Adoption Fog – the hazy perception that everything about adoption is (or should be) simple, straight-forward, beautiful, and most importantly, not questioned.
Adoptees are told what to think, not how to think. They are told the perspective from which they should see their adoption. They are told to be grateful. They live in a fantasy land. They were too young or too afraid to realize the truth of the situation they are living in or to feel the full impact of it. I can see now that as I began to understand the stories of my parents adoptions, I was in a fog before and in the early part of that process of believing the unicorns and rainbows version of adoption.
Coming out of the fog can mean enlightenment and healing. Along the way, there are painful realizations and personal acknowledgements. Coming out of the fog does not necessarily mean searching. One can be searching and still be in the fog. Maybe simply curious about family and heritage.
Adoptees are conditioned from the beginning to be grateful. They were “chosen”. There is a story, ingrained lovingly, about how the biological parents were not able or did not want to take care of the adoptee. “They loved me so much they had to give me away so I could have a better life. I was saved by my adoptive parents from life as an orphan. Adoption is a good thing. Without it where would all the abandoned, unwanted children go?”
While such stories are meant to be comforting, it is often scary for the child. To be “chosen” by one family means to be “unchosen” or rejected by another one. And it is that fear of rejection that causes many adoptees to become people pleasers.
It is only natural, that as they come to maturity, they begin to understand that their very lives fulfill a desire on the part of their adoptive parents. Adopted children are therefore often fearful (either consciously or subconsciously) that they could become rejected again.
There really is no such thing as a well-adjusted adoptee, or even child of two adoptees, even if it appears to be so. The contradictions are simply too big to reconcile.