Sunday, June 2, 2013

Questions People Ask a Christian-Out-of-the-Fog-Adoptee

Since I've come out of the fog been blogging about adoption, I've fielded so many questions from the people in my life. I've tried hard to understand their point of view and not take what they say personally when we are on different pages.

Many individuals including some of  those close to me, have questions or concerns because prior to the last two years they have never heard me talk about the things I talk about now. It's called coming out of the adoption closet.

Questions aren't a bad thing. In fact, I've always been a huge fan of people asking questions, about anything.  Inquiring for the purpose of learning, and seeking to understand, is amazing. Asking out of curiosity so you can run off and talk about me behind my back, sharing the "details" you can confirm, straight from my mouth? Not so much.

It can be emotionally exhausting to explain things I consider no brainers (equal rights for adoptees) over and over until I'm blue in the face, and they simply can't make the connection of how they would feel if they didn't have these rights or know this information.

Here are some questions I've recently been asked by multiple people who are in my circle of friends and family. I've chosen these examples specifically because they are without a doubt, people who genuinely love me. They are not malicious individuals and I know they are not asking these questions to judge or to hurt me. They have supported me for many years in my life and endeavors. But on the issue of adoption as I'm speaking about it, well...they're still trying to wrap their brain around it...

Their question: Are you sure it's healthy to get wrapped up in all this? I mean, is this just a distracting rabbit trail you shouldn't be going down...something that Satan put in your path? 

My answer:  I'm curious as to why you may believe Satan would be up to having me wrapped up in seeking truth, since the Bible says he's actually the father of lies. I'm passionate about living a life free of secrets and lies and helping others do the same. I'm passionate about justice, which is something God is all about. I'm wrapped up in things like family preservation. Doesn't sound real Satanic to me...I'm confused, so maybe you want to reframe the question...???

Their question: [After the latest trauma I faced with my natural mother] Are you afraid your mother is going to have a nervous breakdown?

My answer:  No. But I've been concerned that I'm going to have one. That's why I'm in therapy.

Their question:  How is your [adoptive] mother doing with all this?

My answer: I'm not really sure why so many people have asked me that question but not one person including yourself has asked ME how I'm doing with all this. Isn't there something odd about adoptees sharing their feelings and people immediately piping up to ask how their ]adoptive] mother is doing with no thought as to how the person who is actually adopted is doing?

Their question: How does your [adoptive] mom feel about you being in reunion with your natural mom?

My answer: See above answer. 

Their question:  Why can't you just be okay with not knowing who your father is?

My answer:  Would you be okay not knowing who your father is? [Insert gentle smile and tilting of my head here.]

Their question: Are you sorry you opened this whole can of worms, since everything didn't go exactly like you wanted it to? Wouldn't you had more peace if you had never pursued reunion?

My answer:  Do you believe peace comes from accepting lies or being in the dark? Everything in life doesn't go exactly like any of us want it to, but knowing the truth is always better than living with lies. Honesty is preferable, though it can be discomforting. My goal in life is not to be comfortable, but one of my goals is to live true. I have never been sorry for one minute in finding out what truth I do know about my history and my family. My greatest remaining hurts are over what is unknown, not what is known. Relationships are sometimes complicated.  Even so, truth is preferable and also in keeping with my beliefs about what Jesus taught. He Himself is truth. Being a Jesus follower, why wouldn't I pursue truth, in all things?

Their question: What is the roadblock here, Deanna? Can't you just let God renew your mind?

My answer: So... God will renew my mind so that I don't care who my parents are anymore? That's a little confusing to me, to be honest.  I don't see anywhere in the Bible where it says God will renew a person's mind so they don't care about their family. As for the roadblock, I'm thinking unjust laws still on the books in all but seven states might have something to do with that...

Their question: Surely the Lord wouldn't want all this turmoil. Are you afraid this is going to tear your family apart?

My answer: Yes, the Lord does hate turmoil. The bible says He's a good God and hates when His children hurt. God's original intention was never for children to be separated from their parents. The truth is, my family was already torn apart by relinquishment and adoption back in 1966. I've never done anything to tear my family apart. I've only tried to put the pieces back together. I'm still working on it. You can pray with me about that.

Their question: I'm having a hard time understanding all this. What are the adopted children so upset about?

My answer: Well, to start with -- we are not children, we are adults. We lost our entire families, our identity, our heritage, our names, and more...all at once. Would that be upsetting to you if I took all that away from you right now, overnight?

Their question: Are you anti-adoption?

My answer: No, I'm pro-family preservation.

Their question: Don't you believe God works through adoption?

My answer: God can work through anything. The bible says He reaches out and comforts all who go through affliction. He is my foundation, and has certainly been what has sustained me these past 47 years.

Their question: Are you concerned about how you will be perceived by Christians and especially others in the ministry, as you speak out on these issues?

My answer: I'm more concerned about how I will live with myself if I don't.

Their question: What does Larry think about all this? I really think you should lean on your husband's wisdom about all this, before you say or do something you'll regret...

My answer: As a matter of fact, Larry recently blogged about his feelings about all this. Reading his insights might shed some light on the issues for you as well. I agree, it's important to have support from our spouses and adoptees are no exception.

Their question: Did you get Larry's permission to write about this first?

My answer: Larry is my husband, not my probation officer. No, I'm not required to get Larry's permission before I speak or write.

Their question: [not really a question, more like a statement] I'm concerned about you, Deanna. This adoption stuff seems to have really taken it's toll the last two years...

My answer: It's actually been 47 years, not two. But thank you for noticing and being concerned. If you really want to act on your concern not just for me but for everyone in my situation, support the ARC, and all of the  legislation that comes forward in your state, to give equal rights to adoptees.

Their question:  Do you think writing and speaking about these issues will ruin your ministry?

My answer:  If you mean ruined as in, not being a carbon copy of your typical minister and acting according to only what is deemed "acceptable" by the religious right, please bring it on...I'm so ready to be ruined.

Photo Credits: Free Digital Photos