I've been checking out a new adoptee blog - iBastard
. (Nice to see another male adoptee here in Blogland.)
Today he wrote about that oh-so-wonderful adoption term Chosen
. (please take the time to pop over and have a read...)
I was told I was adopted from as early as I can remember.
My adoption story was told and retold - and the terms 'Chosen'
were always spread thickly
through the dialogue.
I was told that my a-parents were offered a baby boy just weeks before I was born - before I was 'available'.
But no - they chose to wait and adopt me.
I was constantly told how special I was - because of those choices - just to make the story sound as if it were all 'so meant to be'.
Sadly many not even in our family threw the terms around freely - adding even greater weight to the mounting pressure.
From my adolescent years on - these terms started to grate on very being.
Somethings were just not adding up.
Putting together the facts that lay before me proved to be a very confusing puzzle indeed.
If I was so special - why did my real mother give me up to another???
Surely - I must have been somewhat defective - and these adopting people have taken pity on me.
I better learn quickly how to be grateful for them taking me in.
If I was chosen - what would my a-parents think if I messed up??
They've chosen me - over another - if not many others - they may want to send me back - or ask for a refund if I do the wrong thing.
Surely my failures must be a huge disappointment to these people.
I'm sure I was very cute - blonde hair & blue eyed - as a baby..............would they still think I was adorable when I grew and started to form opinions of my own???
I had better keep smiling that adoptee smile - wearing the adoptee mask - making people happy - making people like me.
The pressure was great to conform - and when I did step out of line - I was told that I caused my a-mother a great deal of torment and distress.
Even simple questions about my birth mother - caused my mother stress.
What a weight - what a burden - for a young child to bare.
A weight that only seemed to grow heavier and heavier as the years rolled on.
A weight that was placed there - simply because it made my a-mother happier with her own ideas and choices.
I guess it is made harder when, as a child, I would have asked questions of my a-parents.
I know my children ask me about how they grew in my tummy.
When and where they were born.
Bits and pieces - the story about the start to their lives.
My a-mother didn't know that story - so she could only relate the only story of 'me' that she could - my ADOPTION story. As if I only started to exist from that day on.
In those days (the deep dark 60's) that is what they were TOLD
to tell the young adoptee.
A story that was MEANT to fill the void of emptiness they may have.
Well - it didn't.
And it is something that should NOT
be thrown around in conversations to your adoptive children to this day.iBastard's
post was in response to a blog entry he had seen from a prospective adoptive parent waiting to pick up their adoptee from overseas.
A comment which said that all adoptees want
to hear that they are chosen above all the others.I am here to tell you - that they do not.
I certainly held that 'chosen/special' burden for way too long, and MANY of my adoptee friends have had a boat load of grief over those very words.
Do NOT burden your adoptee with these terms.
Sure - early on - the child may wish to hear their story over and over again.
Small children do.
But please be careful about the way you portray their story to them - and be very careful of the words that you use.
Your words could one day cut them to the core, and could effect them for the rest of their days.
Try you hardest to find out your child's story from the very beginning of their living days.
Your adoptee was a real and wonderful person before you came into their lives.
Do not dismiss the parts of the adoptee which truly form part of their whole being.
Your adoptee will likely have major abandonment issues - ones that you have NO control over.
It's the nature of adoption/relinquishment.
Labeling them with terms that appear to be all happy-happy at a young age - may later set the adoptee up with a lot of baggage to carry around.
I am still - to this day - racked with guilt about being happy that I have found my bio-sister - and that I am activity seeking the rest of my bio-family.
As if by wishing for that side of me - the part that I was not allowed to know - is betraying the very people that CHOSE me above another - something that I should be grateful for - until my dying days.
Do you really want to lay that much guilt onto your child??
I was special.
I was chosen.
I better do EXACTLY what my a-parents want me to do - or maybe they will no longer love the person they so wanted me to be.
Because really - that's what most parents want.
They want their children to be a certain way.
Both bio and adoptive parents are very guilty of this affliction.
But adding those pressures to an adoptee that has already suffered adoption trauma from such a young age - is a little unfair - I think.
My a-mum died when I was 18. We were never able to share an adult relationship together.
We were never able to discuss these issues - issues that I wish I could share with her to this day.
She did what she did - with the information that was given to her.
She knew no other adoptees.
She told me what the health-care professionals told her to say.
I love her dearly, and miss her every day.
I share these things here so that others don't fall and make the same mistakes she made.
You owe it to the little people that have - for whatever reason - come into your life.
Love them for who they are.
Let them be - whatever it is that they want to be.
Let them love all the people that they care for - freely - and without judgment.
Be open. Be honest. And love them with all that you have inside.