Monday, November 10, 2008

Adoption, or Not Adoption

Thinking about all the internal upheaval surrounding my family (adoptive) and going home for Christmas... I know that so much of this has little or nothing to do with adoption.

That's the real struggle in all of this... Trying to tease out what goes back to adoption, and what goes back to just being part of a family. And I realize much of my struggles with my family are due to just being part of the family.

I think that's why it gets so tricky talking about the negatives in adoption. People want to dismiss my perspective (sometimes) on the grounds that I had a negative experience. But I don't think of myself as having had a negative adoption experience. My adoptive parents love me. They certainly didn't make a big deal about my adoption. Indeed, the only thing I think they could have done better regarding the adoption is by being more open to talking about it.

But that doesn't mean I don't have issues with my family. I know that I do; it's just that it's not really traceable back to the adoption itself. (I suppose it's possible that some of these things wouldn't bother me if I were biologically related, but I have no real evidence for that.) If I talk about those issues, people can dismiss me just having had a bad experience. But I didn't.

I don't like adoption. But it's not because of my experiences growing up.

I think why some of these issues with my family have started to seem connected to adoption for me is that my reunion has brought a lot of these emotional issues to the surface. I'm revisiting feelings and reactions that I never really put to rest before, at least not permanently.

There is so much baggage to deal with. It would be a mistake to lay it all at the feet of adoption. But it would also be a mistake to think that adoption is somehow, for all of that, not complicated and without major problems.

It never ends. It just changes shape.

No comments: