Adoptees Connect

Please Don’t Tell Me I Was Lucky to Be Adopted 

Shareen Pine took the words right out my mouth. Her article that I included above is an article that spoke to me on so many different levels…

“Adoption loss is truly multi-generational”- Shareen starts off with a conversation that her daughter had with her friend about how she also feels like an adoptee because she lost her birth grandmother. I have always thought about my future children and how I wanted to create as much truth about their past as I could prior to me having them. I mean, the thought of my children was a major influence as to why I wanted to begin and complete my search for my birth mother and family. I wanted to be able to give to my children what my adoptive parents were not able to give or didn’t know how to give. I wanted to provide names, pictures, answers, a story for them to pass on to their children.

What I didn’t realize, was that is goes much farther than what I want and how I feel. Shareen acknowledged how her daughter felt and that is something that I never considered before. There is not much I can do now since I do not have any children yet, but I realized that no matter how many pictures or stories I tell them about my search and what I was able to find out, they are still going to experience the same loss as me… no relationships and no contact with birth family prior me. I think that Shareen’s daughter is very wise to see herself as an adoptee in her own special way because besides me and my children’s father, they will have no connections or ties; they too may feel a loss as I do.

“Adoptees are often so busy trying to prove that we’re fine…” -This is how I would self soothed myself when I felt broken and lost not only as a child, but also as a young adult. My response to family’s concerns up until recently has always been, I’m fine or Ill be okay. I didn’t have the strength or the comfort to really express myself until I started counseling in college. A big part of not expressing myself was that I didn’t have the language to do it. I didn’t know how to talk about my feelings. I didn’t know how to not feel guilty. I didn’t know how not to worry about what people thought or how I would make them feel if I yell out, I hate being adopted. I didn’t know that it was okay and that it was absolutely normal to have these feelings because I was constantly being reminded to feel lucky and grateful. I would speak the words of feeling lucky and grateful to others without them having any meaning behind them. I could feel myself forcing these words out because that is what people wanted to hear and expected me to feel. I allowed others’ expectations to override and bury my truth.

“Can you imagine being the only person in the world you know you’re related to?”- Right!?! This is really an odd and confusing feeling, especially being around family and friends who are all biologically connected and related to one another except to me. I didn’t really get this feeling until my little brother was born. All I could hear was how much he looked like my father. Looking back on that now, it was really a weird experience and odd to be around those conversations. I felt left out. I would always wonder if my parents attention would spark at that moment and think about how I may feel. I was hopeful that they would turn to me and ask me how I felt or even acknowledged that that is a conversation I wouldn’t be a part of.  We all remained quiet.

“…Or why they told me that my adoptive parents saved me.”- I have heard it all. My adoptive parents saved me, my birth mother loved me so much that she had to surrender her rights to raise me, your life is so much better now, you probably would have been a prostitute or better yet, dead in the gutter because that’s what Indians do to the female babies. Talk about a lot of shit to hear and try to make sense of as a young child. For some reason, it did always amaze me how these possible truths came from people who have never been to India, never lived in India, and don’t  know shit about my birth mother and her truth at the time of my birth. It took me all the way up until just a few years ago to accept that these people wanted to feel like saviors and that they wanted to feed their ego. Their words were so inaccurate after I found out what my truth was that it now makes me laugh at how stupid they all look now.

Even till this day, I think about what my life could have been like if I were to stay with my biological family in Goa. Never once do I think or feel that it would be worse or better than my life now.

To close this post, I would like to say thank you to Shareen Pine and her daughter for speaking out and sharing their truth. Validation is so important in adoption and I cannot begin to express how much I have learned from their words.

One thought on “Adoptees Connect

  1. It was the way NOT to speak of adoption. My mother took in children and gave them the same last name but did not legally adopt. It was wartime and just too many orphans. Myself, I am First Nations North American aboriginal meaning that I have ties to several countries like French/Italian/NorwegianGerman/Mandarin/Spanish, etc. One can not call themselves First Nations if one has only one or two dna differences. I do not have negro dna nor dna from India/Pakistan. But, I do know what discrimination feels like. My sisters/brothers are not aboriginals but one is Danish, three are Dutch and June was Chinese. I mention June only because none of my friends knew that she was Chinese. We were not allowed to say things like, “This is my sister June. She is Chinese.” One, she was not adopted, secondly, it was rude and thirdly, it was the rule of the house. June was always searching for heritage and is given honourable mention by the Loyalty Society who gleaned her work for their books. It was June that would visit the others but perhaps because we were not real brothers and sisters the others never really visited but went their own ways. It is the way sometimes of the adoptee. I would like to say to Shaaren Pine that it is unfortunate that she feels at a lost. Has she ever considered that these lows may be “clinical depression”. What is that? It is being depressed for absolutely no reason and it is a trait that may be inherited. I feel for her mom. I visited India and Pakistan. Did you know those that are called “unclean” that some of the girls had their clitoris removed along with labia and other parts, right? Such ones leaked pea all day and would smell. Girls were married off at five and older but the marriage was never consumed. The valuables, what ever they did have the right to inherit, would go to the groom’s family while they were sent to live in a sort of nunary where they were shaven and taught to beg. The monies they paid for rent did not pay off a mortgage but went to some owner. It was a lifetime in an open prison without hope. Please forgive your adoption. And, try to reach out to comfort a very lonely woman who may also have suffered from “clinical depression” or worse. I can’t see cutting your wrists as a result of an adoption but each person feels things differently. I hope you write a book someday but first, visit India. Thanks for sharing, iris wigle-cutforth


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