It's important that others know they're not alone. I think it's also important for the society to hear, and hopefully understand, that adoption isn't always the best option, nor does it guarantee a happy ending.
I was born in San Francisco, CA. At the time of my birth, my parents already had one-year-old twins.
A year after I was born, my younger brother was born, and between those two events our father walked out, leaving my mother with four children ages, three and under. We were poor, as my father provided no support and my mother had limited employment opportunities.
Unable to adequately provide for our family, my mother allowed me to be adopted at the age of 16 months.
Unfortunately, I was "rehomed" at the age of 10, against my express wishes, when my adoptive mother passed away.
When asked, “How did you get adopted?” I respond with, “I was adopted first by my maternal grandparents, then by my maternal uncle. I wasn't taken in because anyone loved me, but from a misguided sense of family responsibility. I was my mother's ‘mistake’ as well as, initially, my mother's ‘replacement.’”
Once I was adopted, there were multiple challenges I had to overcome.
At first, I was angry due to the fact that I was taken away from my mother at a relatively late age. I had frequent tantrums and many episodes of violent behavior.
I met my mother and my siblings once when I was a child, but they were not allowed to acknowledge our relationship. We reconnected when I was in my 20’s and, while I have ongoing relationships with my siblings, the losses arising from our forced separation mean that we’ll never really be close.
When told I was to be handed off after my adoptive mother's death, I was devastated. The man who'd promised to be my "forever father" was giving me away, and after he did so, went on to become a social butterfly and remarried soon after. I felt completely abandoned and unloved.
The woman who was to be my new adoptive "mother" didn't like me and didn’t want me to be part of her family. The feeling was mutual, and our relationship was strained the entire time I lived with her. She was an alcoholic and abusive, physically and emotionally, and she treated me horribly.
There were times when she told me that my birth mother didn't want me, and did her best to make my life miserable.
The most pressing challenge at this point is my attempt to have my adoption annulled. I've legally reclaimed my birth name, but want to also legally cut off all ties to the people who I was forced to live with. As an adult, I firmly believe that I should have the right to break the “contract” that decided my fate, but to which I had no voice.
I do not want the adopters to be listed on my death certificate, so an additional challenge is making sure that my executor follows my stated wishes when I die. The piece of paper that documents my birth may be falsified; the one that documents my death should tell the truth.