Do as I say, not as I do…

Classic Question: Will you adopt?

My gut answer is, will you? It is the rare person who is not offended that I would turn the question around. Why does it feel aggregious to ask them in turn? I get asked this question alot. Will I, an adoptee, adopt a child? Does my status, as an adopted person, pay it forward?  Yes, judgment in my head being put out there.

I get annoyed with this line of questioning. I used to feel compelled to say ‘of course’! When I was the good adoptee wanting to prove I was meant that I would bestow this good fortune and adopt a child of my own.  Later when I was an angrier adoptee I wanted to adopt so that I could “do it better than all these White people who didn’t get it”.  Now I still wish to but am very real with myself and can admit that my arms are full and my family is complete.

Not adopting a child sometimes feels as if its a political statement on my stand on adoption. And then I see my friends and colleagues who are adopted and have adopted children and I wonder if they think the same thing? Is this a statement on their thoughts of being adopted? Are they trying to undo and redo it “right” or make a public stand on their true thoughts on adoption? Probably none of it.  After all, to choose parenting is a bit of a narcissistic desire isn’t it?  Adoption or not, it is none of our business.

Lifting the veil even further…when adopted women confess their choices on giving birth or terminating a pregnancy, is that a statement on their thoughts on adoption? A friend once said “I feel hypocritical at times talking about the joys of my adoption when I really want a baby from me and I don’t want to ever be in a position to have give up a baby for adoption.” As women adoptees I wonder if others have thought like that? I know I have. Not being able to get pregnant and have someone who looked just like me felt like the ultimate stab in the heart, like a declaration that I should not be here.  And yes, that feels super-hypocritical, incredibly selfish and embarrassing.  But when it happened the usual way, I can still remember the adoptees who confessed their relief that pregancy was possible for us too.  My relief too.

I won’t lie and deny my desire to adopt a little girl. In my dream of a family I had always imagined a daughter. I would have loved the opportunity to be the mother of a girl and watch her grow to be a woman. So too, I am not ignorant to my inner most desire to redo just a little bit as well.

One thought on “Do as I say, not as I do…

  1. It can be complicated. I’m an adoptee (domestic infant) who adopted (older-child; foster). It wasn’t until after I had done so that I realized I had recreated, in a sense, the family I grew up in: one biological child and one adopted one. Is there some psychological reason why I did this? Who knows. It wasn’t conscious, but maybe.

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