There are phrases and " if I had a dollar for every time someone said this" moments throughout my entire adopted life. Equally the absence of what was left unsaid sent tremors throughout my years. There have been moments of sadness, confusion, anger, bravery, the sense that I need to help others understand my adoptedness, to protect the next little girl or boy with open wounds. Sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or cry, because MY reality of being adopted is so far from others perception of me being adopted.
All the things said, and left unsaid....
1. Just be grateful.
2. You're so lucky!
3. Adoption was all a part of God's perfect plan.
4. Do you want to find your real parents?
5. Be thankful you were not aborted.
6. When asking an adoptive mom friend what kind of breed her dog was, she replied "a mutt, like my children."
7. You have to be careful when you adopt...you never know what you're going to get.
8. When talking to a mom friend with four young children who was considering fostering, she joked that they'd prefer an older child to help with housework and babysitting.
9. Adopted written under my name on our family tree.
10. Your mother didn't want you.
11. Just be happy someone did want you.
12. Your family rescued you. Lord knows what would have become of you if it weren't for adoption.
13. You probably wouldn't be a Christian had your parents not adopted you.
14. You're not blood.
15. We are ALL adopted through Christ ( news flash *not the same*)
17.Telling me how important ethical pet adoptions are, but caring nothing for ethical human adoptions.
18. Why would you want to look for your biological family when you have a loving family? Don't you know how much that will hurt them?
19. I'm sorry you had a bad experience. I know plenty of adopted people who don't feel the way you do.
20. Love makes a family not DNA. ( you forgot the AND...love AND DNA)
21. Go get some therapy ( while I do agree we all need therapy, it's rarely said with empathy)
22. Be careful when you do a DNA test...you never know what you're going to find.
23. After reunion... "well now all of your pieces to the puzzle have been found, now you can have peace."
24. You don't look adopted.
25. The jokes people say "you're so ugly you must be adopted"
26. You are a gift. You are chosen!
What I wish people would have said to me or say to me now:
1. I'm sorry, it must hurt like hell.
2. Feel all the emotions. It didn't all rock.
3. You are worthy of love and belonging
4. Your DNA, your roots, your fist family....they matter!!!
5. I won't leave you.
6. Love is without conditions
7. God is for you, with you, and loves you. He holds you close in your broken places.
8. Your voice matters. The good, the bad....all of it.
9. Your desire to search for family, isn't a rejection of your adoptive family. Who wouldn't want to know? Your heart has enough space for them all.
10. I'll advocate with you...I'll fight for open records. I'll support family preservation. I'll listen and believe what you have to say is your truth.
11. Help me to understand.
12. I understand you can’t “just get over it." That adoption is not a one time mark on your path through life, but being adopted is a lifetime experience. There will be joys, sorrows, triggers, and new awareness. That there is no start and finish line. It's ok if you circle that line of healing over, and over again. As you gain momentum and understanding , I see you becoming more brave and more beautiful than I have ever seen you before.