You who came into the world with one set of parents and ended up with another set of parents; will always be part of two sets of parents. You may have even more than two sets of parents.You will need to remind others of that fact often. I have had three. Two sets I know about. The third set from my first year as a foster child; I know very, very little.
Your less favorable traits (and we all have them) don’t all belong to your first parents any more than the most favorable ones belong to your second or third set of parents. You will need to remind others often of that fact also.
You may need help healing from the trauma that comes from being separated from your first family or any consecutive family that you shared your life with. This is ok. Everyone needs help at some point for something. You may also need help healing from landing in a home with people who didn’t understand that you would always be a part of everyone who helped bring you into existence and to the place and person you are today. You may need help from healing from abuses endured from either of those parents. Find you in that healing and grow strong. Be kind to self and patient. Bandaged layers sometimes get pulled back one at a time. They also may take lots of time to remove.
Don’t let labels, such as, “adopted”, “RAD”, “FAS”, “ADD”,”different”, “abused” become other people’s tools to describe why you are a mess and somehow as “damaged goods” need to be fixed. This is your journey. Your healing. Labels and therapy are helpful when they bring understanding, healing, support, and help to the person who is getting the help. They’re not helpful when used by parents who assign all “those bad things” to first parents or to the person who is adopted’s “tragic” story. Your story is your story and it is private.
You deserve to know everything about you that you can possibly find, discover, and learn. Every moment whether painful or not belongs to you. Fight hardest to learn all that you need to know about you and your story. I believe truth is the torch that leads the way to your healing. Lots of people want to tell your story or adoptee’s story, but few really want to listen to what it feels like to be adopted or to take advice around adoption issues from adoptees. You will get to practice patience and kindness a lot, but don’t stop telling your story as it is for you. It is a sad day in this country when as an adult you are not able to access your own medical and birth records and original birth certificate simply because you were adopted. A tragic and horribly wrong culture of thought that permeates in the world of adoption. Somehow people still believe you are to forever be a child who should forever be grateful.
Finally, you will hear that you were lucky, fortunate, blessed and saved. You will hear that enough that you will work really hard to be perfect, good enough, just right, fit in, hide your thoughts, close your mouth, nod your head, and repeat lines like a parrot. You will be good at putting on lots of masks and a variety of faces until one day you break. Or you will hear it enough that you will figure out there is no way that you will be good enough so you will seek ways to cope the best you can.
Breaks in hardened shells are not bad; they lead to hurts spilling out, pain escaping, truth to be reckoned with and chances for the real and wonderful you to emerge. The one and only you that can say in your own way and in your own time from a private journey of healing and support; that you are grateful for your story, you are blessed because so many people cared, and you are stronger, kinder, and more empathetic because of what you have endured. It just absolutely has to be you that is saying it, not someone else.