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Lies, Lies, Lies

I have found in my travels down this bumpy road, that many of my fellows are obsessed with the truth. I find myself being one of them. Sadly (because somewhere, off in a dusty corner of mind I never sweep, it does sadden me), I find myself not caring if the truth is hard or cruel or difficult to swallow. Because, to paraphrase Ghandi, even if the truth is unpopular and pisses people off, it's still the truth. (Trust me, I REALLY REALLY know how much of an asshole I look like right now. Remarkably, I don't care.)

In the adoption world, the truth is exceptionally ugly. Which is why we're all taught to lie. We're all taught the lies of adoption propaganda. I.e., adoption is a beautiful thing, a gift, a better life. Adoption is a blessing from god. It saves lives. Adoption is an image of smiling hopeful adoptive faces and Disney world dreams applied as a thin veneer to hide a world of greed, corruption, profiteering, and child trafficking.

This is the first set of lies wiped on our infant skin, smeared like clay mud from the bottom of a watering hole. Once we learn the lie that "these social services people saved your infant self from your awful awful biological parents", then they start on you.

That DNA is not yours, you'll be told.  Those people didn't want you. But these people do. (Big flashing yellow arrow at the adopters here, with their shiny smiles and good guy badges all polished and home studied.) Since these people want you, be grateful, and let's just call them mom and dad from now on. In fact, let's make sure everyone else does too.

So the truth is removed from your birth certificate. The woman who actually gave birth to you is replaced with the (usually infertile) woman that "wants" you. The man whose DNA created you is replaced with the man who is married to the woman that wants you. (This is even worse now with gay couples adopting; now I'll have a man or a woman in both lines. Never mind how confusing that is for me. Gay coupes are doing this in the name of their equality, their right to be treated like hetero couples. But in taking their equal rights, they are obliterating the equal rights of adoptees.)

But we don't really have rights, do we? No, I take that back. We have the right to be betrayed. We have the right to be grateful for that betrayal. We have the right to lie, and the right to not know our own biological histories. We have the right to have our access to our own identifying documents restricted or denied altogether.

My parents are replaced with the "lie parents". My birthplace, replaced with a lie of the lieparents' choosing. My siblings are negated. Sometimes even my true birthday is replaced with a "lieday", so many lieparents can feel even more in control of my existence. 

My existence, which is quickly being changed into a lie.

Then, the piéce de resistánce... my identity is changed, from my true identity that I was born with, to a lie of lieparent's construction. My name.

People don't seem to understand how really important your name is. They don't seem to realize how integral that name is to their identity. And they definitely don't know what it's like to hear someone calling you by a name and not recognize it as your own. The name given by my adopters always felt like a false construct. When you are called one name for the first eight months of your life, then suddenly called another... well, your little baby self knows that's not you. And sometimes that knowledge carries strongly out of infancy. Sometimes the knowledge of "This isn't who I am" carries strongly with us for the rest of our lives.

Think that's it for the lies? You would be mistaken. 

We live the lie. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. None of them really ours. The places we live would not have been our places. The friends we made weren't supposed be ours. Those friends belong to the unborn child whose name and life we've borrowed. I say borrowed; perhaps, 'had shoved into us' is more accurate. The places we go, the family history we are taught, the name we wear, the we life live... none of it really meant to be ours-- that's not where we were born. 

Lies, Lies, Lies, all the time. We can't get away from them. Even after we get out of that fog of lies ourselves, we have to listen to them from everyone else. The gaslighted general population and the still-fogged fellow adoptees alike, constantly minimizing and diminishing the realities, rabidly contradicting every truth and negating our validity to the lawmakers and the ones with power... we will never accomplish anything until all adoptees can come together in the name of family reunification. In the name of stopping the corrupt industry from eating our truth and packing us in lies before selling us off like commodities.

Now, taking all this into consideration, is it any big surprise that so many adoptees are absolutely unflinching when it comes to honesty? Does it surprise you that lies piss us off?

As my friend, or anyone who claims to care about me, how could you possibly think I'm going to accept your dishonesty? Your secrets? When my life had been a secret for so long... WHO MY PARENTS ARE, A SECRET... and you think I'm going to accept casual secrecy and lies from people I don't have to claim as my own?

Because, check this. I have been so stripped of identity and so very filled with secrets and lies, THAT EVEN MY OWN BLOOD HAS NO REAL CLAIM ON ME. I have no sense of familial obligation anymore, because all my families threw me away. I can walk away from all of it and live, peaceful and lonely, as an island unto myself. I choose to try to connect. Fuck the rainbow. I fight every day with the urge run screaming away from all this bullshit; I fight every day to stick my hand out there and wait to see if someone will please fucking hold it. I still chase the connection, even though it has always eluded me. 

I don't have to do this. I can walk away. I do this because you say you love me and I keep thinking maybe I love you (in the quiet hours, I do, and fiercely). I do this because someday I want to know what it feels like to be connected. I thought I felt it once or twice, but now I'm not so sure.

I'm reaching. I'm risking. I'm not lying or keeping secrets. My whole self is on a razor's edge, one wrong move and I will be cut in half.

Do you really think I'm going to have any patience for secrets and lies? Why should I? Why should I have to accept that, when my whole life has been nothing else?

Here's the news for you. I don't. I won't. I can't. Tell me the truth, ugly or not. Whether I want to hear it or not. I don't care if I like it. Do not lie to me. It doesn't spare my feelings, it breaks my heart. It doesn't protect me, it destroys me. 

A word of advice. If you have an adoptee in your life, pay them the courtesy and show them the respect of being transparently honest with them. We have a built in radar. We know when you're lying and keeping secrets. So just don't. We will actually love and respect you for it, even if we don't like what you're saying.

Thank you again, Gentle Reader, for your time.


  1. Thank you for this beautifully expressed truth. The journey through the fog of adoption is brutal. Even years after reunion. It never clears. :(

  2. Thank you for sharing your truth.

  3. Be happy you do not know your roots, the majority of people come from terrible people.

    1. No. No one should ever have to be happy they don't know their roots. It's dismissive to suggest so.

      I'm sorry if your experience sucked, but that doesn't mean everyone's does.

      I'll be glad about things that make me glad. If you're an adoptee, you should know better than tell people to be thankful.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. July 28, 2017 at 7:07 PM
      That's BS Spock. The majority of "birth" mothers are young girls from middle-class, religious families who were coerced in to believing that adoption was a beautiful, self-sacrificial gift to their child worthy of sainthood. We believed it, sadly. And we paid.


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