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The Fog: What It Looks Like From Here

To quote Phoebe Buffay on "Friends", right after she found out her mother wasn't her biological mother, "Let me see. I was born, then everyone started lying their asses off!"

I know I'm not the only adoptee who's felt this. And I know I'm not the only one who was gaslighted. In fact, I think it's probably very rare that any of us wasn't gaslighted in some way.

I used to think I was lucky. That's what everyone always said. I didn't feel lucky, but I thought I was supposed to be, so I convinced myself that my own guts were lying to me. I became lucky in spite of myself. 

I thanked my amother for adopting me. More than once. She needed to hear it frequently. I had to reassure her that I was grateful, that I needed her, that my life would have been incomplete without her. Not all amothers are that needy, that's for certain. But most I've spoken to have definitive preconceptions about what we do or should feel.

Most of us are taught that adoption  is a beautiful thing, because without it we wouldn't be part of your family. Your birth mother made the loving choice, she's so strong and selfless to give you to us. We believe it, because in most cases you are all we know. Whether you know it or not, we realize that someone who loves you isn't supposed to give you away. That's instinct. It gives a sinister connotation to my real parents. It gives a distrust of love and people who love you. It instills this simple concept into the lizard brain:

No matter what words are said, no matter what kind of love and loyalty is professed, no matter how much trust is built, no matter how deeply one feels for them, the people that love us will always be capable of leaving us. Because our most integral biochemical bond left us. We are told they did it BECAUSE  they love us so very much.

We believe this, because the alternative is being unwanted. Let me tell you firsthand, out of the mouth of a child unwanted by her mother from conception... being unwanted feels like shit. It makes you question the reason for your existence. And no one needs to tell you that you weren't wanted. You feel it whether you admit it or not.

The whole while, everyone's telling you how lucky you are to be "chosen". What a wonderful woman your birth mother is for wanting to "give you a better life". How fortunate you are that "your parents wanted you so much that they went out if their way to get you." They worked so hard to have you. They loved you so much that they saved you. (From what, is, of course, never specified. I can only assume that meant they saved me from my birth parents who loved me so much they gave me away. I never could make sense of that one.)

And let's don't forget the gaslighting about adoption itself. It is the great uniter, the builder of families, the godlike process of placing children in "beautiful homes". The great facilitator of family bliss. The path to a perfect child (cribmates, that's us). A blessing, a calling, a beautiful dream. A shiny white house with a beautiful lawn. The picket fence is white and the dogs are twofold. The parents are happy smiling with balloons and ice cream. And of course you have your sibling, happily adopted from another family, who is your best friend in all the land. You'll have a pony. And a boat. It's a better life.

We believe it. We have to to survive.

Otherwise we are traumatized and many have PTSD. Otherwise we are unwanted and commoditized. Otherwise adoption is a hulking black monster with foul breath devouring children's lives in the name of "family". The beautiful lies are much more palatable than the ugly truth.

No wonder so many choose to stay blind. Some days I wish I still was. Once you've seen the slimy, maggot- infested underbelly of adoption you can't unsee it. Babies stolen. Mothers coerced. Irresponsible selfish women giving away their babies. Newborns and teenagers alike tossed aside like so many torn empty wrappers. Traumatized babies. Sad, frightened, dysfunctional children. Adopters paying 20, 30, $40,000 a head for us. Greedy emotionally unstable infertile women trolling for newborns. Deluded faceless Christians "called by god" to ¿?raise someone else's baby¿? (Funny, I don't remember seeing anything in the holy book about the Christian virtue of demanding another's child when you can't create your own, but apparently I just missed that passage.) Lawyers and agencies making millions each year off our displacement and trauma. If you bring international adoption into the picture, you add on a whole nother level of corruption, greed, and illegal, unethical actions and systems to procure an distribute babies of color (mostly to desperate childless Americans). 

So yeah. Rainbows. Unicorns. Puppy dogs and butterflies. Stare at the pretty pretty picture of the smiling HAPs and fantasize about the perfect life they're going to give your baby. That's what they're doing. They're dreaming of the day that you think you're broken enough actually give away your child. If not yours, the next newborn on the list will raise their hopes and wishes the same as  yours did.

Our rainbows and butterflies are those shiny shiny pictures and pretty pretty phrases. Only we internalize that shit. Look at the next "perfectly happy, anaffected" adoptee who's "grateful for the brave selfless choice my birthmother made to give me a better life".

Sound familiar?

We internalize those rainbows. And it kills some of us when we realize it's a lie. The rest of us are obliterated and must rebuild from the ashes. What else COULD happen,  when our entire existence is based on these beautiful lies? When we find that the bitter truths underneath weren't lies like we were taught? 

What do you think that does to a person? Why would you teach me that the biggest, best, most noble act of love is to leave permanently and irrevocably? What does that teach me about relating to people?

Think about it. Adoptee fog is the thickest fog of all, because it clouds our very being. Clearing those clouds away can be deadly.

Stop lying to me.


  1. 💔❤ again, more of what every mother who is considering adoption needs to read.

  2. Hey. So adoption is a feminist issue. There are no "young irresponsible mothers". There are however there are young trusting mothers who are opprrssed becausw they are women whom are pregnant outsise of marriage. It is because these women lack a male that they are publically disgraced and strippes od thier babies by those who have secured a male. The concenpt of the shame is that if women were free to have thier babies men wpuld be "unfairly" controlled by the women with whom they have reprosuced. Having a child outside of marriage/a males approval takes away from a males authority over his lesser counterpart:women. Even other women join in on the sexist crucifixtion claiming that because the mother has a child outaide of marriage she must be too irresponsible to think about the consequences of her actions and therefore:an unfit mother. A person cannot understand the concept of adoption as abuse until they realize that the abuse of mothers and thier children are justified under sexist ideology of traditional family and male authority. Adoption abuse also has roots in classism where poor children are rehomed into moneyed homes. Adoption abuse also has roots in racism where colored children are rehomed into white homes. These issues are intersectional, meaning that they can happen one at a time or all at once or at varying degrees. In any regaurd adoption is reproductive genocide against women

  3. Hey. So adoption has nothing to do with feminism, unless lazy unfit mothers are a feminist issue. Don't put this clusterfuck off on some male agenda, to make the poor mothers the oppressed parties. Fuck the poor mothers. They made their choice. If they believed the lies, that's on them too.

    No sympathy. No more excuses.


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