The adoption experience for each adopted person is unique. Paying attention to the impact of adoption is often ignored or confusing for adopted people because it is largely ignored by our families and society. Societal and adoptive family messages are typically that adoption is positive; the best outcome of an unplanned pregnancy and for a couple who desire a child. This message completely misses the fact that adoption represents loss on many different levels.
You may be in touch with some or all of the following:
- a sense of loss
- a feeling of not being grounded
- a lack of focus in their lives
- a general sense of dissatisfaction
- a feeling of never quite belonging or being good enough
- a feeling of being incomplete
- a sense of genealogical bewilderment
You may struggle with the question of whether you have a right to search for a birth family member. Concern that you will hurt adoptive and birth parents is often a primary barrier to launching a search. Working with a therapist during this time can help ensure that you have a safe space to process your feelings and needs. As adoptees, we are often programmed to worry about the needs of others above our own.
Adoption has impacted your life in ways that you may or may not have connected yet. Additionally, search and reunion is a normal desire. If you choose that route, the possibility of healing is an important outcome. Think about it, who starts a book at chapter 2? You deserve to be curious about your chapter 1 in whatever way that manifests for you.