I am in a few groups on Facebook dedicated to finding people. More specifically, they are dedicated to the search by adoptees (people who have been adopted) to find their biological families. We (adoptees) are able to talk with others who have lived experiences similar to ours. Trust me when I say that there are more scenarios than you could ever imagine- but the great thing is that there is at least one other person who has experienced things in the exact same way as you.
When I first began actively searching and using these groups, I mostly read posts on the pages. I wanted to see what these people were all about. I wanted to see what they were capable of doing. Were these pages a scam or could the people actually help me? There were posts by people looking for old high school friends, a parent who was known but had become absent, and people asking for help with different types of record searches. The ones I focused on, and that were the most numerous were the ones made by adoptees.
Many of them focused on the search- “My name is ____. I was born in ____. I know “this,” “this,” and “this” about my birth parents.” Those were the majority of posts. However, there were also some from adoptees “ranting” questions like “why.” That “why” can cover sooo many different things. The “why” that stuck out the most were ones that read similar to this:
Why does my biological mother/father/aunt/uncle/sister/brother not want anything to do with me? Why do they keep saying that they do not wish for contact? I deserve to know why they did what they did. I deserve an explanation. I deserve to know where I came from and why they didn’t want me. They have NO RIGHT to keep this from me. They’re being selfish.
The author of those types of posts and those commenting really shocked me with how venomous and resentful they were. They harbored so much hatred and contempt for people they only shared DNA with. It blew my mind. I realized that I might actually be in the minority in my way of thinking. Here is a shortened version of my story.
I found out I was adopted while at our church in Corinth, Mississippi when I was about 5.. I think.. The age range would be from 4-6 years old, so 5 sounds good. I found out. I asked Mama and Deddy about it. I don’t remember their answer, but apparently it was enough for me at the time. There has never been a time that I got angry about it. “Man! The lady who gave birth to me needs to just come clean about it. She needs to just tell everyone what went on and that she gave me up. I deserve to know why she made that decision. She’s such a selfish person! I can’t believe she didn’t want me,” never entered my mind. I’ve never felt anger, resentment, entitled. Never have I EVER felt that way. Even once I found out that I have a younger brother who was kept and not put up for adoption, I never felt that way.
One of my very best friends once told me that I amaze him with my self-awareness and the fact that I can so clearly remove my “self” view from a situation to see the bigger picture. I guess I have always been an empathetic person. I always felt and knew that there had to be a reason and a situation that I may never understand that lead to my adoption. The thought that people just put their children up for adoption because they can never occurred to me, but it seems that it had to the people in some of those groups. People who grew up in kind, loving, and supportive (financially and emotionally) homes harbored A LOT of hatred and I don’t understand why.
Yes, these women gave birth to us. Yes, we were raised by people who are not biologically related to us (in many cases.) No, we don’t know our biological history and biological familial backgrounds. No, we don’t know our medical history. No, we don’t DESERVE to know. We have a WANT and DESIRE to know, but knowing or not knowing is not going to have a bearing on whether we survive or not. These people have every right to refuse communication with us. We are strangers to them and they to us.
The actions of our First Mothers wasn’t personal toward us, but the result of a specific situation. These women, for whatever reason, created us, carried us, gave birth to us, and then gave us the best gift they felt they could give us: a hopefully loving home with parents who would give us the world. They gave us life and opportunity. They did not abort us and throw us away as trash. I imagine one of the hardest things someone can do is give a child up, regardless of the situation. Every day, asking similar questions to those of the adoptee: What is she/he doing right now? Is he/she alive? Successful? What if my child was placed in a home that turned out to be detrimental to them? His/her hurt would be my fault, but had I not made that decision it would have been worse.
I absolutely hate the fact that so many people feel hurt by their adoptions. Many of us, including myself at times, struggle with a feeling of abandonment that we can’t explain. The feeling just comes up out of nowhere surprising us because we can’t remember a situation where we were actually abandoned. It really breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that adoption even has to exist, but oh boy! am I glad that it does. I am so glad that there are people who look past “we’re blood” and see “even though not by DNA, you ARE mine.” I am so thankful that there are people who can love, without restrictions and love with everything they have, children who might not know love otherwise. I know that each situation is different, but I just wish that people would err on the side of empathy and kindness rather than that of blame, venom, and accusations. That’s all.