If someone asks one of our four children “What’s it like to be adopted?” Their answer is usually “I don’t know” “How do I answer a question like that?” “What’s it like to be you?” I’ve always wondered, because I too am adopted, and I don’t know what it feels like to be anything but me. I stayed in my family of origin, because my adoption happened due to the death of my biological father, but like I hear in a lot of articles written by adoptees, I didn’t have a choice of who was to become my father. My mom remarried, and my “new” “un-biological” father raised me. You can say it’s not the same, I know my medical history…not really – both of my birth parents don’t know who their biological fathers were..my grandfathers were second marriages (relationships) for my grandmothers. All four of our children have more information about their medical background then I do! My birth father had a son before he married my mom, who I met but haven’t seen in 40 years and without doing a search, have no idea where he is. I don’t know if he has children.
I wish there was a way that life could be perfect, that people could fall in love and have children and stay together forever. That they would love them and take care of them and show them how to be good people and good parents so they could go out and repeat the same thing…BUT this is not the reality. People have casual sex, babies are made…there is poverty and abuse and drugs and horrible parents and life really sucks sometimes.
I don’t EVER want to idealize adoption..it is not always rainbows and unicorns – research states it is always better for children to stay in family of origin – my questions is at what cost? Without the possibility of adoption, we would have hundreds of thousands of children without families. I’ve heard people say if we just threw the money into reunifying families that is spent on adoption – we could help these families…possibly some of them – but no not most of them. Abuse is real, addiction is real, life is real. Spend one year working out here..spend one year trying to get a woman off drugs so she can raise her child, one year where her child sits in the same home and watches people in and out buying drugs. one year watching this woman and her child move from motel room to motel room and eviction after eviction. Spend one year assisting her, helping to make a stable environment with no attempts from her to get clean. How long do we wait? How many rooms does this 9 year old deserve to live in. When he tells you he is going to start charging the people coming into his home and taking his food ..is that when? Or is it when mom actually starts making the drugs herself?
I wish we all had third and fourth chances..but I’ve seen enough children abused through these third and fourth chances that I’m not willing to be part of them anymore. Children don’t get to make choices, adults do. Not everyone is ready or willing to be helped….I don’t get to write the Rule Book but I do get to decide what choices I am going to make. I ended up with a pretty good life. I was given opportunities I might not have had, and I Love both my dad’s..the one that helped to create me and the one who provided me guidance and support through life.
Adopted is adopted..there are no degrees of which adoption is less or more …I am an adoptee and I am real.