“It’s a girl” can be a deadly statement in some countries. For me, that one sentence made my birth parents abandon me in front of my orphanage when I was only two days old.
For most of my childhood and young adult life I held to the belief that I was unwanted and not worthy of love. All around me I heard or saw: “you’re lucky to be adopted,” “I wish I was,” or “be thankful you were chosen.” These statements just made me more uncomfortable with the fact that I was adopted. I was so angry with my birth parents that they were able to give up their daughter. I hated that I wasn’t with a family who looked like me. I hated that I was different. I felt abandoned: my own birth parents didn’t want me, so why would my adoptive parents?
My hatred prevented me from having relationships with my family.
But here’s the thing: adoption doesn’t have to be related to bitterness. So many adoptees focus on the negative points of adoption rather than the positive. We are no longer orphans, wards of the state, or alone. We are surrounded by friends and family who love us and want to know how we feel.
WE ARE LOVED.
Yet so many cling to the belief that they are alone.
I am sad that some of my adopted friends are unable to see adoption as something more than a painful event. Yes, I do cry and mourn the loss of a life with my birth parents. Yes, there are days when I wish I was not adopted, but the days that I celebrate my adoption far outweigh the bad days.
My adoption brought me into a wonderful family, a family who loves me and wants to help me with how I feel. A family who helped me overcome my bitterness and change it into something different. A family who introduced me to God. While my family had a lot to do with how my thoughts towards adoption have changed, God made the biggest change by taking away my pain. Once I opened up and allowed God into my life, my feelings of abandonment, loneliness, bitter, and anger all went away.
So, to those struggling with bitterness toward their adoption, you are not alone.
We all struggle with the same feelings, but you do not need to let those feelings dominate your life. The people around you do not know what you are feeling, but that does not mean they don’t want to know. To change how adoption makes you feel, you - as an adoptee with a voice - need to tell others how you feel. It is okay to express those feelings of sadness, jealousy, or anger.
Without sharing those feelings, they become bottled up.
Tell others what you feel and I promise that you will have the support and love you want.
Adoption should not be sugar-coated. It is more than just a one-time event, it defines adoptees’ lives. But, adoption should NOT be associated with bitterness. It is a joyful event that brings those who were once alone into families that want to love you. My bitterness was taken away and replaced with love and understanding because of God.
While I still sometimes have trouble with my past, I’m choosing to speak up.
As adoptees, we are each other’s only advocates.
When we speak up we show other adoptees and non-adoptees our thoughts and feelings.
This is my story and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
If you would like to learn more, please visit my blog.