I have a hope that if I write it down, it won’t fester so rank in my mind. Feeling detached from the rest of civilization not only allows for a unique perspective but unveils such blatant differences as well. Perhaps there will be another person out there that can relate to my experiences and can provide a normalcy which I’ve so craved my entire life.
Having been given up for adoption at birth has impacted me in every aspect of my existence. In some ways positively, most, not. On the one hand, adoption is an incredible process for people who want to provide a home for a child and fulfill their dream of parenthood. The other hand is met with absolute difference. As I’m sure only the woman giving up the child can attest to, it may or may not be a difficult decision. One being of their own volition or at the insistence of an outside party. Who knows! Certainly not the child! Not Me!
As that child, I always felt just that much further outside of the inner sanctum of true family. I don’t look like anyone. I don’t relate innately to anyone. I cannot understand the bond between siblings, parents, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. I have zero history. There has always been a sense of just off, which logically, although not rationally, puts me in the place of inferior. Fitting in has been difficult and I always felt the need to give more of myself than I should have as a way of overcompensating for my feelings of inadequacy. This, in turn, has had the entirely opposite result and has caused me countless instances of anxiety over my decisions. Not proud moments by any stretch of the imagination!
Self esteem and self confidence have never been an issue as I’ve never had them! Even my dad, to this day, will say,”oh, you’ve always had a problem with self confidence” or “you’ve never had any self esteem” so apparently I wasn’t the only one aware of it. Speaking of my parents, the couple who adopted me, they are wonderful. They love and care for my brother and myself very much. Great upstanding citizens, married for the long haul, 58 years so far! Have worked through obstacles most couples do not have to face, such as being unable to have biological children, and have faced the snide remarks and polite smiles from their own families. Yet they have done the very best they could in raising us as their own to which I am very grateful. This has nothing to do with them. They provided suitable information from as early an age as possible letting us know we were adopted and the positive side of the whole situation. So please do not think this is me not loving and respecting my parents.
There is just something negative in the air around the word adoption which, unless you are, you will not understand. Just as I do not understand how it feels to be from a blood relative. Jokes are made about the different kid in the family and they are made fun of and told they are adopted. This is said as an insult and to place that sibling as lesser than the other blood siblings. I’m sure the intent is not as obvious to them but as an adopted person, it is damaging. It gets into your psyche and erodes your positive outlook. You are seen as not as worthy or good. Ooohhhh, you’re adopted! Oohh.
My parents always put the spin on it as we were chosen, therefore, special. Not everyone can say they got to choose their children. For that, I am thankful. I was chosen and provided with a very good life in a stable home and positive role models to follow. Like I said, this is never going to be a bash on my parents.
I would always, as a teenager, look in the mirror and cry, wondering what was so wrong with me that my birth mother couldn’t love me enough to keep me. How do you discard a perfect little baby without trying to care for her? I couldn’t understand what she was thinking. I wondered what she looked like, who the father was, if she thought of me, if my birthday passed without a thought in her mind. I still, after 48 years cannot think these things without tears rolling down my cheeks. My mother always said she would help us if we wanted to find our birth mothers. How selfless of her. She really is a saint. I never wanted to find her for fear she would reject me once again as the awful reminder to the mistake of her past.
See, being adopted feels like you were a mistake. People don’t like making mistakes, they get rid of them and never speak of them again. I was born in September which also provides a little insight into how I came to be. Do the math, I was either a really shitty Christmas gift or the forgettable New Years bang! Both occasions where you get caught up in the festivities of the season and make a whoopsie! Oh fuck! What now! Shuttle her off to a different town, where she isn’t known, to have the baby and leave it there for children’s aid to find suitable parents. She goes back to her life, possibly saying she took a semester off to travel and boy, what a lovely world we have!
Whatever the circumstances were, I don’t know but regardless of whether she was too young to properly care for a baby or just wanted to remove the awful life ruiner from her sight, however you spin that wheel, it always comes up as I was disposable. She may have wanted me more than anything and her parents would not hear of it, she would have been the disgrace, the father of the baby absent and back then, if your parents didn’t want to raise your child for you, you got rid of it. Yes, I’m sure she gave me up in order to give me a chance at having a wonderful life and providing me with the best chance. Society makes it so difficult to feel positive about the whole experience. I wish it did.
I will write more later.