Coming to terms with the loss of one’s natural mother within an adoptee’s awareness will not be complete in a lifetime.
This is what I believe is true.
On the surface, an adoptee placed within a decent family may not show any signs of deep though subconscious trauma but I believe this is always embedded deeply within.
From all I have unexpectedly learned, after discovering who my original grandparents were and something about their lives at the time each of my parents’ adoptions occurred, I now know the wound of separation is always there. It is unavoidable. It is the natural truth of the matter.
Often adoptees behave in ways while they are growing up that confuse the adoptive family and their closest friends. Some of this confusing behavior even occurs during their adulthood. I have seen it with my own parents.
The truth about adoption is that the wounds are not visible in the way a physical accident would leave obvious impacts. They are psychological, emotional and mental. You can’t see them by looking at an adoptee.
All the love that an adoptive parent is able to give will never touch this pain that will always be deep inside the adoptee – caused by having been given up by the one person most of us believe we will always be able to depend upon. It really isn’t possible to simply exchange one mother for another and life then goes on as though no disruption ever happened.
Being adopted is similar to being put into a forever box of different than, not the same as, all of the non-adopted people around you.
It is a good thing that adoptees are finally trying to understand the pain of relinquishment and speaking honestly and out loud about their suffering.
There isn’t really a solution to the situation but it is the beginning of awareness and that may yet bring about reforms to the practice of adoption that will spare at least some children in the future from suffering similarly.
Why do people adopt babies ? It comes from a deep desire to protect and love a being that is capable of loving you back. It is useless to expect from an adoptee what a parent expects when they give birth to a child naturally and then raise that same child.
Adoption is an entirely different universe. That is a story that may not be capable of delivering the happy ending you as an adoptive parent had hoped for. This is the reality. Time to accept the truth of it.
3 thoughts on “A Different Universe”
“On the surface, an adoptee placed within a decent family may not show any signs of deep though subconscious trauma but I believe this is always embedded deeply within.”
The words ‘signs’ and ‘symptoms’ are often used interchangeably when evaluating the adjustibility of adopted children but there are important differences. Signs are detected by a parent, a doctor, or someone other than the child. A skin rash, a high temperature, and other medical conditions, are signs of infection that can be measured, diagnosed and treated. Symptoms are indicators that things are not running smoothly that are difficult for parents and outsiders to diagnose. Depression, for example, is a symptom that may be experienced by an adopted child that is not measureable or quantifiable that can cause as much havoc as undiagnosed high blood pressure.
Thank you, Judith, for making that distinction. It is accurate to say, I believe, that most of the trauma experienced by adoptees are symptoms that are interpreted imperfectly based upon history and behavior. Depression was an excellent example. So too would be acting out. Many children who are not adoptees act out. However, when the acting out is from an adoptee, the cause of the behavior could be underlying trauma.
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So true. You are exactly right.