Quite a long time ago, I learned not to ask potentially embarrassing questions. In fact, I rarely ask what could be defined as a “personal” question. If someone wants to tell me about whatever, it is their prerogative not my right.
So I was reading about some of the clueless questions adoptees sometimes receive –
Where are your real parents ?
Couldn’t your parents have their own kids ?
Are your adoptive parents angry you reunited ?
“Was your birth mother on drugs ?”
In the book The Declassified Adoptee, she gives those who just have to know better ways of asking these kinds of questions. She suggests that “Good questions are strengths first, person first. They consider the feelings of the person answering a question first, above the necessity for information.”
She adds “It is ALWAYS important to validate an adoptee’s membership within ALL of the families that she identifies with.”
As the child of two adoptees, who after 6 decades of life, has only recently discovered my biological, genetic relations (mostly cousins and one aunt), I get it. I love the adoptive families I grew up with and have shared life experiences with. I love that I now know people who share my DNA. I love them all, differently, for different reasons but love is love.