Friday, September 18, 2009

Adoption Carnival One

I decided to join the first Adoption Carnival, hosted by Grown In My Heart because regardless of what anyone may think (adoptees, adoptive parents, natural parents), this is my life. These are my truths.

Before my parents adopted me, I wish they would had known...

not to yell. Especially my mother. She was constantly angry about everything...and nothing. The littlest thing would set her off into a rage and my asister and I would be apologizing profusely even when we didn't remember or know what we'd done wrong. The lectures would last long into the night and only end when my father came home from his second shift job. We'd be hustled off to bed with tears still streaming down our cheeks..."Stop crying!" she'd yell as my father's car turned into the driveway. The tears never stopped..maybe someday they will.

not to be so strict. I know that it's important to know where your kids are...but my parents took it to a whole other level. We were rarely allowed to visit friends, but when we did, we had to call when we got to the friend's house, call while we were there, and call when we were leaving. I didn't get to ride in my friends' cars until I was a senior in high school and even then, it was a battle. I was made to feel like crap for wanting to have fun and get out of the house. I wasn't allowed to all. And when I finally did date, when I was nineteen, my mother told me that I was a slut and that my thoughts should be focused on my future and not on boys.

not to be abusive...physically, emotionally, mentally or sexually. Period. End of story.

not to tell me that sometimes she (my amother) wanted to send me back. This being said usually after she would break a wooden spoon on my backside or slapped me across the face...just hard enough to not leave a bruise.

not to tell me that I was a piece of shit. My afather did that to me once and it destroyed whatever little self esteem I had left.

not to act like perfect parents out in public but then become monsters at home. We'd go to church every parents were very involved within the church community..and then we'd get home and all hell would break loose. I dreaded the weekends.

not to tell me that I should get tested for certain diseases since they run in the family. I'm sorry, I don't share the same genes as you do. In fact, I get to just write down "n/a adopted" on all my medical history forms at the doctor's. Wasn't I lucky??

Before I was adopted, I wish I would have known…

that I had a right to feel lost and abandoned without feeling guilty.

that I don't have to feel grateful for just existing.


  1. Wow...I've never read something quite this real. I hope I'm no infringing to ask a couple of questions...I see some of my own upbringing here (I'm not adopted) - how many nights was I kept up until church and then made to go there and NOT BE TIRED. All because I ate too much at dinner or something else equally dumb. I don't abuse my children...but sadly, I feel that they may be able to write something like your 'strict' point later. I can tell by the rest of your list that you probably weren't a kid who made a million bad decisions...but sometimes we breed our kids to rebel. I guess I really don't know totally what I'm saying...just that it touched me to read your list. I will make sure my kids know why they can't go somewhere (ok, they are still younger) and help them set up ways to win back those privileges as soon as they can become healthier (my kids have RAD...). Sorry...totally rambling!

  2. wow. how did your aparents ever pass a homestudy? You do know we are not all like that, right?

  3. Yes..I do know that not every adoptive parent is like list is simply that..MY list. But I do feel strongly that society as a whole needs to be 'rewired' against jumping the gun and placing children for adoption when there are other options open to the natural parents.

    Thank you for stopping by :)

  4. Like I said, my parents were very 'normal' in person. Salt of the earth, down to earth..etc. But in private, it was frightening.

  5. Voni..first of all, thank you for your candor.

    The thing is, the strictness went beyond just their rules (of which there was actually only one…Don't You Dare Disobey Me Because I Will Make Your Life Hell). There's a difference between setting realistic boundaries with your child and being possessive and mean and unyielding. Do you see my point? I myself have two children and while I do keep a close eye on them, I also know that they need to learn independence while knowing that there will be consequences if they don't do what is expected of them. My sister and I would have been good kids anyway, but because of our upbringing, we were expected to be perfect. It wasn't the fear of disappointing our parents that kept us in line and on the straight and narrow, it was pure, unadulterated fear.

    I didn't even have the option to make bad decisions and to learn from them…ever. And to me, that's part of growing up. I was never grounded as a child or as a teenager…I didn't have to be. My whole life was a punishment.

