This is complicated. It is weird growing up knowing your grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins are not really related to you. That is what it is like when BOTH of your parents were adopted. Adoptees experience adoption as individually as any two people experience reality.
My mom had to stop creating the family trees on Ancestry because she said to me, it just isn’t real. She somewhat hollowly said she was glad she was adopted but I knew from long years as her confidant that wasn’t totally true. She was glad that as a Georgia Tann baby she didn’t end up in worse circumstances. She ended up in a wealthy home with privileges.
So much so, that when she conceived me with a boy that came from very humble beginnings, her parents really felt disappointed that she had married below her class. My adoptive grandparents never shared family holidays until I was well into maturity and then I only remember one occasion when the 3 of them were all present for one Thanksgiving (my mom’s adoptive father having died long before that time).
While my adoptive grandparents certainly played their roles for real and had an enormous impact on all of our lives, now that I know the truth of who my parent’s original parents were, that is who I think of when I think about my grandparents, even though I had no in life real experiences with them.
At my age, it is not uncommon for one’s parents to have died and if that is so, one’s grandparents have also died. It’s not that I think those adoptive aunts, uncles and cousins are not really “good” people – they are.
Yet, now that I have cousins and one aunt who are genetically related to me, I’m all about slowly without a lot of force, experiencing their lives and all that unfolds in any human life as a way that I can become better acquainted. To build familial relationships with people that share some of my genetic DNA during whatever time we have left in this world.