I believe, from the time they were old enough to even understand the concept, both of my parents knew they were adopted. Therefore, as their children, we also grew up always knowing our parents had both been adopted, even though we had no idea of what that really meant. I thought my parents were orphans until rather late in life when I learned that my mom’s adoption had been part of the Georgia Tann scandal and that my mom believed she had actually been stolen from her original parents. It is a fact, she died still believing that.
Adoption is not something that should be a secret or something that anyone should be ashamed of. It is how an adoptee came to be in the family they grew up in. If you always know, then it just IS. It is better to know that no one ever kept something really important from your knowledge.
Growing up, adoption seemed very normal to me. It has always been a core circumstance of my family’s life. Therefore, both of my sisters also gave up children for adoption. They never thought it was harmful or wrong because to think that would have been to judge how we ended up with the parents that we were born to.
My family’s experiences are not unique, there are many many families that have been impacted by the process of adoption. It is important to me. I am grateful that my mom shared with me how she felt about her own adoption. I believe I am the only person she shared those feelings with.
The main reason most adoptees don’t talk about their struggles is generally the same. When they are young, they lack the ability to identify how they should or do feel about their origins. They are not able to articulate their feelings. As an adoptee gets older, if no one is talking about adoption, they get the sense that their feelings won’t be understood or validated.