Even adoptees in good homes suffer the trauma of loss

Being an Asian adoptee in Norway, I did not have the lottery luck of ending up in a good home, which is a fact that has adversely shaped my life from childhood to present day. It has been suggested that, perhaps, if I had grown up with a better set of adoptive parents, I might have fared better and everything would have been all right. However, I’m convinced that many of the adoption-related issues that I struggle with today would still remain.

In the Washington Post article “Please don’t tell me I was lucky to be adopted“, Shaaren Pine, a trans-cultural adoptee from India, shares her experience of growing up in a white home in a white area in Massachusetts, USA, with adoptive parents who did a pretty good job of raising her. She also speaks of how she finds that her 7 year old daughter Ara expresses her mother’s adoption situation far better than she herself could.

“There she was, then 6, expressing her feelings about my adoption so clearly. She was able to acknowledge that like me, she, too, feels she has been cut off from her family, her culture and her story and that she is missing a part of who she is.

In my almost 40 years, I’ve only recently been able to talk about adoption honestly and openly. And it is incredibly difficult.”

Aside from the differences that I’m South Korean, not Indian, and that I grew up in what can only be described as a bad home, whereas she grew up in a good one, Shaaren’s story and the feelings and troubles she describes, to a large degree mirror my own.

“Unfortunately, there is no way to convince a non-adoptee that adoption is hard and that its effects continue into adulthood unless that person is willing to hear it. And in my experience, few have been.”

All in all, the article gives a look into the kinds of struggles that many adoptees have to deal with, emotionally and socially, and which follow them all through their lives. Even with good adoptive parents, all is not automatically well.

Click to read:

Please don’t tell me I was lucky to be adopted

An adoptee’s lifelong struggle to claim a world of her own

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