to the way we live. We attribute less to luck, accident, or faith and for this we pay a price.

We think everything is our fault, and rarely take credit for the actions that lead to positive things. That makes it easy to return to “real life” where maybe it’s not all our fault. We can’t see things are no more our fault, in real or adopted life, than in anybody else’s life. We don’t have a real life. We just have a life.


7 thoughts on “Adoption Doesn’t Feel Real (all the time)

  1. Well said. True to form. I have been through the valleys and on hiatus from being adopted many times myself. Just coming out of one actually myself. I wonder what it would be like to obsess all the time. =) It might get ugly.

  2. Love this. I needed to be reminded today. There is no escaping any of it, just taking a respite. It’s exhausting to deal with the same old adoptee bashing all the time in adoptoblogland. “Real life” feels safer because it’s bigger and more anonymous and I can hide; I know which roles to play, and exactly how. Good things happen, but I rarely take credit there. I forget that I am loved. But you are so right: all of it, all of it was contingent on that one telephone call.

  3. “very single adoptee could have truly been someone else.” It’s so true…I read your blog for the fist time and iIlike it 🙂 I’m an italian girl but I was adopted when I was seven…your words explain what I feel every day…p.s. Sorry for my – bad – English!

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