Controversy

I’ve been having some thoughts rolling around in my head for a while now about adoption.  Actually, for several months, but I’ve always held my proverbial tongue, because I know they aren’t super “PC”.  They are not the status quo of what most infertility blogs take.  But I figured I might as well put it out there, eh?

I want to preface everything by saying that Hubster and I are open to adoption.  Between the two of us we have a surprising number of people in our lives who are adopted, and adopted during the “dark” days of closed adoptions.  I do NOT believe that people who were adopted should count themselves “lucky”, or that they “dishonor” their A-parents by expressing interest in their B-family/culture.

I also believe in people expressing their emotions, in the importance of being open and honest.  But I also think that at times, we tend to go a bit too far and enable people to be manipulative or wallow in self-pity.

I think that regardless of whether or not you are adopted, you will have some damage from your childhood.  Parents aren’t perfect people, they’re gonna screw up.  I also think that part of being a tween and teen in today’s culture is awkwardness, angst, and rebellion.  We ALL feel like we don’t fit in with our families, like we have nothing in common with them.  We daydream of what life would be life with a different family, different parents.  (And usually this fantasy family is unrealistically perfect compared to the family we currently know)  I look at my biological brother, and we are so different it’s surprising sometimes to think we were raised by the same people, let alone share genetic material.  Hubster and his sister are total opposites.  He is hard working, he doesn’t make excuses, he admits when he has messed up.  His parents made some mistakes throughout his childhood but he works hard to overcome those hangups to the best of his ability.  His sister has really struggled, has a tendency to be lazy and make excuses, and often points to mistakes her parents made as validating her lack of contribution to society.

I guess the bottom line is, I just don’t see how being adopted makes you so incredibly different, or somehow more “damaged” from someone who wasn’t.  (I told you this wasn’t politically correct)

Like I said, we know plenty of people who were adopted.  About half of those folks are stable, strong, independent individuals with careers and families.  Being adopted is a part of who they are but it doesn’t define or consume them.  They are people who made a choice to be content and happy.

Then there is the other half, whose lives are very strongly defined and consumed by the label “adopted”.  They cannot stop wondering “what if I had been raised by my birth family?”  Every bad thing in their life, they point back to adoption as the source of all their problems.  Every bad childhood moment was because they were adopted.

I think there is something to be said for nature vs. nurture.  In my opinion, the people who are going to point fingers and blame would do so regardless of what was in their past, they would find something to blame it on.

I think that at a certain point, you make a decision.  Either to acknowledge that something happened to you that was outside your control and move forward with your life and pursue physical and mental health and contentment; or you choose to not move on, to obsess over “what if” and wallow in pity.

Now, that’s not to say that we don’t all have moments in our life that we get depressed, feel pity for ourselves, wonder “what if”.  Look at the IF community!  There are those of us who, for the most part, continue to have relationships, lives and interests outside of our infertility.  We still think about it, and may have worse days and better days, but generally we are focused on healing and moving forward.  Then there are some who seem to stubbornly refuse to even try to stop the depression and eventually become bitter and miserable.  But really, why would you choose to be continuously unhappy?

For example, there are times (especially certain dates that can trigger these emotions) that I wonder “What if we hadn’t miscarried?  What if we had never even dealt with IF but become parents right away?”  And while I allow myself to feel my feelings, cry etc, I also know I can’t stay in that place.  I don’t want to be miserable.  And I know that as much as I want to be a mother, I also want to be a whole person, because than I stand a better shot of being a good mother.  (Or at least a half-way decent one.)

The same can be said for cancer patients, veterans, people with disabilities or handicaps.  For anyone and everyone who has had something really crappy happen in their lives!  I wish that we could all be in a utopia of cancer-free, infertility-free, healthy, comfortable incomes, raised by biological parents who are perfect and wonderful… but that’s not real life.  Real life has complications and obstacles and is more often than not, unfair. I believe we have to do the best we can with what we’ve got.  And if you occasionally wonder how your life could have been different that’s normal, but I really don’t have a lot of sympathy or patience for people who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions, and are just trying to place blame on anyone or anything other than themselves.

I am really sorry if I have offended anyone with this post.  By no means do mean to imply that the issues you have gone through are invalid – my really point though is that EVERYONE has issues.  Sometimes they are very different issues from one person to the next, but we all have them.  So I’m not as much interested in what your issues are, as I am interested in how you handle that issue.

I also think this post may have come across as incredibly uncaring, but really, I care a lot about people.  I have a lot of love for my family and friends and care DEEPLY for them.  I do all sorts of crazy things, go out of my way, to spend time with them and show them I care.

I have a lot of love for you, my readers, my bloggity-blog friends 🙂  As scared as I am to post this, I feel like it’s way past time I put my two cents out there and be honest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy of the day: I started my shift off, just having an off day.  It really sucked.  😦  But by the end of my shift things we clicking and running smoothly.  And we didn’t unintentionally lose any patients!!!  That is definitely something to be happy about in my book.  Day 41 of 100 Days of Happiness.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. I’m with you. Blamers will be blamers regardless of what has or has not happened.
    My FIL feel really blessed to have been adopted, but his was a very special case and I don’t know anyone else that has the same type of background. And one of my cousins is adopted, but for the life of me I have no clue how she feels about it, but she sure as hell fits in with our family like blood. I would however be wanting to ask her some question if we looked into adoption (which is looking more and more likely) just out of curiosity.
    The idea of open adoptions scares me, but I don’t know enough about it to make a propper judgement. But I do agree that it shouldn’t be taken as an insult to the adoptive parents if the person wants to know about their birth parents as they get older.
    I’m glad to have another admitted non-PCer out there. Not trying to be offensive, just not going to tip-toe trying to find obscure and confusing ways to say things.

    Reply

    • It’s good to know I’m not alone in my thoughts. I can’t decide how I feel about open adoption either… I can see the positives but I can also see the potential negatives… I really feel compelled to pursue international adoption, but that’s more expensive… we shall see which path opens up for us when we get back on the TTC wagon in a few months. Right now I’m just trying to be open to all the possibilities.

      Reply

  2. I just wanted to tell you that I read your post and LOVED it. I don’t have time to write a reply (you know why). But, I am in total agreement with you.

    Reply

    • I was actually thinking of you as I wrote this and was worried you might hate it. I’m glad you didn’t! And I am VERY happy that you don’t have a lot of free time on your hands right now 😉

      Reply

  3. Posted by Rachel @ Eggs In A Row on October 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    My mom is adopted. She totally had an AMAZING family, who never once called her their “adopted” daughter or anything like that.

    That being said, upon occasion, she has said to me that she wondered why she wasn’t adopted until she was 8 days old. She thought about this a lot growing up, and wondered if she had been cuter if her birth mom would have kept her. She didn’t use this as any kind of rebel excuse, but it was in her mind.

    I can see how being adopted would be hard in the whole scheme of abandonment issues. If babies aren’t held when they are developing (i.e. if you are left in a crib at an orphanage a lot), it can cause some issues. Or, if you are raised in a family and you look nothing like your siblings, and they are all “natural babies”, I can see how that would be weird. That being said, people can easily be the black sheep of the family and be completely 100% biological. So who knows?

    Reply

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