Thursday, November 29, 2007

Adoptees and the Extended Family

Much has been said about some adoptees feeling like they don't fit in with their adoptive families.

At least, that's what I've said.

That said, oddly enough, I always felt like I was a member of the family.

My aunts fussed over me. So did my maternal grandmother who always cooked something special when I visited. My paternal grandmother got stuck with me almost every weekend and she was always sweet. Maybe they knew just how lousy I had it with my self-centered adoptive parents and were trying to make up for it.

But now that I look back on it, I don't think that even these kind folk saw me as one of them. I was just too different. Now that I'm an adult, I suspect they felt sorry for me. I also believe there was a lot of talking amongst themselves about me and my quirks and why I was the way I was.

Why do I suspect this?

First, my adoptive family was a closed family system. Suspicious of outsiders.

Second, since I don't run around with "Adoptee!" stamped on my forehead, I pass for regular folk in the community. So at parties people tell me about me about the (usually weird) adopted kid in their family or at my local bookstore the owner tells me about the quirks of her adopted grandchild and the other day at Starbucks, I overheard a woman (loudly) discussing her Guatling niece and attachment or the lack of it and the trouble the little girl was having at pre-school and how, well, quirky she is.

See what I'm getting at?

Despite all this adoption is wonderful business, when you bring a kid into a nuclear family, the extended family is going to have their own opinion. While few dare say anything to the adopted family's face, they say it behind their backs. I've heard it. Believe me.

So that's what I think went on in my family.

And I can prove it.

Besides a cousin telling me I didn't belong to the family and that's why I was so weird, there also seemed to be a lot of whispering and sideways glances. And when I'd look up, they'd have that guilty look on their face people get when they've just said something bad about you. Plus, after my adoptive mother died, her side of the family just sort of drifted off, probably because they no longer had to pretend they liked me. (For the record, I am very close to one cousin because her mother is a narcissist, too, so we've bonded)

Of course, not all adoptess have this experience. Some do. For those of us who do, we're like poor Fanny in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Somebody to take pity on and help, but not the same as the primary children, her quirks of character to be examined and noted.

There's that word again. Quirk. Quirkish. Quirky.

In our adoptive families, we're quirky. But when I met my first family, I was just like them. Or at least parts of me were. This has nothing to do with how I feel about them. But at least I'm finally not quirky.

Hah. A word could not describe us better!

Quirk: 1) a pecularity of behavior;

2) A TRICK OF FATE.

And that is exactly what happened!

Fate has tricked me.

Labels:

16 Comments:

Anonymous Hopewaits said...

Oh Nina,
I've just had an epiphany! Perhaps the first definition (a percularity of behavior) means that we acted differently than "them". Perhaps we were the "normal" ones and they just had it twisted in their minds...I would say that their behavior was perculiar,not ours.......how quirky is that?

4:52 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Hopewaits,

I'd say very quirky! It's odd, isn't it, feeling like you're odd when you're around "them," but your normal pretty much everyplace else. Which, as you point out, says more about THEM. Besides, I wasn't the one who was diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (a-dad) nor did I suffer from Attaque de Nervios (culture bound somatic disorder: A-mom and other middle aged women in my lower class a-family). I needed therapy to help me deal with the aftermath, but I'm actually not so quirky.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Andie D. said...

I tried everything within my power to fit in with my adoptive family. I really, really, tried. But I couldn't. It wasn't until I was in my teens that I realized that I actually DID NOT WANT to be like them. I became grateful that I was not OF them!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Andie,

Hah! Well, at least you were grateful for something, although I don't think that's why a-families had in mind.

It is sad to think of you trying to fit in...really sad...because it's just so impossible!

5:12 PM  
Blogger Celera said...

I think the best thing, or at least the most immediately gratifying thing, about reunion for me, was to find a whole family of people who were just like me. I had always been told there was something wrong with me, but here were sane, sensible people with graduate degrees and respectable jobs, who were absent-minded and didn't always get the dishes done before bedtime. What a relief to find that I was not just "broken"!

12:04 AM  
Blogger bestfriendsgirl said...

One experience my abrother and I had, which most adoptees don't, is having a family full of cousins who were also adopted. My mother's sister adopted six children; one was an orphaned teenager, one half Filipino and one Chinese. They were born in this country and were not foreign adoptions per se, but this was something that simply was not done in the Midwest in the 60's and 70s. Now, as an adult, I realize why I liked visiting this aunt so much - we werent' the weird ones there! We were one of the crowd! Hell, we outnumbered the non-adoptee cousins! I'm only now beginning to realize how much strength I drew from that as a child.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

warp speed fat loss -
water 4 gas -
wedding speech 4u -
wp goldmine -
wrap candy -
xsite pro -
zygor guides -
37 days to clean credit -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate prophet -
affiliate video brander -
anti spyware -
art of approaching -
atomic blogging -
auction classified cash -
automated cash formula -
bbq book -
bloggers pay check -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
chopper tattoo -
cleanup the profits -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
commission blueprint -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for bruxism -
declutter fast -

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

natural cancer treatments -
niche review templates -
nyhms warcraft guides -
pappa pc -
pc booster -
pc optimizer pro -
pc secret formula -
pda flix -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button ecover -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
silent sales machine -
silver lotto -
spyware cease -
super affiliate handbook -
the 11 forgotten laws -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbulence training -
twitter rockstar -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warcraft millionaire -
warcraft wealth -
warp speed fat loss -
webcomp analyst -
wedding speech 4u -
win back love -
your software website -
zox pro -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate elite -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article bully -
art of approaching -
auto pilot profits -
bbq book -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
chopper tattoo -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for tinnitus -
debt free in three -
driver checker -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto money -
forex auto pilot -
forex confidante -
game tester guide -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

higher faster sports -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i am big brother -
instant profit machine -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
magic of making up -
make money taking surveys -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my airfare secrets -
my miracle loans -
my out of control teen -
natural cancer treatments -
ovarian cyst cures -
pc optimizer pro -
piano for all -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
pvp bible -
quick article pro -
quit smoking today -

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reg tool -
relationship headquarters -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
satellite tv pc master -
secrets book -
spy no more -
spyware cease -
survey scout -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the guru assassin -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
turbulence training -
two minute profits -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
web traffic machines -
wedding speech 4u -
wind plans -
xp repair pro -

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your fun business -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
anti spyware bot -
art of approaching -
banish tinnitus -
beat eczema -
blood pressure normalized -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cpa arbitrage -
creative date ideas -
debt free in three -
digital background -
dirty talking guide -
discus fish secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dw insider -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy tv soft -
easy web video -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
error doctor -
evidence smart -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto pilot -
gain opinion -
gold secrets -
government records -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
green diy energy -
healthy urban kitchen -
highest pay surveys -
holo think -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
keyword elite -
learn photoshop videos -
lmt forex formula -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

muscle gaining secrets -
my list strategy -
my phone riches -
natural cancer treatments -
online tv pc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
peel away ads -
pips leader -
ppc web spy -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
questions for couples -
quick article pro -
quick paid surveys -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
registry winner -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
satellite pc box -
save the marriage -
spy no more -
spyware stop -
super seduction power -
surefire trading challenge -
tattoo me now -
the bad breath report -

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the dog food conspiracy -
the mini site formula -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
truth about abs -
twitter trick -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -
xbox 360 red light fix -
xp repair pro -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
alpha male system -
amazing cover letters -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article rewriter -
art of approaching -
auto cash system -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
bv cures -
calling men -
camera dollars -
carb rotation diet -
cash making power sites -
cb mall -
combat the fat -

7:34 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home