That is such a lame ass song but I really feel that line some days.
It’s funny the way things flow in blogworld. This has happened on more than one occasion. Where someone writes about something and a similar thing pops up in another person’s life.
That happened today.
I’ve been really pensive ever since reading a post on how to overcome the ‘gratitude’ factor that society in general puts on the heads of adopted kids. I think I'm really internalizing it, and laying it over the framework of my memories.
How do we do this? What armor can we send a kid out with into the world to protect them from that double punch to the stomach when a total stranger starts to lay nonsense on them? Or maybe I'm really asking, what armor could I have been sent out with? I don't know.
I just don’t know.
I jumped over to Yahoo Answers on my lunch break today. I love answering questions from newbie searchers. I usually do it when I’m depressed about my own search. It makes me feel better. I have one answer that I tweak a bit for each person.
None of them probably take my advice. That’s OK. I know. I was there once too. Asking how to search, getting a ton of information on waivers and petitions and registries and support groups. But it’s ok. I’m the first one who told them. Maybe they’ll need to be told 50 times before they start. It’s ok. I know. You need people to tell you the same thing over and over sometimes.
I saw one question there today. The asker wrote that she just started having problems with being adopted. She didn’t know what was wrong with her.
Usually I don’t go into stuff that’s real heavy in these answers. I’m no fan of adoption dot com but there are some good articles there for beginner ungratefuls, so I sent a link to there. Also a link to Nancy Verrier’s site.
But the answers she got, holy mother of God.
Slam after slam about how grateful she should feel. How lucky she should feel. How wanted she should feel. How special she should feel. How wrong she was for feeling any other way. I took a peek at another question she had posted, and realized she was a teenager. I'm not comfortable answering questions from people who aren't adults. It's just how I feel. I wish sometimes they would find a way to filter kids off there. They don't show someone's age when they ask, and sometimes I can't tell. I felt doubly bad for her after that.
I get so discouraged sometimes. Not just for me, but for all of us. Especially the kids. I mean, I’m an adult. I can vent on blogs or forums or emails, I can go to therapy, I can read a zillion books, I have coping strategies for when it all gets too heavy.
What do the kids have? Sure they have parents who never once lay the cloak of gratitude on them, but the rest of the world will do their duty to make sure they never once feel safe enough to say, “You know, being adopted feels……. weird”
You wretched creature
You ungrateful child
Do you ever feel it’s just us? I mean, how long have we been screaming about this? Who the hell is listening? Is it just the blogs we have linked or the forums we haunt? Are we all there is in the face of this?
Sorry, I’m bummed today.
Adopted kids should feel nothing but gratitude
Moms were promised confidentiality
It’s wrong to search
You’re wrong to be anything but jumping cartwheels
I went back to see if anyone else had answered her question. I got an error when I went looking for it. I wonder if it’s just a problem with Yahoo, or if she deleted her question after the answers she got.
One person told her it was ok to feel weird.
Everyone else told her to shut up.
I want some kid at 14, 15, 16 to be able to look anyone who lays obliged gratitude on their heads to be able to say “I’m adopted and it feels weird to be adopted and it’s OK that I feel weird and now I’m going to the mall” And believe it’s ok.
My sister took her kids to some Disney on Ice thing. They chose kids out of the audience to go up on stage. One of the kids picked was my 6 year old niece. Afterwards, everyone said to her, “You’re so lucky you got to go on stage and dance!”
She said, “They’re lucky I'm a good dancer.”
And she meant it. And they were.
She's not adopted, but she's not going to let anyone lay fake gratitude on her head. I wish sometimes I was more like her.