I’m a member of a few closed Facebook groups that provide a forum for adoptees to ask questions or tell their stories but more importantly where they can vent. It’s forums like these where adoptees feel safe in knowing they won’t be judged or patronized and it is a place where it’s very unlikely you’ll hear the same old bullshit comments we all hear from non-adoptees. And this week’s post is no exception when the topic of conversation was around being told one is lucky for being adopted, usually in reference to the adopting family.
Firstly, it’s not luck that brought me together with my family, more than likely they had their name on a waiting list for some time since 7 years previously they adopted my brother. On the other hand a young women found she had an unwanted pregnancy and put her name on a list so as to adopt her baby to another family. At some point throughout this process someone from the adoption agency went through the waiting list to see which family was next to receive a baby – and the match was done.
I wouldn’t call that luck, I’d call it paperwork!
I could say I’m lucky that my family didn’t turn out to be arseholes. I had a loving caring and close family and was never told I was different or didn’t belong, it just was’t mentioned. I do know this wasn’t the case for many other adoptees and that is sad.
In my experience when someone says that I was lucky to have such wonderful parents in the context around adoption, they are usually trying to be sympathetic to my plight – that being my search may never have an end. I would rather they give me encouragement or at least say the whole damn business sucks, because it does. I don’t want to hear how lucky I am or how lucky my parents were to have me because in order to have me they lost three babies – that’s not lucky, that’s tragic.
I’ve thrown the “I’m lucky to have had a fabulous family” line out many times and in the context of the topic of my adoption so I guess I’m hypercritical when I call others out for the same thing so I guess my hypocrisy highlights the mixed emotions that comes with adoption and those mixed emotions can dance around simple words such as ‘lucky’.
Lucky is a great word, and it’s free for everyone to say and I like to think I am lucky and my family are lucky but not because of my adoption for every other reason – we live a good life surrounded by good people – family and friends, we love, we laugh and we cry together as one. But when we talk about adoption everyone needs to be mindful that adoption is blanketed in raw emotions so using a relatively simple term such as ‘lucky’ can be harmless for some but poison for others.