Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

Some history

with 16 comments

I am writing this for me. I am writing this for us. I am writing this so I can try to help the world see why this adoption lark is so traumatic for us.

1:53am is probably not the best time to start writing such a lengthy exposition, however, it’s been sat here under my fingernails, in the depths of my soul, for far too long now. I have been in reunion for over a year now, and =for me= I need to try to start writing it down again.

The story started way back in 1971, when my biological parents got together for a short time – as youth are prone to do – the end result of which became me.

Born in August 1972, I was my mom’s second child, and my dad’s first. Unfortunately (for me), my mom wasn’t the best in the world at being a mom, and by the time I was seven months old, my mom had lost the plot enough that Social Services were wanting to put me into foster care. Luckily (sort of) for me, my mom didn’t want me to wind up trapped within the foster care system, and so word went out on the local grapevine that there was a seven month old kid up for grabs (and this is where the luckily for me part came into it), and the couple that became my adoptive parents turned up at the door to collect me (much like when there are puppies or kittens up for grabs).

Unlike many kids who were adopted, I was lucky enough to be taken on by a deeply loving and giving family that immediately set about attempting to make me entirely at home amongst their clan.

Like most kids, I was deeply interested in the story of how I came to be, and I spent many many hours stood at the side of the bath while my (now a)mom told me – yet again – my story, which went something along the lines of how much my (a)parents wanted a kid, but couldn’t have one, while my (b)mom had a kid that she couldn’t look after properly, and so after some hasty telephone calls, my (a)parents turned up at my (b)mom’s and whisked me away to this lovely new life that I was living.

I was lucky because my adoption was never hidden from me, however, it is only in very recent years that I have come to realise quite how much being adopted impacted upon the life that I lived – and I don’t mean the simple fact of being moved from one family to another, either.

Growing up, I struggled to understand how the world worked. I was a bright(ish), intelligent(ish) child whose favourite questions were “why?” and “how?” Why was the sun hot and the moon cold? I asked my (a)mom. “How does electricity travel through wires?” I also asked. “Where is my other mom?” I wanted to know more than anything though, along with “why couldn’t she (my bmom) look after me?”

Turns out, my aparents thought my bmom had moved away from the area, and my bmom thought my aparents had moved away from the area – but, as I was often told as a child, you know what thought did, they all thought wrong.

Adoption was never a taboo subject in our house, nor even in our extended family, however, I was given some weird (and plainly wrong) stories along the way; like my adad’s mom telling me that I was black and blue when they (my aparents) got me home. I wasn’t, but it’s what I grew up believing, because after all, why ever would I think my nan would lie to me.

I struggled though, in trying to figure out how the world worked. Of course, since I’ve become an adult and delved into the world of the impact of adoption on kids, I’ve discovered that the difficulties I faced lay within the lack of genetic mirroring that I experienced, which in turn led to hyper-vigilence because I HAD TO watch and learn everything from scratch. I’ve also since discovered that the loss of my mom is likely the main reason I ended up being a promiscuous child, having to search for love and acceptance because I could never find that part of me that was missing. Having to HAVE TO be able to love everyone, just in case someone was a someone I was related to.

I hid much of my life away from my aparents. Oh, they knew that I wasn’t the most chaste teen on the planet, but I’m not sure they were (or even are) aware of quite how early I was unchaste though. In fact, I’m pretty certain they weren’t aware of quite how unchaste I was as a child (and yes, I mean a young child, not even half way to ten), otherwise, I sincerely doubt they would have allowed me the freedom to “go out and play” quite as much as they did.

Much as I loved my aparents though, I could not – did not (until adulthood) – ‘attach’ to either of them. I was too wilfully independent to allow myself to rely on them. Much as I loved them, they weren’t my ‘real’ parents.