  6. I have to tell you that I just spent 10 extra minutes hugging my daughter this morning and telling her how special she is...not that I don't do it other times...but needed to do it this morning. If this isn't too personal (and if it is...ignore it) - have they ever admitted they did it wrong? Have they ever said I'm sorry (not that it fixes anything)? When you were young...after the yelling had happened (because honestly, I've yelled...and I hate myself later) - could they have fixed that? Right there any value in a parent that knows they messed up and apologizes and really does try to fix it?

  7. I'm so glad that my silly little blog helped you this morning…it helps me to write it and I hope you'll come back..even if some of my words are hard to read (because really, they are hard to write).

    My afather passed away six years ago…and the anger I have for him now is stronger than it has ever been because I've been experiencing traumatic flashbacks. I had been able to 'forgive' least I thought I had..until recently. Now, I'm mad he isn't around so I could tell him how badly he hurt my soul.

    My amother acknowledges that she wasn't the best mother. She has been an amazing grandmother to my two children and my sister's two children…which, in some ways, makes it worse. I find myself insanely jealous of my kids because they are seeing the warm, loving woman that I never knew. I've forgiven her…because she too experienced trauma as a child at the hands of her uncle…and I understand WHY she was the way she was back then. But I'll never forget.

    Fear was so ingrained in my body back as a child, no amount of apologizing would have helped to soothe that pain.

  8. "that I don’t have to feel grateful for just existing."

    I loved the whole post, but I especially loved that.

  9. "not to tell me that sometimes she (my amother) wanted to send me back" Ugh--I felt physically ill just reading that one, and then all the other ugly things that were said and done to you. I will never understand people who don't "get" how precious little children are. Thanks for your honesty--I think that its so important.

  10. Great post. I wish I could have told my adoptive parents the exact same things, especially about being strict and not acting like perfect parents in public and monsters in private.

  11. No child should have to feel grateful for jsut existing - unfortunately all too many are made to feel that way.

    I know because I had an abusive mom too and I am a biological child. I still get rants about how ungrateful and awful a daughter I am.

    The funny part is my parents adopted my younger sibs when my brother and I were older. (I was 17 he was 13) We were told by my mother not that she wanted to send us back but that she had to start over with their new children since we were such rotton useless ungrateful failures. She treats her adopted children much better than she ever did her biological. (although I still would not say she treated them well)

    It is amazing how many truly hideous people can hide their day to day selves to the public. I feel for you Cricket in a very real way. It hurts to hear what you have to say about adoption sometimes because I love all of my brothers and my sister with no difference regardless of biology. And I love my adopted son more than anything in the world. But I read your blog and all the others I can find by adult adoptees because I want to understand how to do my best for him. I cannot prevent him from feeling any pain in his life - that created by adoption or any other circumstance - I know this and my heart breaks for every tear he will have. But I want to do my very best for him. He deserves that and more. Every child does. I'll fail him at times I know but I will continue to try. Ok now I'm all maudelin and crying on my key board. Gotta go.

  12. Like Voni, I hugged my daughter a little closer and a little longer today than I usually do. I am so very sorry... I don't even have words beyond that.

    I also hope and pray that my daughter fully realizes that she DOES have the right to feel lost and abandoned without feeling guilty and that she doesn't ever have to feel grateful for just existing.

  13. I am so very sorry. No child should ever have to endure what you have endured.

  14. I was another amom who hugged her daughters tighter before I sent them to bed tonight. Thank you for sharing - I can't imagine how hard they were to write. I am anxious to explore your page a little more.

  15. Welcome LHG...I'm sorry to say that you may be scared/shocked with some of my language and post topics..but I'm glad you came. I'm always open to answering questions as best as I can.

  16. WOW! THis really hit home. Honestly, I cannot emphasize enough how closely related our lives/stories are. I could have written this post (for the most part) myself pertaining to my life. I LOVE the "I don't have to feel grateful for just exisiting". I could not have said it better myself. My heart aches for you. I know this post was several months ago, but i hope you're healing. This is such a long road...::HUGS::


Share your words of wisdom with the rest of the class. :)