This adoptee’s experience is not unusual.
Today I’m feeling more riled up than “normal” about the way I’m feeling pulled to keep my mouth shut about adoption trauma and the fact that you can have a “good” adoption and still be traumatized — because I have MANY friends and family members who are adoptive parents who hate for me to stir the pot.
I know this is pretty typical behavior for me – “don’t stir the pot, don’t make anyone else uncomfortable, stick with the narrative they want to hear….” And yet, I have pulled away from all these people since they adopted their children because “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” and I don’t think they want to have a constructive dialogue.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here – how do you deal with those in your circles who have adopted children and only ask your (adoptee) perspective to hear what they want to hear?
One international adoptee had this to say – I literally don’t care and I’m really honest. I can’t fake it. I try to phrase it in a respectful way but I just speak my truth and they can think what they want.
Another admits – I’m at the point where I say what I think and let the chips fall where they may. The truth is too important to hide.
An adoptee from a domestic infant adoption uses avoidance when possible – I try to avoid the conversation because it is still so triggering for me – if someone tries to pull me in, I speak my mind. I try to be concise but honest. I try not to overextend myself emotionally, but not saying anything feels worse sometimes.
It is slightly different from a birth mother’s perspective – I had family before I placed my son that had adopted and some now that are looking to adopt. I get told that every time that I need to respect the practice of adoption. WELL, I still say how traumatic it is and how they need to stop talking for their adopted children. I’ve been banned from gatherings and everyone just says I picked the wrong adopters and all kinds of other dismissive stuff. I will always hate adoption -period – and will always listen to what the adoptees in the family have to say for themselves.
From a trans-racial adoptee – I walk a fine line, personally and professionally. If people ask for my opinion or experience, I answer honestly while keeping my audience in mind. I have resources to suggest in case they ask.
Finally . . .
Here’s the thing – we (as a society) KNOW that the biological mother is crucial to proper human development. Humans start bonding in utero. We aren’t born blank slates. Human infants don’t begin to see themselves as a separate entity until starting around 6 months. Before that time, the baby sees themselves as part of her still. She* (and ONLY HER) is the baby’s nervous system. Her repeated comforting gestures makes the infant feel safe in a way a stranger can’t. She’s that baby’s EVERYTHING. The world is scary, big and loud to babies. Turning to the only familiar person for comfort is the way infants learn what is truly scary, and more importantly, what’s not. It’s how humans learn to control our emotions and self soothe. There has been enough research on human development to know that the biological mother (most importantly), biological father and extended biological family are vital to the child’s healthy development and developing a good self image for themselves. Modern science can tell us exactly what is needed for healthy infant development, and why – despite the lack of research done directly related to adoptees – we adoptees and many other people already know adoption flies in the face of everything necessary for proper child development. Humans aren’t interchangeable. Everyone knows that. It’s crazy how there is such a disconnect, when it comes to adoptees. Like science has PROVEN that humans need certain things in infancy and childhood to grow into healthy adults. Do people glorifying adoption think “except adoptees”?? Why don’t adoptees need those things? Many seem to want to believe that adoptees will be just fine without them. Better than fine, in fact, LUCKY! It makes NO logical sense to an adoptee.
Where does this disconnect happen? Do they really think we’re not human beings, so we don’t need what every human being needs?? Or do they all just have an image in their head that our biological families are always drug addled, wretched abusers who abandoned us without a second thought? The more likely is that second explanation. And if that’s true, why do they have to hard press so hard, exploiting vulnerable mothers, and make it impossible for them to change their minds? Literally that is the way the laws are. Adoptees are treated like they are in the witness protection program from their own natural families. Adoptees are supposed to believe they were super unwanted and no one could “force” their natural parents to actually parent them. NONE of that makes logical sense. They get furious if asked to realize the scope of the damage they’ve done.