You Can Start Over

There is not much a child can do about the circumstances of having been adopted.  When a adoptee matures into adulthood, there is a chance to reframe the experience, to find ways to make the unique experiences that an adoptee goes through – a strength.

There is not a universal agreement that adoption harms the self-esteem of adoptees.  Studies seem to indicate it does not but adoptees will often highlight the ways that it did harm their own self-esteem.  I trust the adoptee’s perception over that of a researcher.

Without a doubt, an adoptee suffers the loss of their natural family connection.  This impacts the development of their identity.  Often, as an adoptee matures they have an understandable interest in their true genetic information.

Compared to a true orphan who cannot regain the physical presence of their original parents, an adoptee will have a sense that out there somewhere are the people who are related to them genetically.  It is like missing a limb that one knows should be there.  There will always be an uncertainty and often a level of grief or anger over a situation the adoptee did not create.  There is often a fear that if the adoptee does not live up to the expectations of the adoptive parents they could be rejected, abandoned or sent back to some place that is not a home.

In every person’s life there are emotionally charged milestones – marriage, the birth of a child, or the death of a parent – when the unique issues of having been adopted are more keenly felt.  In fact, it is often in giving birth to their own children, that an adoptee begins to really want to seek their origin information and if possible, experience a reunion with the people they were taken away from.

It is not possible to undo a life that has always been informed by having been an adopted person.  It is possible to seek a perspective that empowers rather than victimizes the adoptee.  An adoptee can seek to take control over their life and it’s further direction, something most of them lacked (control) in their childhoods.

 

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