You may think I am exaggerating, but this is the world that I walk through. On the one hand, I have encountered people who insist that biology is nothing and upbringing determines all. On the other, I have heard people say that they would never consider adopting because "you don't know what your going to get." If you are an adult adoptee reading this, I'm curious if the world has sent you similarly conflicting messages.
|Image: Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
Adoptee identity is complicated. I was formed by my genes and my upbringing, and by countless other influences. I am a woman of a particular race who was born at a particular time in history. I was shaped by books and teachers. I am the geography of my upbringing and my travels. I am the friendships and relationships I have formed -- all the people I have loved and lost and even left.
And I am an adoptee. I was separated from my biological mother at birth -- that was my welcome to the world. I was raised as daughter by people to whom I am not genetically related. I was a participant in a system that was supposedly acting in my best interest and yet sought neither my input nor my consent, even when I was old enough to give (or deny) it.
I am the mid-life adult women, just now finding my voice and trying to make sense of all this.
Blank slate? Bad Seed? No, it is so much more complicated than that.