Friday, June 20, 2008

Bitter, Angry and Ungrateful Adoptee

I'm kind of over the 'angry', 'bitter' and 'ungrateful' titles - that have - yet again - been bandied around the internet in the last 24 hours.

(hell - I hear them every single day - but a certain post led me to write this post today - I won't link - as it was more because of a comment I read to that post that really got me heated - and I just needed to have my say!)

I get VERY defensive when AP's call adoptees 'bitter and angry'.
Really.
Protective.
Like a mother.

I know - personally - many of the blogging adoptees on the internet.
Many are actually the MOST caring, understanding, wicked-sense-of-humour people I have EVER met in my entire life.
They sooth my soul when I get hurt, they lift me up when I am down, they make me laugh, they make me cry and they give me a huge sense of hope.
And they GET this stuff - they validate those feelings that - for way too long - I kept stuffed down - just to make everyone else's lives easier for them to live with.

A point that too many miss - is that all adoptees (whether they admit it or not - and that is only for the adoptee alone to admit) will have issues (even tiny issues) about their own adoption - and it often has NOTHING AT ALL to do with how well the AP's did at parenting.

Bad parenting will certainly make life infinitely harder for the adoptee - for any child really - but an adoptee's major issues come about simply by being placed in the situation that they were separated from family, culture and often country and language.

An AP can NOT magically make it all better for the adoptee - you know - kiss it - put a bandage on it - because - this stuff will just not MAGICALLY go away!!

But just ignoring that there is a problem - WILL make life so much harder for an adoptee.

An adoptee is given/taken away by/from their own mother & family.

No amount of 'you are so loved and chosen' story will ever truly make that hurt go away.
No amount of ' your mother did what was best for you'.
No amount of ' you have a better life than you would have had'.

THE TRUTH - being given/taken away - just HURTS - deep deep in an adoptee's soul.

What DOES help - is when you're parented by those that do all they can to try to understand what an adoptee goes through, validate that loss for the adoptee, make sure that the adoption was ethical in the first place & no coercion took place, talk often to the adoptee - and allow them to voice what adoption means to them, let them know their full story (at age appropriate levels), allow them to know all about their first family (to fully grow - one MUST have knowledge of their roots), NOT take things personally (unless you really are a bad parent - then yes - you should take it personally & get the hint - but usually it is NOT about you - because most adoptees will try to protect ALL of their family - often above their own mental & emotional health) - it's about the adoptee trying to come to terms with something that is not how nature had intended for a child to grow - with the mother that the child developed for 9 months with - who has the same genetic background, many of the same features, traits and talents - the one that a child just feels that they should have grown up with.

(and that feeling is not meant to make an AP feel bad - as it's just NOT ABOUT THEM.)

Ultimately - if an AP is quick to call an adoptee that speaks out - 'bitter', 'angry' and 'ungrateful' - they haven't come close to getting the message - they've just skimmed over the top - and labeled it to make themselves feel better.

THE TRUTH - an adoptee that speaks out is actually caring more for YOUR adoptee - than probably you are right now.

We adoptees that have lived adoption - DO NOT WANT TO SEE ADOPTEES HURT BY THE SAME MISTAKES THAT OUR ADOPTIVE PARENTS MADE.

We love our adoptive parents with all of our hearts - but they didn't have the internet - or the knowledge - that is out there now.

Don't go and bury your head in the sand - just because it helps you all sleep better at night.

Read other adoptees words & what adoptees have to say, talk openly about this stuff with your own adoptee, don't allow adoption misconceptions to perpetuate.

We're about protecting others that have to live with the head-mess that is adoption.

How about you all starting to help?!

* Disclaimer - this post was prompted by another - but not directly aimed at the writer of that post. (in fact I think the writer of that post gets this stuff deep deep in her soul - as she is an adoptee) That's why I wrote this here - and not there - as I just had things I wanted to say.

** Disclaimer 2 - there are many AP's out there that truly do get this stuff - and I thank you - you give me hope - and I know that your adoptee's will be able to grow with the understanding that they need.

*** Disclaimer 3 - I do have a very full and crazy life outside of here. I do not go around with my head down, day after day, saying - 'oh feel sorry for me - I'm an adoptee'.
Again - if for ONE second you think that about me - or many of the blogging adoptees - you really just. don't. get. it.
I have another blog - which is just about life in general - but this adoption stuff is important to me & deserves a blog of it's own - so I keep it all here.

17 Comments:

Blogger Lori A said...

Yes, yes, yes, and YES!! I agree with you 100%. I have read it before and shake my head in disbelief that with so much to learn form the people who lived it so many can be so ignorant. That they can't see the efforts being made to not redo what has not worked in the past. I honestly believe one day they will be the ones shaking their heads wondering why they didn't listen when they had a chance.

21/6/08, 11:21 pm  
OpenID littlewing04 said...

Agreed. Beautifully said.

22/6/08, 9:22 am  
Blogger Susan said...

As an adoptive mom, I appreciate this post.

27/6/08, 5:46 am  
Blogger Sunny said...

Have I told you lately that I just adore you? Well, I do. xx

29/6/08, 2:00 pm  
Blogger elizabeth said...

I adore you too!

hugs
xoxoxo

3/7/08, 5:08 pm  
Anonymous Sally / Noni said...

Perfect. Just perfect.