In my young head, my ‘real’ parents were famous film stars, or famous musicians, or royalty, or fantastic scientists, who were simply allowing my adoptive family to raise me until they had time to come back to fetch me, which could happen at any time, and so I always always always had to be ready to be able to leave my life behind at a moment’s notice.

It never happened however, and so instead I used to try to get to know everyone, just in case the woman on the bus was my ‘real’ mom, or just in case the woman walking down the high street was her, or just in case the annoying kid in my class was really my brother, or just in case the guy driving that gorgeous looking Mack truck was my dad.

I spent my entire childhood living in a fantasy world that only I, as an adopted child, could get away with. While other kids were screaming at their parents and wishing they weren’t their parents, I was watching every person in the world other than my (a)parents just in case they really were my parents, or my siblings, or my aunts or uncles or cousins or grandparents.

I really was very very lonely though. My ‘real’ parents obviously couldn’t love me very much because they never turned up to claim me back from these substitute parents, and so I was never going to be good enough because if even my own mom didn’t want me, then I must be a real bad case. This assumption, whilst based on the twisted logic of a kid who doesn’t really understand what’s happened, nor why, was unsubtlety reinforced by the kids at school, who used to tell me that I was obviously horrible because not even my own mom wanted me.

Lack of self-worth aside, I did continue to grow though. By the age of six, I knew that I wanted a sex-change operation because I was not – under any circumstances – a girl, and so while I was waiting for that to happen, I made myself a strap-on penis from a piece of elastic and a cut-out egg box (personally, I blame that one on too much Blue Peter). By the age of seven, I wanted to be the first woman in the S.A.S. At eight however, I was back to being too busy fantasising about being taken away by my ‘real’ parents to have aspirations of my own. At nine, I wanted to be a stunt man for films like Hooper, and Smokey and the Bandit. By the time I was ten, I was lost; my ‘real’ parents hadn’t turned up for me, and I still didn’t know my own place in the world – all I did know was that I must be this terrible entity, because otherwise, why would they have not come for me by now.

I got by though, and eventually made it to adulthood, whereupon I met my daughter’s dad, and settled down to raise my daughter. Well, I say settled down, but not much in my life had changed. I still scoured the faces of everyone who walked down the road, hoping to be able to recognise some likeness in someone else which would mean that I had at last finally found someone I was related to that I hadn’t given birth to. Nor had my promiscuity abated – indeed, coupled with the necessity of having to be able to love everyone I ever met just in case we were related, it instead became epidemic, leading me into many volatile and risky situations that most people with half a brain would have run a mile from.

And then I found the Internet, which eventually led not only to a marriage (that has since irrecoverably broken down), but also to the knowledge that much of my life was not much more than reacting to my original loss, and finally reunion.

There’s so much more that I want to say – need to say, however it’s now gone 3am, and so instead I’m going to be at least vaguely sensible and go to bed to get some sleep instead.

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Written by 7rin

Tue, 28 September, 2010 at 3:08 am

Posted in 7rin

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16 Responses

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  1. Author: David Slack
    private@msn.com
    90.207.150.219
    2010/09/28 at 6:30 pm
    Fucking bleding heart.Get a life.Theres people out there dying in poverty and getting blown up in Afghanistan.STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF

    Me not experiencing my life thus far would have minimal impact on the kids out there fighting in Afghanistan, ‘cept perhaps ever so slightly on the one I know who’s just about to ship out.

    So g’wan than, how is stating facts about what happened “a bleeding heart”?

    7rin

    Wed, 29 September, 2010 at 12:37 am

  2. David Slack
    private@msn.com
    90.207.133.100
    2010/10/02 at 1:38 pm
    Because people like you are always complaining about there lot when there are others out theres who are suffering to a much larger degree.I was gang raped when I was 5 years old but I dont make a big thing of it and my mother was complicit in the assault.Now that is real suffering.

    Oooh, are we gonna start comparing rape stories now – how many of mine d’you want me to list? Dickhead.

