I used to be in this blissfully ignorant category of people who believed that adopted children grew up grateful that they had been saved from less than loving parents or depraved circumstances…rescued if you will. And if they were not grateful, they should burn in hell.
My husband was adopted.
It was not until after we had been married for a number of years that he shared with me the tremendous burden he was carrying around as a consequence. The not knowing who you are. Dealing with the rejection that comes from being given up by your birth mother. The yearning to find out the details but worried about hurting your adopted parents’ feelings and then worrying about rejection again from your birth mother if she doesn’t want to know you now. What if your biological parents are trolls, can you deal with that?
Since then I have come to know many adopted individuals. Every single one of them carries around similar baggage, with different permutations. Even if their childhood was idyllic. Even if their adoptive parents are the most wonderful, saintly people on the face of the earth, these feelings still haunt them.
So, I warn adoptive parents of this now. They stare at me, incredulously. Not many people talk about this. No one typically warns parents. No one tells kids that these will be your feelings. Maybe it won’t happen. Who knows? But being prepared for it is the first step to helping those that it does affect work through it so they don’t spend their lives as tortured souls into adulthood.