Thankyou for being you, Poss' :)

7/7/08, 3:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With tears in my eyes, thank you. No one understands...A mother is the one who cares for you, kisses the boo-boos, holds your hand, is with you, teaches you etc. The AP...not the one who donated genetic material and formed you in the womb. I'm angry that my "self" is gone. What I'm made of, who I am, my history, where I came from etc. The pain is there every day. I'm angry over so many things...you can't describe it...and others just say "you're angry, get over it.". It doesn't affect my functioning, my life goes on...but it is there nonetheless. Again, thank you...

31/7/08, 5:00 am  
Blogger Dawn S. said...

As the future adoptive mom to three waiting kids, thank you.

3/8/08, 4:56 am  
OpenID expectingamiracle said...

Thanks for posting this. I've been thinking about these things lately and kind of dismayed that the internet leads me to believe:
1. all adoptees are destined to have deep long lasting trauma because their adoptive parents could not fulfill their needs/were crappy parents/only cared about their own feelings
2. all birthmoms feel as though they were coerced into giving their baby away and wished they had never done so

It's nice to hear from someone saying what you SHOULD DO and giving real advice, if you are to be an adoptive parent.

4/8/08, 5:49 pm  
Blogger Nicole said...

Do you mind if I copy/paste to my blog & credit you? This says exactly what I've been wanting to say for a while!!

Love you Poss!!

9/8/08, 10:58 am  
Blogger Possum said...

Thank you all for stopping by.

Lori - thanks - you words mean a lot.
Littlewing - thankyou sweetie.
Susan - thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Sunny - right back at you gorgeous girl.
Miss Liz - and you!!
Sally/noni - I can only but try!! Thanks sweets.
Anon - thanks for dropping in - and commenting. I don't think I went anywhere near the 'AP is my real mother' concept - in fact - that's something I don't actually believe - as such. I have TWO mothers. They are my nature and my nurture. Both are extremely important to me - and I would never down-play one's importance in my life over the other. But for each of us - that is for us to decided - as it is our life - our reality. Thanks again for your words.
Dawn s - thank you for stopping by and commenting.
Expectingamiracle - I guess I've also said in the past what is wrong - but I think that adoptees need to come to an understanding of what is wrong - before we can voice what should be done/changed. Perhaps read those 'rants' - with the view of seeing what was done wrong - and then do it different in practice yourself. For me - this blog is primarily for my healing - first and foremost. Most blogs are usually for the same purpose. Read between the lines - and you will find much information. This is my journey - others must find their own. Thanks for your comments.
Nic - copy and paste and credit away my friend. And thank you for asking.

Hugz,
Poss. xxx

16/8/08, 2:21 pm  
Anonymous donna said...

thank you for saying what i have been feeling for too long! i am an adult child of a step-parent adoption (raised by bio-mom, adoptive dad) and can tell you that i have been going through the hardest time of my life with my parents being angry with me for reconnecting with my bio-dad. he and my mom divorced at 22, he relinquished rights when i was almost 5. long story short, i ran into him in a store when i was 18, my family made it all about them- you only have 1 sister (i have 2 from my dad, 1 from my mom- but only that one counts to them), he is nothing but a sperm donor,blah blah, but my heart ached because i knew that he had a broken heart and many regrets. flash forward to me having to face this-we have reconnected. i have an awesome relationship with them, but my dad (adoptive dad) will no longer speak to me because i "betrayed" him. i have written him a letter, offered peace offerings such as baking him a crumb cake on fathers day, etc. but my efforts go completely ignored and my mom has taken his side and called me destructive, ungrateful and many other horrific untrue character attacks. (after years of talking to me about my bio-dad, supporting me when i got back into contact with him-it was a pseudo support because she admitted that she was expecting it to fail) if not for my strong support system of my husband and good friends, i don't know how i could have managed this on my own.
i am sorry to have written so much, it just felt so wonderful to have my feelings validated. thank you for this post. you have made the weight in my heart a little bit lighter. my mom used to be my best friend and i have not spoken to her in almost a month. this post has truly given me another big step in moving forward. it is really such a shame that adoptive parents (and in my case, enabling biological parents) could put themselves so far ahead of the children they call their own.

18/10/08, 2:34 am  
Blogger Birth Mom of Adoption said...

Do you have hidden anger towards your first mother then? What could she of done differently or better? And can I ask what year you were adopted? Thanks, just curious. Enjoyed the post.

12/11/08, 7:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just want you to know that i come back to this article every now and then and it soothes my heart to know that what i feel is valid and not anything negative. it is not wrong to love those who you are from-bio mom or biodad. thank you.

31/5/09, 1:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand the desire for an adoptee to look for birth parents that didn't want them. It is hurtful to the real parents, and causes many to not consider adoption at all. I think it's wrong and has no benefit on the adoptee. You are only straining your relationship with the family that truly loves you.

15/12/10, 2:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous (above) because many people these days are starting believe adoption is not the best path to parenthood. They read about many adoptees who are angry, or believe their birth parent wants them back (which may or may not be true). I do think adoption is a "loss" for the person who was adopted, in some ways. But it should not define their whole life.

19/12/12, 4:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah! I reserve the right to be bitter and angry. APs, you don't "save" children just by adopting them. We are not low-lying fruit. We actually need more and better parenting than most children because we are already damaged.

16/9/13, 5:33 am  

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