Most likely readers here already know that I am adopted, ( see DW/LJ handle). Most people on my Facebook also know unless they never see some of my news feed posts. I was painfully ashamed of being adopted for years; decades actually. I lied through my teeth to friends, colleagues and anyone else because I detested people’s responses like:
“You’re so lucky.”
“It was God’s plan.”
“You’re special because you were chosen.”
and my personal favorite, “You should thank your lucky stars!”
Those sayings only made me feel conflicted, ashamed for being under par and infantile. Since I wanted to avoid those conversations, I kept my mouth shut and faked it till I made it. That plan worked for a long time.
Then I found a support group and I found my biological family. I wasn’t ashamed of my family, so I decided I shouldn’t keep hiding. Still, I had to learn how to do that, and part of learning how to “come out” would mean I’d have to learn how to deal with those less-aware societal comments I detested.
Now my adoption is no secret. It’s not a source of shame, and
I have a rebuttal or a way to debunk each one of these one-sided remarks. For me to be lucky, at least one other person had to be unlucky and pay a helluva price. What kind of luck is that? What if I don’t believe in a traditional G-d? Puppies get chosen from a litter. Who should I thank? My parents who adopted me? Do you thank your parents who didn’t have to adopt you but still raised you? How much more thankful than you am I supposed to be?
Not only can I express these feelings in writing to my online friends and communities. If necessary, I can express these thoughts in real life. What I’ve discovered more often than not is that most people then reply with:
“I never thought about it that way before.”
“I can see how you think that way.”
and “That makes sense.”
This day and age is a lot “safer” for adopted people to not just come out but also speak up about their situation. We don’t agree with 100% closed adoptions, hidden truths, adoption for major profit, gaslighting or demeaning of anyone’s personal feelings regarding being adopted. We do agree with first-family support first, providing honest medical and heritage information and professional training that is specific to the adoptee experience for counselors, therapists and clergy.
DNA testing is bringing more scientific evidence of how nature and nurture both have a place as well as the fact that missing and secret family members who were born out of wedlock years ago can’t be kept in a closet any longer. DNA = Do Not Argue. Adoptees are coming out, and we are outing the secret keepers one by one, agency by agency, state by state and country by country.