“"The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things: Of shoes and ships - and sealing wax - of cabbages and kings"”. ~Lewis Carroll
My adoptive parents always accused me of living in a fantasy world. They were very grounded and practical people who, not only never thought outside the box, they lived in it. Me, I was a dreamer always playing out the story lines I created inside my head to suit whatever ideas and emotions I felt. But, in reality I was living in an unreal world. I was adopted. And it is time for talking about it.
I remember being told I was adopted about the time I began kindergarten. I am thankful that my adoptive parents told me then, I can’t fathom finding out later in life. And, I think I’d already surmised that something was not “right” and we were different than other families. I watched as the parents of my friends demonstrated their love for their children with hugs, kisses, and other actions, and yes stern correction when necessary. I received continual dismissal, criticism, and a cold, unemotional, detached set of adoptive parents, along with abuse. At a very young age I realized I did not belong in this family.
I immediately asked questions about the family I came from, but they went unanswered and the issue of adoption was swept under the rug. And that scenario became the norm. Where were my real parents? Were they dead, alive, close by, or far away? When my questions were ignored I began to imagine up my own stories. It became my escape from the reality I was living in, which in actuality was a horror story.
I played “make-believe” and “let’s pretend” like all children did, but mine was not just for play. I borrowed for my own story creations from favorite books such as “Nancy Drew” (talk about trying to solve life mysteries), TV shows like “Bewitched” (oh how I dreamed of having a nose like Samantha’s and I could immediately twitch it and find my real family), and my favorite movies like “Alice in Wonderland”, and related to “Heidi” and “Cinderella”. The latter two as an orphan and treated as domestic help and second best to natural children. Only, no one came to rescue me, or help me, and there was no prince. I could have been Alice, lost in some strange land with people behaving oddly and trying to tell her things that simply did not make sense.
No matter how anyone tries to justify it, it is NOT normal to give children away! And, it is certainly abnormal to be taken from your whole biological family and given to others with no recourse for explanation or information. It is time to remove the blinders to adoption and give adoptees what we are asking for, what we need, and what we deserve.
Creating and reading fairy tales can be fun. An imagination is a wonderful thing. But let’s quit pretending when it comes to adoption. Changed names and falsified information on birth certificates with the truth hidden and sealed away from us by others needs to be the plot of some B movie, and not the reality of our lives.