Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Myth of Salvation

A few days ago, I was trying to explain the premise of this blog to a few people, and I found myself using the word "myth" a lot. Yes, I want to dispel myths about adoption. One of these myths is that it's a tidy solution to a bunch of people's problems: adoptive/infertile parents get the baby they've been wanting so much; a woman/couple who need to choose not to parent find other parents for their baby; and a child gets a loving home. Signed, sealed, delivered, everybody's good, right?

Not so fast, everyone. One thing I really appreciate about the blogs I've been reading by adoptive moms and birthmoms is that they seem to deeply understand the complexity of the adoption situation--for everyone involved. I'm not sure I can say the same for some others who have commented on my blog postings.

I get that everyone has her/his own vulnerable feelings, that everyone feels alienated in some way at some time, and that many can identify with the "broken chain" metaphor in some way; however, I maintain that these feelings are DIFFERENT for people who are adopted. And our experience needs to be heard and understood and validated.

I imagine that people who have commented that the way I feel is a common to many people, that people who are not adoptees feel that way too, are just trying to help--they see me hurting and want to fix it. I appreciate their interest in making me feel better, but it doesn't help me--or any other adoptee who feels this loss--to invalidate my feelings. They are real. This is my reality. I am tired of being made to feel like a whiner for saying things like "I feel loss because when I was born, my mother gave me away and I never got to know anything about her or why she did that."

It is a big deal, folks. It really is. Everyone who is touched by adoption experiences a profound loss. And it's time that was recognized by others. I was fortunate to be adopted by a loving family when I was a baby. I wasn't abused by my parents, and I didn't grow up in an orphanage. But I was not "saved," as Fang put it in his post: ("Someone is waiting for you to save his or her life as yours was saved.") Adoption is not about salvation. And an adoptee's feelings of loss and alienation are different than other feelings of loss and alienation. Everyone is entitled to their feelings.


Maria said...

Hey, Andrea. If you look back, you will see that my very first comment on this blog was that I don't know a lot about adoption. I hope you know I come at this with a desire to encourage and affirm you in your process as a friend.

andy said...

Thanks, Maria. Yes, one of the main reasons I decided to start this blog was to shine some light on the issue of adoption because it's not something that many people who are not touched by adoption know much about. So I'm glad you're reading and interested in learning about it. Thanks again,