Vulnerable, Disappointed, Exposed


So, it’s been several months since I’ve written. I would like to say it’s because most days being adopted has no impact on my life whatsoever, and I don’t even think about it. But, that would not be true. I mean, yeah, some days being adopted means nothing more than I have lots of parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, etc. But that’s not why I haven’t written. I haven’t written because…

It all started in mid summer. My (adoptive) dad had a heart attack and needed to have stents placed in a couple of arteries. That was…weird. My dad has been really healthy for my entire life, so it was odd to see him in a hospital bed with wires and machines and all. But I didn’t realize how vulnerable it made me feel until I contacted my (natural) dad to give him an update and he said that he’d been really sick too. My (natural) dad has Type 1 Diabetes, so not feeling well is part of the daily routine most of the time, but this was different, and I knew it. Both dads are…mortal. Not good. Not good. After a few weeks of feeling out of sorts over the whole thing, both dads began recovering and I felt less vulnerable. But then this happened…

Over the course of a few weeks of mindless television watching, I heard the following phrase (or an equivalent) at least three times – “I would be okay with adopting kids, but I want the first one to be from us….” And there it is! The disappointing reminder that the “chosen” narrative isn’t quite as nice and neat as we all want to think in the world of adoption. I have thought (and thought) about the right way to explain this, and all I can conjure is a grade school narrative. At times, adoption feels to me like being chosen last on the playground only to end up on the winning team. I mean, it’s cool I get to be on the winning team, but it still stinks not to be picked first. And while I was blessed with a wonderful family in my adoption experience, I still wasn’t picked first – by either of my families, in fact – so it still sucks when I’m reminded. Don’t get me wrong, I’m cool with the fact that an individual knows he/she wants to have biological children before adopting. I am even more cool with the fact that they will acknowledge it and not try to act like having biological children doesn’t matter to them. And it’s my fault I over-think everything about my experience. But it still stinks. And I was going to write about it  a couple of months ago, until…

I often read old posts before I begin a new one. Helps me see if I’m covering new ground or re-hashing old material. So, when I began to write about being “chosen,” I read a bit and began feeling exposed, I guess. I’m sure that those of you who read this blog, but don’t know me, have no idea how hard it is for me to write anything about thoughts/feelings of a personal nature. It’s like torture. I guard ME with fierce intensity. So, coming off of feeling vulnerable and disappointed, exposed was just too much. So, I’ve been quiet. Hiding behind the wall I’ve built over time. And not just on here. I’ve withdrawn in other aspects of my life because that’s what I do when I feel exposed.

But I began this blog for a reason. And that reason was to share my thoughts as an adoptee in hopes that others can see things in a new way. And I can’t do that if I refuse to write. So, here I am…having felt vulnerable, disappointed, and exposed. And now you know. And it pains me to have told you, but I hope someone can read this and say, “Yeah, I’ve felt that too” and maybe that commonality will make them feel better.




6 comments on “Vulnerable, Disappointed, Exposed

  1. Lynn says:

    I have often heard “I want to have my OWN child.” It makes me wonder who I actually belong to.. my biological mother who gave me up or my adoptive parents? I guess I belonged to my adoptive parents. I was their “own” but arrived differently. It’s confusing.
    I have to say knowing some of my biological siblings but never knowing my biological parents has been strange.
    I feel absolutely nothing for them other than curiosity. I want to know about this person who had me. I want to know how they felt. Speaking to them makes me thankful for being given away and I miss my adoptive parents and the childhood they gave me even more.
    I understand the torture of sharing feelings. I remain distant from everyone emotionally. I simply cannot openly talk about my feelings to anyone.
    There were times I felt left out of my adoptive family. I was the only one adopted. I also was left out of my
    Biological family. I was the only one given up for adoption.
    All these parents are dead and gone. I guess we end up belonging only to ourselves.
    Sorry for the rambling. Watching families at holiday times makes me feel strangely….

  2. Barbara A. Huffman says:

    Becky, I just read this and so many thoughts are going through my mind that I cannot sort them out right now! However, I will be thinking about this and will give a better reply when all this thoughts can be written down in an understandable way. My one thought that might help you and each one of us is just be thankful for everything and for the good life you have had and enjoy every minute of every day, because life is precious, fleeting and a gift from God.

  3. Jeanette says:

    Thanks for sharing Becky! I have been following your posts as an adoptive mom to get more insight into the pain and struggles of my 3 daughters. So helpful because you are so real. Sorry about both of your Dads. Having ill parents or losing a parent really stops you in your tracks for a while. Adding the adoption dimension into there with more people in your life must make it even more confusing. Pulling away is a normal emotion and it takes work and effort to step back in the arena of life. Thanks for sharing!

    Also – would love to share some cool resources that I use in my life coaching business. I am certified in Brene Brown’s work on shame and think it hits the adoption community on all sides. You thinking that you are not enough and I struggle with thinking that I am not enough as a mom when my kids pull away or struggle. Shame is yucky and sends us backwards. Brene gives practices to become more wholehearted and it starts with vulnerability! Like what you are doing when you write. Here are some cool resources for you and all your readers., and Thanks again for sharing!

    • Becky says:

      Thanks, Jeanette, for the kind, encouraging words and the resources. I’ve heard others speak about Brene Brown – guess it’s time to check her out.

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