Do these events ever trigger sadness and confusion about your adoptive identity?
- Exploring family trees or genealogy
- Going to family reunions and not looking like anyone else or feeling connected
- Being asked, “Where are you from? No… where were you born?”
- You or your love ones becoming parents
- Death of adoptive parents
- Minor incidents such as going to the doctor's office and being questioned regarding family history
- Traumatic events
- Birthdays or anniversaries
- Others sharing their experiences of a search for, or reunion with their biological parents
Many adoptees go through phases of sadness or minor depression, feeling like an outsider looking in, questioning who they are or feel guilt or shame that they don’t feel more connected to or appreciative of their adoptive families.
I too am an adoptee and have had conflicting thoughts and feelings about my different families and my identity. One reason I became a therapist was because of my struggles as an adoptee – which I have learned are “normal” - both during childhood and as an adult in spite of a great family.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these concerns, I invite you to contact me to talk further.
Once They Hear My Name: Korean Adoptees and Their Journeys Toward Identity by Ellen Lee, Marilyn Lammert, and Mary Anne Hess