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I am adopted.
This is not a facet of my life I advertise a lot, because of some of the negativity I have personally experienced through the 38 years I have been on this Earth. Both my older brother and I are products of adoption. My mom and dad made us well aware for as long as I could remember that we were adopted; they handled the adoption well. I have very limited knowledge of my “birth parents” and I have no desire to find my biological family. I’m very adamant as to why.
And then I saw the dark side to re-connecting to your biological family. My brother’s reunion didn’t go well. His biological siblings wanted more of a relationship than he wanted, and more of a relationship than he had with me, his sister through adoption. His mother had said some very derogatory things about our adopted mom, and I realized that I didn’t want someone in my life, who would bad-mouth the man and woman who raised me. Further, the woman living down the street from me, I learned, was extremely mentally ill. After after her husband had deployed to Iraq, she fell further into depression, and was beating her children severely. Later, she lost those children to another neighbor, and they had attempted to move her out of Germany. She barricaded herself in the house, and her children were eventually sent back to the states. One of them was sent to live with her father, who was horrified by the conditions she was living in with her biological mother, the other was sent to a child molester as revenge for not wanting to live with her biological mother. The girl ran away, and I lost track of her several years ago.
I decided after those two incidents that reconnecting with my biological roots was not something I wanted to do. Even when people decry medical history, or getting to know the roots of where I have come from, I feel compelled to not even have the remotest interest in talking to my biological family. I feel, to this day, that there is very little good that comes from finding where I came from. I’m a 38-year-old woman; so far I am very healthy, and I have no desire to bring extra worry regarding conditions that may, or may not happen. My biological past does not give me any insight on my current health, or my children’s current health. Knowing that I have a predisposition to autism would not have changed my mind in having children. Knowing that I have certain cancers, diseases, or conditions would not change the ultimate outcome. We all have to die sometime, and I have enough drama in my life without adding someone else, who will probably inject MORE drama.
So why state this? What is my goal? I read a recent blog titled “5 Things Not To Say to Parents Considering Adoption.” I agree with all five of those things listed, but the one that gets my goat every time I ever talk to anyone is “asking about a child’s real parents.” Referring to the people who gave birth to me as “real parents” only negates the role of the parents who raised me. My “real” mom was never there. She was not there when the symptoms of ADD and Aspergers got the best of me, when I was afraid of earthworms and the tornado siren. They were not there for me when I met my husband. They didn’t attend my wedding. They were not around when my son was born, nor did I call them when I found out I was having a baby girl 2 years later. They did not console me when I found out my son had autism. They did not visit, provide advice, or help when my husband went through 5 deployments. My biological mother isn’t the person whom I call everyday to see how her day is going. The man and woman who created and gave birth to me are nothing more than a donor. My real parents are the ones who did all the work.
I don’t feel any loss not having these people in my life. I have a full life, I have a complete life. I know that I am amongst the minority of adopted children. I have heard surprise amongst friends and family when I state my opinions about adoption and my past. Further, people get really defensive when I respectfully request that people not advertise my adoption on Facebook, or in other social media. My adoption is not something I’m ashamed of. On the contrary, I am quite proud of the fact that I’m adopted, but it is not a badge I wear on my lapel, nor is it something I want to be used as a crutch, or excuse, for sadness. For a long time, some of the people in my family have had negative opinions of my adoption (namely my husband’s grandmother and my father-in-law), and I don’t believe that I am worse off for having had a mother that gave birth to me as a teenager, and elected (whether through pressure or by choice) to give me up.
My biological parents did give me one gift—the gift of life. My adopted parents are the ones who gave me the inspiration to live to the fullest, the encouragement to fulfill my dreams, and pointed me in the right direction to teach me the morals I hold today. These are things that my biological family did not provide for me, and I value what my REAL parents did for me beyond just giving me life.
Many Kind Regards,
Samantha shares why she works on her marriage through thick and thin- deployments, easy times, adoptions, and unemployment.