    If people who’ve suffered from something don’t speak up about the suffering endured, then that something is much more likely to keep on happening to more and more people because the people doing it to other people don’t know that it causes this much pain. If people learn that it causes this much pain, then there’s a much greater chance of preventing it from happening to even more people than it has already happened to.

    You have no clue about how much I’ve suffered from this or not, what with the whole not knowing me, nor anything about me other than what I’ve posted here – thus, your raving perspective is irrelevant, since it adds nothing to the topic under discussion.

     

    Leah
    leahspafford@yahoo.com
    144.15.255.227
    2010/10/01 at 8:54 pm
    You are certifiably crazy.

    I wish I was, perhaps then I’d be able to get some actual real help with dealing with all of this – but sadly, nope, I’m pretty clinically sane (if there is such a thing).

    But yup, that’s what being abandoned to adoption does to people.

    7rin

    Tue, 5 October, 2010 at 2:48 am

  3. Wow. Its amazing those NOT touched by adoption rear their ugly heads.

    Mary

    Tue, 5 October, 2010 at 3:32 am

  4. I’m so glad you wrote that. It amazes me, when I read about other adoptees, how much my experience mirrors theirs. From the obsessive fantasizing, to the disconnect with other people (it still amazes me that people who are genetically linked have the same physical affectations), to the promiscuity looking to fill the void, it all sounds familiar.

    As far as the imbecilic accusation that, since there are worse things in the world, you shouldn’t be talking about adoption, let me ask this: Do you know anyone who advocates rape? Who says how fantastic it is for the victim? No? You know why? People understand that rape is horrid for the victim. The reason they understand this is that a great many rape victims expressed their horror and continued suffering. Right now, there are millions of people blithely advocating adoption and family separation. If no one ever speaks out, how will anyone know this is anything less than the *best thing ever* for adopted children?

    If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

    Lady M

    Tue, 5 October, 2010 at 4:39 am

  5. Very well-written! Some people just like to be asses in their comments on blogs. They seem to forget that most blogs, by their very definition, are supposed to be about the person writing them – their experiences, their thoughts, their stories. It’s the one place in the world where a person can be completely focused on themselves. And that is the nice thing about them, as they are definitely helpful for others who have felt the same way, or just to educate people who’ve never thought of things that way. Saying someone has no right to speak their story because other people have suffered so much more is just stupid. And I can’t help thinking that, deep down, the person knows that and is just making trouble for the sheer fun of it.

    Beth

    Tue, 5 October, 2010 at 1:04 pm

  6. 7rin :

    Author: David Slackprivate@msn.com90.207.150.2192010/09/28 at 6:30 pmFucking bleding heart.Get a life.Theres people out there dying in poverty and getting blown up in Afghanistan.STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF

    Me not experiencing my life thus far would have minimal impact on the kids out there fighting in Afghanistan, ‘cept perhaps ever so slightly on the one I know who’s just about to ship out.
    So g’wan than, how is stating facts about what happened “a bleeding heart”?

    It’s comments like David’s and Leah’s too that make me yearn for the day when there’ll be a “bitch slap” button on the keyboard. A hand will reach out through the monitor and slap apathetic souls upside the head.

    Just sayin’.

    Christina

    Tue, 5 October, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    • Tell you what if you don’t have time for this person and their stuff then leave her alone. Trolling I think is what you’d be doing. How about you go do something practical and kind for the Afghans you profess to be so bothered about.

