May 15, 2007
© Photographer: Yuri_arcurs | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Here's what I sent to Oprah upon her request for Americans to send in their "secret":
My secret:I am an adoptee. Akin to amputee. I must play the role that mankind court-ordered for me. My birth certificate was sealed and a new one issued. A new identity. My old identity, birth history, family, heritage lost. I fulfilled the desires of a new family, and learned to adjust. But are adoptees forever children? In the eyes of the law, yes. In the eyes of our parents, yes. In the eyes of society, yes. We are never given permission to 'grow up' and have differing feelings or opinions about the decisions made for us by mankind. The birth certificate we live with our entire lives and pass on to our children is false. We are a secret. 6 million of us in the US. Government forbids us the same right as other citizens to know our biological identity, heritage. It is painful being a secret. Not just having a secret - but being one - for a lifetime. We are second-class citizens and live shamed and forced to be "happy" about our "chosen, lucky" status. If we dare speak out or become courageous enough to face our rejection, our fear, our saddness at losing our true identity at birth - we are deemed bitter and angry. Sounds much like the entire black population who had to fight for their rights. But we are a quiet chamelon. We have to make everyone else happy - we can't hurt the parents who raised us, we can't express our real feelings for fear of being rejected again.
I found my birthmom who was also searching for me - but it was too late. She had already passed away while searching. My records are sealed from me and from her - so I can't even get medical history as I should. Adoption has too much money involved to ensure ethics - I am a product of an industry. As a human, that hurts. I can't share my true feelings to anyone because it hurts them - my Mom who raised me - I can't be real with her - to protect her feelings as an adoptive mother. I can't share my true feelings to my birth family - because they so want me to be "happy". I was born Baby Girl Lowe, but didn't know my name until it was too late to meet the Mother who gave me life.
Good books -The Primal WoundTwenty Things Adopted Kids WishThe Girls who Went Away