I was reading a post over on the forum today and something one of our members said really struck a chord with me.
...I wish all the people who've told me how lucky I am to be adopted and how wonderful it is, could have felt the confusion and sickness I felt after all that. I constantly feel, and I am sure all adopees get this, that I'm being dragged from one loyalty to another.God this is SO TRUE. The loyalty thing! Adoptees are pushed and pulled in different directions all the time by our families, our friends, by complete strangers who think they have the right to dictate our lives to us. And to not even realize what they are doing, while telling us to be grateful for having people such as themselves pushing us around. It's insane-making. On one hand, you have the obvious pro-adoption camp who think that adoptees should "get over" their biological family and be happy/grateful/thankful/glad we have this super duper awesome forever family who so graciously let us sleep under their roof and tossed us some food from time to time. And then you have the seriously anti-adoption nuts who will tell you that your adoptive parents are nothing more than child abductors and any "love" I think I feel for them is simply Stockholm Syndrome and they are only merely fond of me as well. (Yes, I have actually heard those words from someone). And then there's the rest of society - people who are well-meaning usually, maybe they have no real connection with adoption so they don't know what to think, or maybe they know someone who knows someone who is adopted and they feel this way or that, so of course all adoptees should. And last but not least, you have your families, adoptive and, if in reunion/open adoption, your biological families. And I count my friends in here too, because they are close to me and are part of my "inner circle" so to speak. Everyone has an opinion on where my loyalties should lie. EVERYONE. And almost everyone feels they have the right to TELL me where my loyalties lie. What is it about loyalty anyway? I mean, why is it that society has this idea that adoptive parents are like a lover who is being cheated on if the adoptee decides to see where she came from? What's with this notion that because they raised me, I can't form friendships and relationships with people other than them? Oh wait...I can, just not anyone who might share my DNA. Because THAT would be "disloyal." I can call my mother-in-law Mom, but if I called my n-mother Mom? THAT would be a betrayal. And most people have no qualms whatsoever about telling me so, and making me feel like shit in the process. Because my own feelings and needs don't matter, apparently. And then to top it off by telling me how awesome it must be to feel this way. Do people listen to themselves? I don't think so. I don't think they even think about what is about to come out of their mouth most of the time. And damn this is turning into another anti-adoptive parent thing isn't it? LOL no, no, I don't hate my adoptive parents. Nothing could be further from the truth. And if they were alive today? I don't think they'd be the least bit bothered by my reunion and subsequent relationships with my biological family. At least I like to think they wouldn't, because they were pretty awesome people, and never once made me feel like I should be grateful for my adoption. They never used any of the tired old cliche's about adoption, and I'm so thankful for that. And you know, they ARE my parents. I DO feel a loyalty to them. But that doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't also have a space for the people who are my family by birth. What is so dangerous, or disloyal, about having more people in my life who love me? Do people tell their friends, they can't make more friends because the old friends will feel betrayed? I've never heard of that happening. But it's kind of par for the course in adopto-land. And it's funny, because when it comes to my biological vs. adoptive siblings, the sentiments don't seem to apply. Nobody thinks my adoptive brothers will feel betrayed if I list my biological brother as such on my FB family list. Nobody tells me I shouldn't talk to him because my brothers were the ones beating me up my entire childhood, not him. Nobody seems to care, they actually think it's pretty cool. But the parents loyalty thing is what's huge. And it's not like I can suddenly go back and be re-raised by my b-mom...it's not like my entire lifetime of memories is going to be wiped clean and I'll forget my a-parents ever existed. Yet people think adoptees must choose one or the other, pick sides, be loyal. I'll tell you what...I'll be loyal to those who show me love and respect and EARN my loyalty. And I - me, myself and I alone, will decide who that its. I don't tell anyone else who they should be loyal to...but for some reason, adoptee loyalty is open season. Sickening.