(Please note that I am NOT making a generalization about all adult adoptees...and that I also read some really lovely blogs of adult adoptees who seem quite happy and well-adjusted.)
The general refrain from the unhappy adult adoptee seems to be:
I didn't get to choose my parents.
I didn't have a choice.
Please know that I don't in any way want to disparage the folks who write these blogs. These are people who are obviously in a great deal of pain and express that pain through their writing, just I as I express my pains, joys and other feelings through the writing on this blog. I truly wish them peace and hope that they can find their way through the pain and anger to a place where they can be happy.
However, what I can't help thinking when I read their same "no choice" refrains in so many places is:
I didn't get to choose my parents either.
I was born to the people to whom I was born.
The reality is that NONE OF US have a choice about the families that we are either born into or adopted into.
None of us gets to choose.
Now...I will admit that I lucked out.
I was born to kind people who worked hard, provided for me, loved me, educated me, and helped me in every possible way they could to grow into a successful and happy adult.
But I could just have easily been born to less caring people or people who had addictions or folks that didn't have the same resources or ability to provide for me.
The luck of the draw was with me.
But I didn't have a choice.
Children don't have choices in regards to their families.
As adults, however, we have certain choices.
We have choices about how we respond and react to our families, to the way we grew up, to the way we were treated and how we treat others. We have choices about whether we want to stay in contact with abusive or dysfunctional families, about whether or not we need to seek counseling to deal with our inner turmoil and family traumas, and about how we choose to move forward as adults if our lives haven't turned out exactly the way we had hoped or dreamed they would.
Even though I was born into a pretty darned good family, we've still had our issues and we've all had to make choices. As an adult I've had to work through my issues and make my choices about how I will move through the world as a part of my family - just as I'm sure my parents and sister have had to make their choices about how they will deal with me as part of the family.
We choose to continue to be a family and to be in each others' lives - to support each other and love each other and work through whatever we need to work through as a family.
My husband and I will soon have new choices to make - choices about how we will parent and how we will support and love our daughter. We'll do the best we can and hope that our Little One will grow into a happy, well-adjusted adult who will recognize that she has a choice in the way she moves through the world.