My life changed in a major way when I found out I was adopted. I will never forget watching a TV program with my adoptive mom and seeing a woman who gave birth to a baby. Being curious as kids are, I made a comment to my adoptive mom, “Mommy, did I come out of your belly like that?”. I remember her response was something like this…
“No you didn’t come out of my belly. You came out of another woman’s belly. She loved you so much she wanted you to have a better life so she gave you to me to raise.”
This was a moment I will never forget. I never understood how you love something but you give it away. I think back now and try to think of what my adoptive mom COULD have said that wouldn’t have had such a negative impact on me. As a 5 year old child I couldn’t comprehend this. I whole heartedly believe she did the right thing by telling me but the WAY she said it was something that had a negative impact on me my entire life.
I’m an adoptee who can say “I always knew I was adopted” because she did tell me. I believe back in the 70’s adoptive parents weren’t anywhere near equipped in how to tell your child their adopted, like they are now or how to handle “what to do” being adoptive parents. I’m not saying she meant to hurt me, but the way she told me would forever taint my view of love. When you love something you keep it, you don’t give it away. “She gave you to me to raise.”… I felt disposable, unlovable, and like a piece of property. This was the first moment in my life I began to search for my birth mother. I began to ask questions. Who was she? Where was she? How do I find her? I never EVER stopped asking about my birth mother.
As a 40 year old woman I look back over my journey, and I’ve tried to think of a way my adoptive mom could have told me that I was adopted that didn’t confuse me on such a deep level. I feel like giving something or someone away and associating it out of “Love” is far too confusing for a child to understand. It was total abandonment to me. This still has a deep rooted impact on me today. I feel like everyone in my life is going to abandon me.
I wish she would have said, “You have a biological mommy who couldn’t take care of you, so she found someone who could. That someone was me.” But see that type of answer would have come with more questions behind it. “Why couldn’t she take care of me?” is what I would have asked. And then the TRUTH would have come out. But I know from experience in living it, adoption secrets and lies are a big part of the adoption experience and a huge part of my pain. Everyone was “protecting” me from my own history. The fight to find my history all alone has caused me more heartache and pain than anyone could imagine.
I wish I was never told my birth mother loved me. She didn’t love me. The adoption industry as a whole seems to always want to speak for birth mothers. Once I acknowledged this TRUTH it was easier of me to let go of the pain and move forward and heal.
“You can’t heal a wound by denying it’s there” (Jeremiah 6:14)
NOT ALL BIRTH MOTHERS LOVE THEIR BABIES. SOME OF THEM JUST WANT TO GET RID OF THE PROBLEM. THIS IS A FACT. THIS IS WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR ME TO BELIEVE ANYONE ON EARTH LOVES ME. YOU DON’T LOVE YOUR OWN CHILD & GIVE IT AWAY & REJECT IT AFTER IT COMES TO FIND YOU.
That’s not love. The shenanigans of her “Loving me so much she gave me away” could have saved me a whole lot of heartache if the truth was told. I’m not saying they could have told me she didn’t love me. Of course everyone would like to think she did. It is definitely a more pleasant thought. But her actions after I found her and she rejected me after meeting one time showed me otherwise. The entire story of how I was conceived was my TRUTH and after learning that, I was able to gain a better understanding of WHY she chose to give me up for adoption. I needed my truth to move forward with my life and to be able to accept it for what it is.
DO ADOPTIVE PARENTS UNDERSTAND THEY ARE STANDING IN THE WAY OF OUR HEALING BY WITHHOLDING OUR TRUTH FROM US?
Let me add, I will always be thankful my adoptive mother was honest about telling me. If she didn’t tell me it would nothing short of holding someones identity hostage, and if it were me I could never live with myself or do that to someone. For the adoptive parents who make the choice not to tell their adoptive kids their adopted, I feel you are making a huge mistake. Everyone deserves to know where they come from. Adding the trauma of being lied too your whole life is beyond devastating on the adoptee. Being adopted is hard enough on it’s own.
For the adoptive parents who may be reading; How did you tell your adopted child they were adopted? Where did you get your advice from? If you haven’t told them, what are you waiting for?
For the adoptees here, how were you told you were adopted? How did it make you feel?
-Adoptee In Recovery