Why is Adoptee anger legitimate?

Have you ever met an adoptee who somehow struggles to agree that adoption is a thoroughly positive win – win scenario? Have you ever met an adoptee who expresses negative emotions and even an anger you simply cannot understand? If this concept appears perplexing to you then look no further.

While there are many factors to adoption that could be seen as redeeming factors and some even are redeeming factors such as financial prosperity that should not be overlooked there are varying losses suffered by the adoptee that likely are not readily seen by some who do no know the adoption experience the same way as we do.

There are a key number of things that could be lost and will take some work to regain (if possible). The main ones are our biological families, our sense of belonging (and parts of identity relating to this), our nations*, our national culture both historic and contemporary with all the idiosyncrasies that go with it* amongst others.

*international adoptees only

Adoption itself is complex mentally on all parts of the traid** but it can be quite a mental process for the adoptees themselves. Different adoptees come to process their feelings surrounding their adoption at different times and the time spent processing each aspect mentally can differ greatly. It’s therefore possible for the adoptee to be in a stage where they are angry at the situation itself. It’s possible to feel a myriad of feelings and some can overlap.

** the triad is A) biological family B) adoptee C) adoptive family

In many cases the anger is an emotion that will pass after the adoptee has processed their feelings and done what is they need to do to personally find closure and move on. However some can be in this stage for extended periods and some may never leave it entirely. This is OK and a valid way to feel..

If you are not an adoptee and are a bystander then its highly inconsiderate to call an adoptee and angry adoptee, even if on the surface that’s how the situation appears to be. This person will likely have a mental struggle or even a few of them in their head and they may be processing it as best they can but are noticeably experiencing emotional discomfort. This can be true even when steps are being taken to “rectify the situation as best as possible” by the adoptee.

Many of us feel as though on some level held back by the “adoption is all flowers and rainbows” narrative offered by society at large. While most of us would admit to there being positives included in the experience most feel that should not take away our legitimate right to feel upset (or even angry) and even voice our feelings in order to let them out. This narrative can overbear us and some can grow immensely tired of “soothing other people” when we ourselves quite rightly have concerns to tend to of our own.

In adoptees depression as not uncommon and the adoptee suicide rate is higher than that of non adopted persons. There can be vast gaps in one’s sense of self and belonging which can evoke strong feelings including depression. Extended periods of depression can ultimately turn into suicidal ideation. Please think about telling us “how to feel” before you do so as these issues are very real for a lot of us and you could potentially cause more damage, even if you are unaware you are.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

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Non assimilation adoptee lifestyle

Some international and intercultural adoptees can feel a profound loss of their original nation or culture of birth (usually in addition to desires to connect with their birth family or members within it). The reason why some international adoptees feel this way and others do not is not entirely known. This lifestyle or any variation of it can bridge the gap between the disconnect felt.

In a basic understanding the non assimilation lifestyle is a means to live by the values and culture of your original nation in a day-to-day sense, it’s incorporating elements of culture into ones life as much as humanly possible.

There are of course many ways of incorporating elements of your original culture into day to day life in your host country.

Language If your homeland/motherland has a different language to the one you’ve grown up into then it’s a fair idea to learn the language of your motherland and to a fair degree as well. While this is not mandatory not having the language limits your ability to access the culture on an equal level as those who have grown up into that language. However some options are still available should you choose not to.

Singing in the language is good for all both extrovert and introvert personalities and will help garner a greater linguistic understanding. Keeping up to date with the local charts will keep you up to date with what’s new in your motherland

Speak the language at home if at all possible. Not only will you gain some basic everyday vocabulary but you will also be using the same language as your people do and hopefully this will help you gain love for the language of your original culture. This could even become your preferred language in due time.

Make friends with people where you are from One way of gaining a sense of belonging in the real world is to seek out friendships with those from where you come from. Depending on how diverse your local area is there may be some local to you and some may speak the language you grew up into. If not then the internet is an option.

Watching television related to your culture Can typically be done in either the language of your homeland or the one that you grew up into. Typically the amount of TV is going to be far more diverse in the language of the country itself as there will be multiple channels and films made in that country. National Geographic and similar channels may air the occasional programme focusing on your homeland.

Cooking To cook and savour the culinary delights of your original culture is one of the few and accessible means of accessing culture without worrying about languages at all. All that’s required is knowledge of what ingredients to get with some basic to medium cooking ability and voilá. Cookbooks can be obtained for many countries from Albania to Lebanon. Also many recipes can be found on the internet.

Obtain any items that may make you feel happier and more connected Any item that will make you feel happier will do. For some its flags and pennants. For others its cultural dress and items related to special cultural days. I’ve even heard of someone collecting display knives from their origin nation.

Learn the dance styles connected with your culture While this is often a more traditional thing it can appeal to some who already have a liking for dancing and traditional dance styles.

I personally live the non assimilation adoptee life as best as I can and feel more comfortable living this lifestyle then trying to assimilate and be someone who I ultimately feel I am not. I believe this lifestyle or variations of it can truly aid some adoptees in feeling more themselves and for this reason I advocate for awareness the differences of international adoptees so that the world understands where some of us are coming from

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable