Having “the conversation” with your adoptive parents that you are interested in your adoption history and possibly birth family can be a extremely anxious moment that is difficult to express. It is on the same spectrum of coming out as lgbtq to one’s family, and i have heard of families reacting just as badly to adoptees as others have to gay children. (Not trying to compare the two, just giving context.)
I had a very light version of it at christmas 2015. I have a great relationship with my parents, and i was only expressing my new interest in volunteering in kad organizations and learning kad history – yet i contemplated for a long time about what i wanted to say in advance, and had to make an effort to keep from shaking during the conversation. I was not interested in searching for my birth family, but i’m not sure i could’ve told them if it were true. Fortunately, it went smoothly.
So, the emotions pouring from Dan Sieling’s post on facebook are something many of us can relate to. (Printed with his permission.)
I had what quite possibly may have been the scariest conversation of my life yesterday.
I told my (adoptive) Mom and Dad how I truly feel about my (natural / biological) Mom.
(I mentioned my natural / biological Dad too, but my healing work has really been focused on my feelings around the loss of my natural / biological Mom, so I focused on her for this conversation.)
I told them both how much I miss her, how sad I’ve been to not be with her and not to have been raised by her, and how much I wish to find and have a relationship with her, while also telling them how much I love and appreciate them for all of the love and care they have given me and continue to give me as my adoptive parents.
I told them how scared I was to reveal those feelings to them because I thought they might receive such a revelation as a betrayal and feel angry at me or deeply hurt. My inner child was afraid of getting thrown out and/or experiencing abandonment again for expressing his true feelings about his (natural / biological) Mom.
I could not have been more surprised in the best way possible by my adoptive parents’ reaction.
They told me that they always supported me in my love for my natural Mom. They told that they always hoped I would one day find her and have a relationship with her. They told me that they understand that being raised by her would’ve been the ideal situation and that they did and are doing the best they could/can to give me the best life possible as their (adoptive) son.
I started tearing up and gently sobbing right on the spot.
Years and years of repressed feeling released in one conversation.
I could not have asked for better adoptive parents. I don’t even feel fully justified putting the label “adoptive” in front of the word “parents”. They *are* Mom and Dad to me, just like my natural parents are Mom and Dad to me. They’re just different types of Moms and Dads.
Liz Lochridge Sieling and Jim Sieling, I love you both. Very much. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and continue to do for me. I am forever grateful to you.