MARY LORRAINE DANROTH
I want to share the positive side of me. I’m tired of all the sadness in my head and heart. When I read or hear something good I want to commemorate it. The only problem with that...some people don't like seeing happy, some can only live with anger in their soul. It’s too bad to, everyone is worth a little positivity. The common saying “let it go” gets me in trouble. If I say it in any other way, it gets me in trouble. I would love to be able to let someone know that they really can move forward and stop dwelling on the anger day after day. I would love to be able to let someone know that there really is good out there. For anyone to not see that fact, I feel sad for them. I wouldn’t wish that on my children.
in the past I have tried to share kind words and I was shut down. I took that hard. It felt like my happiness was to be shamed. I need to learn a better way to react to this judgement. I want to have a smile on my face more often than a frown and worry lines. I can’t let people’s hatred of me destroy me. I have grandchildren that need me. I am their only grandmother.
I’ve read a few posts lately from angry Adoptees and I have to say they are pissing me off. For some reason they keep repeating that Birth Mothers and Adoptive Mothers have no right to speak about adoption. I say they do.
When I was a young adoptee there was no one around to observe me. The only person that could see what I was doing and how I was reacting was my adoptive mother. I wish she had been educated about the life of an adoptee. She was unaware to the reality of the trauma and grief that I was going through. If she had known, she probably would’ve tried harder to be the mother that I needed instead of believing the unicorn and rainbow narrative.
Who do these angry adoptees think they are fighting for? I know I don’t like the way they are going about getting people to hear me. I have experienced the ‘get more bees with honey’ style than anything else. I have never been able to get someone to listen to me because I gave them shit for not listening to me. I don’t fault them either. When my adoptive father was giving me shit once and was going on and on in his usual lecture tone, I fell asleep. That didn’t go well. Calling me stupid and a twat didn’t bring me in either. So, once again I would hope that these angry adoptees reel it in. They’re not helping anyone. They look foolish and immature. Almost like they are trying to make the whole adoption community a joke.
If we close the door on the birth mother we are closing the door on the trauma our siblings have had to go through. Why is it their fault? Why shouldn’t there be a round table to speak at? They probably weren’t even aware that they could’ve had a better mother than they got. So much pain in everyone’s lives.
My children deserve to know the truth of the pain that everyone incurred. I don’t want them to hate people that have been traumatized by adoption. They carry their own trauma. Why should they think they need to be angry because I’m angry. I don’t want that for them.
I’m not sure if anyone has noticed that adoptees are more their own person than anyone else. We don’t have a mirror and we don’t know what we’re doing. We start off alone and try to be the blank slate that our Adoptive family was promised. We struggle within with what our head and heart want to be. Out of respect for our saviours we don’t show this side of us. We bury it. There is no one like us. We have DNA that proves that we are meant to be someone but we can’t be. We usually wait until the adoptive parents are dead, but with that wait comes the usual loss of our birth mother as well. We don’t get to ask the important questions that have been burning in our heads since the day we were born.
Having Adoptee Remembrance Day isn’t just about remembering the adoptees that didn’t survive. It’s about the statistics of the attempted suicide rate of 4X. It also needs to be pointed out that I am one of those statistics It’s not just an adoptee statistic, it is a personal statistic with faces attached. We are not faceless, we are real and individual. Part of the problem of course is that we are only thought of as a group. We are, but we aren’t. I am one of many adoptees that have lived through this, but then there are adoptees that didn’t make it. There are too many. One is too many, but when we are 4X more likely to attempt, that’s disheartening.
I hurt talking about this but people need to see the reality of adoption. It’s not a love fest like society has been led to believe. It’s real and it’s painful and it’s complicated and it’s confusing. We are grateful but not for the reasons one would expect. We are grateful for having a roof over our head and food in our belly. We are not grateful for being paraded around for someone’s saviour complex or to make their infertility problems go away. You shouldn’t bring us into your grief, we have our own grief to work on. Our hidden grief. The grief that isn’t always allowed to be talked about. In fact as children we don’t even understand that we are grieving for the loss of our first family. We just vent our pain and trauma in unhealthy ways. Then we are told it’s because our birth mother was a drunk or a drug user. It’s always someone else’s fault and it’s not usually true.
if you still don’t understand why we try to die, maybe you should walk away from your family and change your name so they can’t find you. It’s like having amnesia and not having anyone in your life.
