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.