      Alli Inwards

      Fri, 5 April, 2013 at 8:39 am

  7. I think you are a beautiful and amazing person 7rin.

    I am sorry David that you have had such a trauma. I wish you peace.

    joy-joy

    Sat, 16 October, 2010 at 10:16 pm

  8. Hi 7rin…. I’ve been reading your posts here, and liked one so much,(Screaming), I chose to relate it to a thread on PPL, titled Adoption, Myths and Realities. Your writing and complaints illustrate some of the many complicated issues an angry adoptee has to face. Yes, many of us SCREAM at the top of our lungs because we want and need attention; the reality we face in Adoptionland is not at all like the mythical magical ideas we have been holding (or told to hold) since we can remember. Sure, there are those who will say, “Quit your whining, and shut-up already, there are people who have had it much worse”… but that’s because there ARE people who had it much worse, and unfortunately for them, they never got the response and reaction they really needed. (Doesn’t make the pain and grief from rejection any less, better, or worse, does it? It just becomes relative, so to speak!) I have no links, I have no professional resource that will provide appropriate assistance; wish I did. What I do have to offer is this little lesson I learned, myself. How a parent – adoptive or birth – responds to a child who has been hurt or traumatized, matters. That parent’s first reaction,(sympathetic acknowledgement, apathy, or hostile rejection) will influence the child’s next move. I have no birth or adoptive parents to work-with, no siblings to provide feedback…. but I have gone from person, to person, to person, with the hunger of a desperate and angry child, and I have as long as I can remember, been on some sort of endless mission-quest. Eventually, I found the right combination of people, with just the right quirks and flaws, and as a result, I have found a way to work on myself, through these very diverse, and fantastic friends. My biggest challenge has been putting an end to really bad habits, because mythical mind-sets can turn wishful-thinking into something far more pathological. In my case, I decided my personal goals were going to be (ha ha) simple: “I AM going to have better relationships”, and “I AM going to feel more confident, secure and complete”. The work involved has been very triggering and very hard, with lots of set-backs and ‘relapses’. What keeps me dedicated and committed is a simple core-belief: hard work and dedication can turn a dream into a reality. My efforts, in time, will reap their own rewards, and I am at the point where I can say, “Yes, each year, DOES get better.” Best wishes for you… I hope you find what it is you seek. ~k

    Kerry

    Thu, 17 February, 2011 at 3:32 pm

  9. This is great 7rin, so much of what you write I can relate to. It’s sad that people come here and try and tell you how upset THEY think you deserve to be because of what you’ve suffered, when they know nothing of it.

    I’m not going to tell you to ‘keep up the good work’ because I know you’ll never stop advocating for adoptee rights and getting the truth of adoption out there for people to see!

    Lindyloolah

    Tue, 5 April, 2011 at 10:56 am

  10. Ang guys, while we are at it, can you all stop being happy cos there are PEOPLE OUT THERE WITH MUCH MORE TO BE HAPPIER ABOUT THAN YOU.

    mumdrah

    Tue, 26 March, 2013 at 12:53 am

    • It’s ok, I’m unhappy atm anyway. I’ve hit my Twit limit for the day and need to go to bed so can be up for work tomorrow… but I’ve got so many unRTed Tweets that need RTing and so many half-dangling conversations! *sobs*

      7rin

      Tue, 26 March, 2013 at 1:05 am

  11. It’s so insightful reading this post and just makes me want to do everything I can to ensure my children feel as whole as possible. Reading things from your perspective is informative and helpful to me as a parent but your story also touches me and hopes for some resolve for you, if that is indeed possible. Thank you for sharing on the Weekly Adoption Shout Out.

    thepuffindiaries

    Tue, 26 March, 2013 at 10:17 pm

  12. I love and respect your honesty and truthfulness. I am an adoptee too and much of what you say about the search for identity and connectedness and belonging really resonates with me. You are very articulate and do well at expressing yourself in this blog. If you have more you want to share I would love to journey with you by reading. I just wanted you to know you have someone rooting for you. Also I live in theUK but was born and adopted in the US. Anyways, happy Friday to you and well done! Take care, Alli

    Alli Inwards

    Fri, 5 April, 2013 at 8:37 am

  13. How about you go do something good and kind and practical for the Afghanis you profess to be so concerned about rather than trolling this person?

    Alli Inwards

    Fri, 5 April, 2013 at 8:41 am


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