Adoptees can feel like they’re the least understood of the bunch. Since most likely all of the adoption process was figured out before they were old enough to contribute, adoptees have no say in what happens and probably have many questions. We at Adoption Choices of Arizona are here to help answer them. Here are the most frequently asked questions about a day in the life of an adoptee.
Am I going to miss out on certain experiences because I’m adopted?
It’s important to remember no two lives are the same, but having a different family doesn’t mean you’re missing out on anything significant. Being able to experience different events together makes your family distinct and special, and your parents will stop at nothing to provide you with a worthwhile life. Why else would they have decided to go through with the process?
My friends keep asking me about what it’s like to be adopted. How do I respond?
This is another situation where you should reveal information when you feel comfortable. True friends respect boundaries and should be able to sense when you’re not ready to tell them about this part of your life. If they keep bringing it up anyway, be honest, reassuring them you’ll let them know as soon as you’re ready.
When is the proper time to ask my adoptive parents about the adoption process?
If your parents haven’t opened up about the adoption process yet, approach them when you’re ready. It’s quite possible they’re waiting for you to initiate a conversation because they don’t want to overstep. You have every right to have your questions answered, so there’s no hurt in asking.
What if my birth mother is disappointed in me? What if I’m disappointed in my birth family?
You will have spent a lifetime forming an emotional connection with your adoptive parents, your siblings and extended family, so you may find that on meeting your birth mother/parents that the bond you expected is not there. Many children and birth mothers experience a lack of connection when they meet, despite all their hopes and expectations. It is impossible to predict how two people, even while sharing similar genes, will respond to each other being exposed to different influences and experiences that shape who you are. It is important to manage your expectations and understand your feelings given any of the potential scenarios that will come from meeting your birth parent/s. By mutual consent, you may choose to invest in and work on improving the relationship over time.
Consult your parents any time you have questions or find a positive support group to share your experience. Often knowing you aren’t alone and you are understood can help relieve confusion, stress, or anxiety. Always remember, your parents are there for you, especially when times seem tough.