Knee to Knee instagram Challenge word of the day is EDUCATION.

As I look back at my life the thing I feel the least educated on is understanding that it’s OK to feel sad/angry/unwanted while simultaneously living a happy life with a family who loves me.

As an adult adoptee I am loving how much education is swirling around social media now for adoptees, adoptive parents and birth family. It wasn’t that way when I was growing up.

I was always told how lucky I was to be adopted and how lucky I was to have my parents for parents. I don’t remember ever being told that it was okay to feel sad, mad, confused & unwanted for being adopted. Without hearing other adoptee experiences, I often felt like I was the problem or that I must be ungrateful. I felt like my pain and anger was unjust because I ‘was lucky.’

My brother was a typical boy so he rarely spoke about his adopted feelings which left me feeling even more abnormal. This ongoing internal struggle left me constantly trying to be and seem fine from the outside so that nobody wondered about me. I didn’t want others to wonder or ask because I knew they wouldn’t understand. Adoptee struggles are hard to understand & they’re all so different, kind of like math – if we’re speaking in educational terms. Unless your able to practice seeing the equation written out it’s hard to figure out the problem. Which is why I’m so happy that growing adoptees & their families now get to hear and see so many more experiences & conversations.

I hope adoptive parents are letting their children follow adoptees as they share.  Let them listen to others experiences and not just the positive posts but the tough ones too. Don’t be afraid of them becoming negative or ungrateful from listening to an adoptee talk about the downsides & tough stuff. Be afraid of them believing they aren’t allowed to feel pain and suffering from their trauma just because they they are ‘lucky’ to have you.

For the record: I do consider myself lucky to be adopted and lucky to be raised by my parents.  But I also feel lucky to now finally as an adult realize that it’s OK to recognize that I also went through trauma & loss and that it’s ok to mourn and ok to feel and ok to process all the feelings that come with that. And that by doing so it doesn’t mean that I don’t love my parents, and it’s not me being ungrateful, it just means I’m a human processing the complex life I’ve luckily been given. That is the education I would of loved to have had as a growing kid. Better late than never right?

Love, Jenni

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