Saturday, November 1, 2008

Who Would I Be?

I was asked, a while ago, by a first mother about my adoption. She wanted to know why I had said I would have preferred to be with my first mom. Wasn't I who I am today because of being raised by my adoptive parents? I thought I'd share my answer here...

Honestly, I can't know what I would be like, or who I would be, had I been raised by my first mom rather than my adoptive parents. I do love them, but would I not be me if they hadn't been around? I am very intelligent, which is something I got from my genes (this I know). I am very creative, which also came from my genes. I have low self-confidence which came from being abandoned as an infant (as well as other factors I can point to in my environment). So had I not been raised by the people who raised me, maybe I would have accomplished more in my life than I already have. But maybe not. I cannot know. No one can.

Whatever good things came out of my relinquishment (and I'm currently having trouble coming up with any), I don't think they outweigh the simple fact that I missed my mom. For 36 years, I missed her. Nothing can compensate for that. She loved me and would have supported me, but I didn't have that because she wasn't in my life. Did others love and support me? Yes. But they weren't her.

I am, today, a reasonably happy, well-adjusted, successful person. I do not want to minimize any of the help I have received in getting to this place from family and friends. But I am not who I am today because of adoption. I am who I am today IN SPITE of adoption. Adoption messes with people's heads. And I had much to overcome, and I lost much in losing my mother so young.

This answer, for me, is the essence of things. I cannot know that my life would be better had I not been adopted. I cannot know that it would have been worse, either.

But for all that, we don't seek out pain and suffering on the hope that things will be better, in the long run. The point, for me, is that adoption causes (for many, if not all) pain and suffering. That's to be avoided if at all possible.

In addition to the beginning of NaBloPoMo, this is the beginning of National Adoption Month. And that answer sums up what I would like everyone in our society to take away from this month. I am happy to raise awareness of adoption. But not to celebrate it. Not to romanticize it. But to give society a more realistic picture of what adoption really is.

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