I'm almost sure I've talked about this before, but I've seen enough comments about bitter adoptees who have turned out badly because of crummy parents that I feel the need to revisit this. I apologize if I'm just repeating myself.
I often see adoptees who complain about adoption be dismissed because they had bad experiences. They should, it seems, be quiet so they don't ruin it for the children that will have wonderful experiences if only people are allowed to adopt them.
This response seems to be an attempt to explain away adoptees' concerns and criticisms. If it's just a matter of who our parents are, if they just messed up, then it isn't adoption that's the problem. We just got lousy parents. Thus, people are free to adopt as long as they aren't "lousy."
Here's the thing, my parents weren't lousy. Were they perfect? No, of course not. But they weren't lousy, either. Some adoptees did get lousy parents, which seems to me a doubly-whammy. Because if I'm this screwed up over adoption and I didn't get lousy parents, imagine how someone who did must feel.
Am I mad at my adoptive parents? No. Am I mad at my first mom? No. But that doesn't mean that I'm okay with my adoption.
Some people seem to be willing to admit that it wasn't the fault of my adoptive parents. But then they seem to want to turn it on me. There must be something wrong with me. Lots of adopted kids turned out okay and happy, so there must just be something broken in me.
I'm presenting ideas that I've seen elsewhere on the internet, without giving direct quotations because I'm not trying to take anyone to task. I'm after an idea, here, not people.
The problem I have, with all of this, is that it strikes me as so obviously delusional. Could that many adoptees just be screwed up? Could that many have had horrible parents? The answer, it seems, has to be no.
But the real problem for me is that all of this criticism of adoptees sows doubt in my skull. Did I just get lousy parents and not realize it? If so, does that mean that's what I should be pissed off about?
That doesn't seem right. Am I just broken inside?
And there it is. The worry that I'm broken. That's something is deeply wrong with me. I don't want to be happy. Or I'm incapable of it. That no matter what my life had been like, I would be a miserable person.
Am I a miserable person? Am I not okay? Not happy? I didn't think so. But all these defenders of adoption tell me that I must be. That the problem is I'm deeply flawed.
Why should I listen to them?
Because it's the predominant voice in our society. Our society lauds adoption, views it romantically, sees it in the best possible light. When that is the message you hear day-in and day-out, you begin to doubt yourself. You can't help it. I can't help it.
So even while I have always thought there was something deeply wrong with adoption, I have always kept it to myself. I knew it would just give people one more reason to think there was something different about me. Something wrong.
And when I see people dismiss adoptees and their concerns about adoption in these ways, I feel my deepest fears about myself confirmed. What if it's true? What if I'm broken?
I lash out, sometimes vehemently, against such criticism. Not because it really angers me, but because it cuts too close to home. It touches that deepest fear and brings it to the surface. Like a cornered animal I lash out, because there is nothing left to do.
Would it be better if I could quit listening to those voices? If I could just conquer that fear and let it go? Yes, of course. But it's so hard to quit listening when the voices seem everywhere, and there seem to be so few voices to counter them.
"You're broken. You're broken. You're broken."