Please think about us before we are dead and another statistic. Please think about all of the adoptees that aren’t here anymore because they didn’t have the proper support. Please remember, just because an adoptee says they’re ok doesn’t always mean that they are ok. They’re usually too embarrassed that you will judge them. No one likes to be judged for appearing ungrateful.
I don’t have a lot of time left on earth but I hate that I’m missing out on something that I have never, and will never, be able to leave to my children when I die.
It’s actually quite simple too. I would love to be able to leave them something from my birth family. My adoptive family had nothing to leave for me and my children. They saved anything family related for their biological son.
I want an heirloom of some kind. Something that my birth family has held in their hands.
Simple right? Not when you’re adopted.
I’ve been wondering lately what I like to read. Is there a genre, a style, a word count...what could possibly be the big pull to a ‘can’t put it down’ book? Over the last three years it’s obviously been adoption related memoirs. Then of course I’ve thrown in a few of the educational trauma books. The easiest thing I find though tend to be blogs. This is where Anne Heffron comes into the story.
When I fell apart 3 years ago I needed to do something to bring my brain back into some type of reality. I couldn’t keep crying all day, every day. It was getting tiring. I could only do so much of my family tree since I didn’t have a clue who my mother and father were. This is when I discovered Facebook groups that centred around adoption. I joined a few and heard about a few books that adoptees were recommending as necessary reads. You don’t look adopted was one of them.
I learned something about myself when I was reading it...it worked with my brain. I didn’t take notice of the reviews until after I was done with it. If I had, I may not of read it. People were complaining that her writing style was all over the place...funny how I didn’t notice that. In fact I couldn’t put the book down. My brain typically can’t focus on one thing for more than a minute or two. Her writing didn’t come across as all over the place to me. It came off as something that kept me in it.
Thank you Anne Heffron. Your book brought me back into reading after 30 years of darkness.
When I work on my family tree, part of the work involves searching for documents to prove the connection. I have found well over 1500 documents just for my maternal side. I have so much to do to make sense of it all but at least I have the proof.
With these thoughts of adoption and family trees I just now got to thinking about my adoption. I realize that by adding my paperwork to show my original birth certificate and the adoption transaction is the smart thing to do. It does scare me a little and makes my heart race a lot. I know I was told not to tell anyone about where I come from but I did it anyways. It helped my spirit to be able to reach out and connect with family. I’ve never had that belonging anywhere.
Working on my family tree and finding a census that shows the land location of my two Great Grandfathers farm is life changing. It’s even more life changing when it also lists my Great Great Grandparents and numerous Great Aunts and Uncles from 1911.
Last night there was the usual discussion of abortion vs. Adoption on Twitter. Unfortunately I fell in, and I’d been doing so good to not get involved in that trap. The antichoicers believe that adoption is a beautiful choice. They don’t realize that as an adoptee you are not allowed to know your family tree. You can marry your birth father, birth mother, brother or sister and have children. Especially if your adoption paperwork has a veto in place. There’s no way for you to know that you are partaking in an incestuous relationship. This should be brought to light.
One of the best parts of Twitter is some of the people. I grew up with a child molester for a brother and would’ve loved having a brother stick up for me or even just be there. It is frustrating that I have brothers but I’m not allowed to contact them because my sister doesn’t want them to judge her mother. So I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have contact with them if this is how shallow they are.
in my search for listening ears I found someone on twitter that needed a hand up. He’s had one of the worst adoption stories. He is a late discovery adoptee. It has been so hard on him trying to feel like his adoptive family respect him but to feel they didn’t respect him enough to tell him as a child that he was adopted. He has been fortunate to have a relationship with his birth mother, father and siblings, but adoption still comes with a price for everyone involved. There are so many questions that he’s scared to ask because he doesn’t want to lose them again, but his mind is going wild with all the different scenarios. This is hard for me to give him the right answers to help since I will never be put in the position to be allowed to ask questions.
This man is now my brother. We are in sync with caring. He’s had a rough go lately and even his wife has had to remind herself to breathe. This is my brother from another mother, which makes it even weirder when you’re both adoptees.
My Best Friends
Scott Alan Warner
Angela Barra’s Medium
Adoptee Rights Australia
NPE and Me
The Invisible Threads