Friday, November 27, 2009

In the Closet

Despite everything I've been through the last few years, I still don't talk about adoption much in my every day life. I can't say I don't think about it, but I often keep it to myself, even when it might be appropriate to inject it into a conversation.

I feel strongly about adoption, and about sealed records. These are things that matter to me. So why don't I talk about them more?

Maybe that question answers itself. As an adoptee, I have wanted to just fit in for so long. I don't like rocking the boat. I don't want to be considered weird or different. (I suspect this goes beyond merely my adoption, but I think it must play a part.) I was the odd one out in my (adoptive) family. And I just wanted to belong.

Bringing up adoption, and more so my feelings about it, would serve only to distinguish me, to make me stand out from the vast majority of people. So I regularly find myself holding my tongue, when all I want to do is correct misconceptions and to educated about the discrimination against adoptees.

I feel wrong about that. Yes, I blog about this stuff. Yes, I participate in activities online and in my every day life. But I keep so much of it private. And talking about it makes me feel so uncomfortable when I'm face-to-face with someone. I wish it weren't that way. I wish I could do it differently.

Maybe I'm getting better at it. But it's slow going. I do feel trapped in this facade. Trying to keep everyone comfortable and happy so that they don't have to deal with my realities. I'm thankful my wife is so supportive about these issues. I don't think I could take it if I had to keep them from her. But from so many others... I pretend to be a well-adjusted adoptee, when I often feel like anything but.

Well, that puts it wrong. I think I'm relatively well-adjusted. But I'm pretty opinionated about adoption. And I don't speak up as often as I might. Does that make me a phony? Or merely a pragmatist? What is a pragmatist but someone who is a phony with excuses?

For now, all I can do is try to educate people when it seems appropriate. And hope that I can extend my comfort of what counts as appropriate.

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