November 11, 2008

"Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change"

Here are some amazingly honest quotes from some beautiful women at "Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change" ~ (you can link directly to the website by "clicking" on the title of this post above)

The reason I post these is because I, too, found that it was NECESSARY to grieve the unvalidated LOSS I carried inside as an adopted person. Adoption is applauded in society, but very seldom is the voice of an adult adopted person really heard. We are conditioned to completely ignore that part of ourselves that LOST so much, because of disenfranchised grief that we are not given permission to FEEL. We are "chosen", "lucky", "rescued", "grateful" beings whose life and identity is altered in order to fulfill another role. It takes a very long time (if ever) to "wake up" to the true self as an adoptee and allow ourselves to FEEL the loss that will make us whole. Wounded but whole. Real.

The Human Band-Aid (by Theresa)

There once was a small unborn baby, who loved her mommy. She couldn't wait for the day she was born to see her mommy's face for the first time.

The day she arrived, she took a big breath and cried and cried, knowing from instinct that would bring her mommy to her. But that was not meant to be. Instead she was put in the cool cool chilly hospital nursery, where she cried and cried and cried. She cried and cried and cried for her mommy so much, the nice nurses gave her some sleepy happy time medicine to make her stop crying. She fell asleep.

When she woke up the nice nurses fed her and changed her and kept her warm and dry, but she still cried and cried and cried for her mommy until she had more of the happy sleepy time medicine.

Five days later she was taken to the home of a lady who could not have babies. This lady was sad and wounded and hurt by all the times she couldn't have a baby. So the sad lady took care of the sad baby, and the sad baby became a human band-aid for the mommy who couldn't be a mommy. But the little sad baby didn't cry any more, because the hospital sent her home with the happy sleepy time medicine. So after a while, instead of crying for her real mommy, she just went sleep.

Where she slept for many years, until she finally woke up, and found many grown up sad babies just like her. And many deluded unable-to-be-mommy mommies. Like you.

Happy Birthday to Me (by MarLo)

My adoption solved two problems. One woman wanted a baby. One woman didn’t want a baby and both would be expected not to worry about their ‘problem’ any more, thanks to adoption.

Entering this world as a solution and a problem, I have felt that burden and that shame all my life. I am exhausted by my life-long effort to be the child my adoptive parents could not have and no day goes by that I don’t feel like the discarded ‘problem’ of my first mom.

When my birthday rolls around, I’m reminded of my status as a problem and a solution, not a person. I feel pressure to celebrate the day, to celebrate my birth, my life, my ‘adopted self”. I feel the pressure to smile and be happy and show that everything turned out a-ok for me.

But how do I feel? I feel like nothing on this day, like yesterday’s trash. My self-hate has always been at a high point on this day but it took many years to finally figure out that my birthday is a sad day for me. It is a huge relief to finally stop pretending. I don’t need to be happy or act happy. I don’t need to let people try to do nice things for me so that they can see that happy smile on my face. I hate this day. I need to feel bad on the anniversary of the saddest day of my life, the first day of my life. On this day I lost my mother, my family, my history, the comfort of being held by the people I was born to, of looking into the faces that I find familiar. I lost my sense of belonging this day. I felt alone for the first time. I haven’t recovered from this feeling alone. I felt that something was wrong with me for the first time that day. I still do. My needs were ignored for the first time that day, I still disregard my own needs. I was probably told how lucky I was for the first time that day, and of course all who learn I’m adopted still feel the need to comment on how lucky I am. My identity was buried and locked away from me that day and is still not legally recoverable. I was not treated like a human being in my own right that day but as an exchangeable commodity and a solution to a problem and still today I do not feel human.

Last year for the first time when I turned 42, I allowed myself to mourn on my birthday. I screamed and yelled, I bawled and felt the horrible anger and sadness I have inside about my first day of life. I let myself off the hook for acting happy. It was my best birthday yet.

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