January 15, 2012

The "Found" Book Tour



I'm so honored to be part of the Open Adoption Examiner's "Found" Book Tour. I haven't yet finished the entirety of "Found", Jennifer Lauck's amazing memoir, but wanted to attempt answers to some of the questions as a reunited adult adoptee. So many of the author's thoughts and feelings have resonated with me deeply. What a beautiful person and writer...thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your journey and your writing talent!

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•I have noticed that adopted kids tend to mature and wise up ahead of their age... you think a lot before answering, you're not impulsive, you know how to keep your personal secrets and prefer to keep a lot from the rest of the world. I read that in this book, and 3 others by Jennifer Lauck. What can make adoptees this way?

I laughed when reading this question, because I remember so many teachers and adults telling my Mom, and even me, growing up, how "mature" I was. It's really pretty sad, because I believe this "maturity" is simply another layer of the adoptee's facade.

We so want to believe and appear to "have it all together" in order to survive in a world that seems to reject us unless we are given another's role/identity (even our birth certificates are changed to hide our truth).

Then, we are not given permission to acknowledge our loss or reality, because adoption is the "win-win" solution we are expected to embrace (to fulfill that role and appease those we must rely on), so we deny and squelch our true selves and feelings for this purpose.

What other choice do we have than to appear mature and rock solid? It's our only option. Inside, I felt the exact opposite, desperately trying to deny feelings of unworthiness and insecurity. We have to do something to make ourselves feel we have the right to exist, all the while, not believing we do.

•Jennifer Lauck wrote (page 34) “I felt dirty and bad” when told she was adopted. Why? was it because her brother mentioned the trash? or there was more?

See above, and this post, "Finding Me in the Bathroom Stall". Exact.Same.Concept.

•On pp 17-18, Jennifer talks about a baby searching for her mother after being born. How did this sensory-rich passage strike you? What thoughts did it trigger about the role you play in adoption?

Although adopted as an infant, even leaving the hospital with my adoptive parents, when Jennifer pointed out that a baby goes into shock when unable to find her mother, it made complete sense and sent shivers through my spine. As an "awakened" adoptee, I now realize I have been searching for my Mother from birth.

An infant has no sense of self for several months. She and her mother are essentially one. That's why adoptees feel numb, lost, and disconnected. We experience profound, life-long consequences from this early and disenfranchised separation from our mothers, and hence, ourselves.

As an adult adoptee and also the mother of a micro-preemie who had to exist separated from me the first 98 days of his life, I addressed the question more deeply in this post from "The Primal Wound" book tour a few years ago.

•My question is about Jennifer's early adoption narrative as "God's gift"...

If adoptee's are "God's gift", then God is a masochist.

No wonder many adoptees avoid church, with the erroneous message behind "Orphan Care" spouted from every street corner in America.

It is a slap in our face to assert we are somehow, "The Chosen Child". That is asking us to believe it was "God's will" to lose our mothers, families, identities, and birth heritage in order to "build a family"; that young, vulnerable mother's embrace the advice of an adoption industry to make the "unselfish, heroic" decision ~ sacrifice her own motherhood and "gift" her flesh & blood because another woman "longs for a child".

To continue to the next stop of this book tour, please visit the main list at The Open Adoption Examiner.

7 comments:

letterstomsfeverfew said...

Thank you for your insights. I personally feel this is an important book for the adoption community to be reading and talking about.

You said, "What other choice do we have than to appear mature and rock solid? It's our only option. Inside, I felt the exact opposite, desperately trying to deny feelings of unworthiness and insecurity. We have to do something to make ourselves feel we have the right to exist, all the while, not believing we do."

This made me cry afresh this morning. Thank you for your honesty - it helps me understand what my daughter may be experiencing.

Rhonda Rae Baker said...

I'm with Melynda...crying afresh, but for different reasons. This post explains how I have felt my entire life. When you said..."because I believe this 'maturity' is simply another layer of the adoptee's facade," my heart skipped a beat. Our 'secret' is out! There is also a parallel with the abused that carry on their shoulders a mantle of strength. Too much too soon...we become survivors. Well, no longer, for the better way is to become victors. Thank you for sharing from the adoptee side. I appreciate you and what you have experienced!

Lavender Luz said...

Point well taken about birth certificates. Now that we know better, we ought to do what we can to stop the erasing of identities. No human is ever born a blank slate.

You said, "Inside, I felt the exact opposite, desperately trying to deny feelings of unworthiness and insecurity." I felt this growing up, too -- well into adulthood.

However, I don't remember feeling this way: "We have to do something to make ourselves feel we have the right to exist, all the while, not believing we do."

Thank you for joining this tour, Peach, and for sharing your viewpoint and experiences. As an adoptive mom, I find them invaluable.

:-)

Tonya said...

Thanks for your thoughtful responses. I think one of the most important things adoptive parents can offer their children is a constant reminder that they don't have to be somebody else .... that who they are is fine -- even if who they are is someone who misses their birth family.

And, for the record, as an adoptive parent, I HATE that my children have birth certificates that imply I gave birth to them.....There has to be some other way!

Geochick said...

I appreciate reading your perspective on this book. I think I shocked our caseworker when I referred to my son's "new" birth certificate as a fake birth certificate. It just feels so wrong. I only hope that in having regular visits with his first-mom and cultivating their bond that he will have an easier time coming to terms with his adoption. Time will tell.

Jenn said...

Amazing post! I was another "mature" child because honestly, what else was I supposed to do?

Loved your response. You are awesome. End of story.

Lavender Luz said...

Hello, Peach.


The discussion that ensued from your very thoughtful post and comments has been illuminating in so many ways. If you have a comment or a resulting post that you'd like to leave as part of the central record of the Book Tour, please make sure to leave that comment or link at http://www.examiner.com/open-adoption-in-national/found-book-tour-day-1

Take care.