February 13, 2013

"I'm An Adoptee And I Don't Have Issues!"
A Closer Look...

“I know a person who’s adopted and they’ve had absolutely none of the issues you speak of…” 

 “I’m an adoptee, and I’m just fine…”

“Everybody doesn’t struggle with adoption. I’m one of those people. I’m so happy that I was adopted!”

While it’s a fact that people are different and not everyone’s story is the same, I take issue with the statement that any adoptee can be guaranteed to be void of post-adoption issues simply based upon their current state of being.

My question is: are they still breathing?

If the adoptee is still alive no one can say with certainty or even probability that they will not have any post adoption issues.

If you are emphatically proclaiming that you or your adopted child will have no problems, you might want to pray this prayer:

Dear God,
I pray that you would season my current words with the yummiest flavors possible. Because in the future, I may have to eat them." ~Amen
Let’s consider female adoptees and post-adoption issues, for a moment. One reason why it seems many of them develop issues in adulthood is that some never come face to face with the reality of their relinquishment and adoption until they have children of their own.

I struggled with various aspects of my adoption growing up, although I didn’t have the courage to reveal it. When I became pregnant with our oldest son, it was a major trigger. It didn’t even take the birth to put me over the edge regarding my post-adoption issues and the intense desire to search for my natural mom. While pregnant I was triggered and attended an ALMA support group.

Giving birth was yet another trigger.

Various milestones in my life were a catalyst for post-adoption issues, and I have since discovered this is common for adoptees.

Lisa Floyd is an adoptee who was completely unaware that she had any post-adoption issues until she was 40 years old. She knew there were certain emotional issues, things she describes as "feeling incapable of loving anyone and wondering why she couldn't get close to anyone." It never dawned on her that struggles she experienced for forty years had adoption at the root. 

 Lisa says, "At forty years old, I finally came out of my 'adoption fog.' The trigger for me was reading The Primal Wound. It described my behavior to a tee and answered every question I had about myself. It gave me the first real validation of my feelings and I finally felt like I wasn't crazy! I wish I had figured things out sooner, so I wouldn't have wasted so many years. The lost years are one of the hardest things to deal with." 

 Rebecca Hawkes shares, "I had my first adoption-related breakdown in my mid-20s – a huge wave of grief that came at me out of the blue and knocked me flat. The next time something similar happened was when I saw the movie The Joy Luck Club. The final scene, in which one of the main characters returns to China to meet her two sisters for the first time, just completely undid me. And yet, I might not have even realized that my reaction had anything to do with adoption if the friend I was with hadn’t asked me why the scene had affected me so intensely. Looking back now at my earlier years I can see lots of ways that my separation from my original family affected me throughout my life; I just didn’t recognize the signs at the time. I would have described myself as happy, but now I see that much of that time I was actually closer to numb."

I've talked to many adoptees who share similar experiences.

For all of the adoptees and AP’s who boast about how they or their child have no issues or have overcome all issues forevermore,  just remember, the word is still out unless the adoptee’s funeral has occurred.

And even then, who knows what was in their heart that they just might not have had the courage to express? 

Today, Lost Daughters is featuring a roundtable post I participated in entitled Emerging from the Fog. It's along these lines and very insightful. If you are an adoptee or you have an adoptee in your life (yeah, that means pretty much everybody) I beg you to go read this post.