Hearing real adoption stories from real families is one thing that helps both expecting parents and hopeful adoptive parents who are exploring adoption. It’s a powerful way to educate people about the benefits of adoption. We asked our Adoption & Beyond families if they would share their stories with us, and here is a response from Anuhya, a 16-year-old adoptee from California.
I only felt anger. Angry that I couldn’t be like the “normal” kids.
I am a 16-year-old adoptee from California. I was born in Pune, India and was adopted at the age of 2. From the time I was old enough to understand what being adopted meant, I was always told by my family that I came out of the orphanage unscathed by the hardships and struggles of abandonment. Hearing stories of how well I connected with my family and how I was always a bright and bubbly toddler, I always took pride knowing that I was less affected. Less broken. But it wasn’t until middle school when everything (thoughts, emotions, and feelings) I had pushed down had come back up again in the form of anxiety. Pre-teen/teenage years are the years when you are trying to figure out your values, what you want in a friend, maybe a relationship, and what you want from yourself. Along with that, I spent my pre-teen years learning how to feel again. Up until then, I had been so emotionally closed off, that I never formed a sense of identity. I was only bubbly because people had said I was bubbly when I was little. I was only outgoing because people had said that I was outgoing when I was little. I only felt anger. Angry that I couldn’t be like the “normal” kids, the ones whose parents never left them. I was angry at my birth parents because I had never asked to be born. I was angry at my own parents for adopting me because I felt like such an unnecessary burden to them.
I have one of the most precious and unbreakable bonds that I never thought I was capable of having.
Of course, now, I am able to put all those past feelings into words because I now know that I had so many unfiltered emotions rooting from my abandonment. But this realization would have never been possible if it weren’t for my mother. She was the only light I had during all those dark years. We adoptees often feel like we are the problem. Having my mom show and prove to me that it was me and her against the problem felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. All those nights spent screaming, crying, and locking myself up in my bathroom were worth it because now, four years later, I have one of the most precious and unbreakable bonds that I never thought I was capable of having.
The irrational anger, sadness, and even emotional unavailability we portray are often signs that we need them.
I want parents of adoptive children to understand from an adoptee’s perspective because sometimes what may come off as typical teenage behavior can be an inhibition deeply rooted in their subconscious. The irrational anger, sadness, and even emotional unavailability we portray are often signs that we need them, though it seems like we are pushing them away. I want adoptive parents to understand that we don’t know what’s going on in our own minds either.
If I can provide some solace to just one parent struggling to connect with their child, it would mean the world to me.
Having a helping hand and the reassurance that they are on our team can go a long way. I understand that there is tremendous confusion between both parties and oftentimes this can only cause a rift in the relationship. The key is to accept that confusion, and figure out how to turn it into a mutual understanding that can, more often than not, blossom into a beautiful connection. Of course, everyone’s adoption story is unique and how an adoptee expresses their struggles varies. But if I can provide some solace to just one parent struggling to connect with their child, it would mean the world to me. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you have a nice day!
Interested in learning more about Adoption?
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Interested in learning more about The Ultimate Guide to Adopting a Child? Check out our entire hopeful adoptive parents guide here.
Interested in learning more about Placing Your Child for Adoption in Kansas and Missouri? Check out our entire expecting parents guide here.