Adoption is complicated. I know that many believe the opposite but often those opinions are formed without ever talking to the person adoption affects the most: The Adoptee.
I never realized how many of the wounds I carried had been inflicted by my adoption. I just assumed that most people had trouble looking others in the eye, or felt like they had to walk on eggshells so they didn’t get abandoned again, or kept everyone at an emotional distance so they wouldn’t get hurt.
It wasn’t until I began connecting with other adoptees that I saw just how much brokenness comes from being given away. If I told you that I had lost my entire family as a newborn you’d likely assume that they had died in some tragic way and you’d feel sorry for me. But when I say that I’m adopted, people seem to assume that it’s something I should be grateful for. As though adoptees don’t have the right to grieve the family they were born into and then immediately separated from.
I have come to the conclusion that I’m allowed to love my adoptive family and still be sad about missing out on growing up with my biological sisters. Most adoptees feel as though they don’t fit in anywhere. They don’t fit with their adoptive families because they don’t share the same DNA but they also don’t fit in with their biological families because they were separated from them.
It’s like dropping a glass on the floor and watching it shatter. No matter how much glue you use to put it back together, it’s never quite right. It took me four years to write and work up the nerve to publish my first novel partially because I didn’t want to upset anyone I was related to or raised by, and partially because I didn’t want to offend any adoptees if they didn’t like my story.
That’s the thing though. It’s my story. I’m allowed to tell it in whatever way I want to because it’s mine. And you get to tell your story for the same reasons.
This blog post was first posted in 2021 and at the time I was just about to publish the first book in a three part series loosely based on my life. I felt like I was going to puke but I did it anyway because that’s how you grow. And you know what? It won two awards. You can grab it here if you’d like.
I’ve since published the second book in the series and am working on the third. A lot has changed since I first published Adopted and I am better for it. I can’t recommend writing your story enough. If you need help getting started, check out my free course.