When I first started learning about all of the impacts and issues surrounding the practice of adoption, I didn’t know what this concept really was like. Both of my parents were adopted and both of my sisters gave up babies to adoption, adoption was the most natural thing in my life. I really didn’t see a problem with it and while this concept more commonly refers to the adoptee who discovers the reality and “wakes up”, what I didn’t expect was that as the child of adoptees, I too was in the fog. And I have woken up as well and that is the purpose of this blog, to share these new understandings with whoever is moved to come and read these little daily observations.
Learning about adoption trauma can be a big surprise for someone like me. For the adoptee, this can prove to be a nagging feeling that you didn’t know how to name. This concept answered your question as to what it was. For some, their love and/or gratitude for their adoptive parents can make them not want to learn about adoption trauma, even though generally speaking, it affects every adoptee to some degree, whether consciously or unconsciously.
“Happy” may not be the right word to describe coming out of the fog. It’s more accurately about being able to authentically traverse and articulate the variety of effects that adoption had on your life, good or bad, but the bad often does far outweigh the good. In my case, it is a sorrow that for over 60 years I did not know about my own biological/genetic relatives. Now I do have some contact but it is like being slightly removed and an outsider no matter how kind they are to me directly.
It can be easy to be judgmental. Rationally, you may know your original mother was struggling and yet still find it impossible to understand that she could ever give up her children. In my own life, I lost physical custody of my daughter, even though that was not my intention but that I was struggling financially was the reality. Seeking to find a way to support us, I left her with her paternal grandmother temporarily. That decision with the expectation that it was temporary became permanent and I can never get back the years I lost. My mom told me of her perspective on my situation – she would have just toughed it out. Maybe true but then she coerced one of my sisters to give up her own child. I guess my mom’s fog was quite thick.
In the end, I lost my daughter to my ex-husband and a step-mother. He had refused to pay child support but ended up paying to support our daughter. I ended up paying a steep price to gain that support. I have never stopped grieving and have tried to come to terms with it, through accepting that it is simply our reality. So much damage is done when a mother is separated from her child, no matter why or how.