Not Actually Lucky

The perspective “out there” is improving and it isn’t happening by chance but because adoptees are speaking out about the circumstances of their lives.  And though it may not change at the individual life level, I am hopeful it is changing in the larger sense.

I recently read about an adoptive parent who was told – “They are so lucky you adopted them.”

This adoptive mother reflected on that perspective and realized – “They are not lucky! It is not lucky to be orphaned or born to a parent who is unable to parent at that time. It is not lucky to live in an orphanage or foster care, and it is not lucky to be thrust into a home with perfect strangers and try to form parental attachment and bonds with them. There is nothing about coming to the place where you need to be adopted that is a lucky and they are not lucky we adopted them. We are blessed to have them in our family, but if the luck had been on their side there would not have been unfortunate circumstances that kept them from being raised by their birth families in the first place.”

In my mom’s case, her adoptive mother was over the moon happy to have her.  But there were nagging doubts because she had been lied to about the circumstances of my mom’s “need” to be adopted.

She did not “need” to be adopted.  Her original mother WANTED to raise her and tried very hard to keep her but got bested by a master of deception – Georgia Tann.  My adoptive grandmother was told my mom’s parents were married students who weren’t ready to raise their child and were financially unable to provide for her.  That last part was the struggle my original grandmother was trying mightily to address.

My adoptive grandparents did feel blessed to buy two children, the “perfect” family unit of an eldest son and a baby sister.  But at least for my mom (I don’t know the circumstances surrounding my uncle’s adoption) it was all unfortunate circumstances.  No wonder she died firmly believing she had been stolen from her parents.  In effect, she was.

6 thoughts on “Not Actually Lucky

      1. My mom was denied her adoption file. Really, they should have given it to her. They used their inability to determine her original father’s status to deny her. He had been dead 30 years. No one ever told her when Tennessee changed the law for the victims of Georgia Tann.

        However, because I got that file, I could become whole. It encouraged me to learn who my dad’s original parents were as well. Both of my parents were adopted. Had my mom gotten her file, that may never have happened for me. I have come to the realization that it was ALL imperfectly – perfect.

        There is much about the practice referred to as adoption that is trying to become better than it was from about 1920 through 2000 – and sometimes even today. There is still much room for further improvement. The welfare of children should always be the primary focus.

        Thanks for reading and commenting. I do deeply appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I like that you think of it as “imperfectly-perfect”. There is always room for improvement. I am sure your voice inspires others to use their voices and positions to influence better adoption and child welfare policies. I enjoy reading your blog.


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