Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why is Biology Important?

(Originally posted at Wordpress on 11/21/07)

Biology is not important. Love conquers all.

I've been hearing this so much lately that I just want to run from the room screaming whenever someone utters these tired, overused phrases.

Just why is biology important? Well, perhaps for someone who hasn't had to go without it, that question might seem hard to comprehend. Perhaps to that woman who can so casually dismiss the importance of having that familial connectedness with someone, anyone, whether they be of good or bad quality, this is something of little consequence. But for those of us who have lived our entire lives without it, it can be a big deal.

Adoptees are expected to occupy a specified place. It is a precarious place; we fill the hopes and dreams of our adopters and make their lives complete. We are often that last great hope, or that miracle gift, or that poor unwanted/unfortunate foundling who was saved and taken in by this gracious family. We have an obligation to fill. We are responsible for keeping our aparents' happiness intact, for bringing that joy into their lives, for completing their happy family. We have a big role, huge pressure to perform. We must excel, be the perfect child, get good grades, make our aparents proud. If we don't succeed, of course it is the fault of our DNA, it is bad "blood", biology rearing its ugly head. But if we're good? Oh, blessed be the aparents and their wonderful parenting, they did such a good job taking in this poor little waif and creating such a magnificent work.

Because heaven forbid anything good come from the adoptee herself, or that any "good" DNA exist in her cells.

But it's a funny thing, that biology, because even through all that loving and doting, all that showering with affection and worshipping at the altar of the adoptee, some of us still commit the ultimate sin of The Search.

Horrifying, isn't it?

I know.

So why is it that adoptees perform The Search, anyway? Why is it that Love Isn't Enough? Is it some sort of genetic defect, brought about by our n-mother's probable history of drug and alcohol abuse? Is it our "fantasy" of some mythical, goddess-like woman who will welcome us back home with open arms and make all our hurts go away? Or is it based on something more in reality?

I tend to think it's more reality-based.

Have you ever watched the television show Lost? I love it; I'm a Lost junkie. So for those of you who have seen it, just imagine, if you will, that you were on that Oceanic flight. You are one of the survivors, lost on some unknown island, you have no idea where you are and you have no way to get off that island to get home. Let's pretend a little further that the Others grabbed you, gave you a new name, refused to let you return, made you live with them as one of "their family", wouldn't let you have access to any part of who you used to be (even though they seem to have the capability to know everything about you and your life prior to the crash) (hmm...seems a lot like real life and sealed records!!). You are basically a prisoner, yet they profess to love you.

Oh sure, after some time, you'd probably get used to this, you may even grow to love your new "family", but a part of you would always long to go back home, wouldn't it? I mean, I know this is a stretch of the imagination but just play along with me here. If you were in that situation, where you were stuck with these people and knew you couldn't ever return home, you'd probably grow quite attached and even grow to love them as a family...but you'd never stop loving your "real" family back "home" and you'd never stop longing for them. There would always be a part of you that wanted to go back and see your mother, your father, your uncles or cousins or whoever it is that was back in "civilization" where you came from.

If you can indulge me this, and really try to put yourself in there, then perhaps, just maybe, you can understand the importance of "biology" for an adoptee.

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