Struggles with Adoption

While trying to find new things to watch on Netflix, I happened upon a documentary called “Closures”. I’ve been watching and am still watching it. It is the story of a young adult, African American woman who was adopted to a white couple and her journey to finding and understanding her birth family. Now this is not the first documentary to touch me. “Off and Running” was the first, also about an a young adult, African American woman adopted by a white woman trying to find her birth mother. These films touch me because that was once my life and still is. Adopted is part of my forever identity. The woman I call “mom” is not the same woman who biologically shares DNA with me, but is the woman who raised me and loved me as her own. These films touch me because this is also my brother’s current life situation. I recently found out I had another half-sibling which was confirmed through DNA testing. Despite a name on his birth certificate and DNA confirmations, his biological mother continues to deny him. In the film “Off and Running,” the young woman was able to have communication with her biological mother, but then all of a sudden, her birth mom decided to halt that communication, sending this poor girl through so much inner turmoil that not even her adoptive family could help her get out of. In the film “Closure,” the young woman was able to locate her birth father and flew to introduce herself to him. He was so welcoming and excited to find out he even had a child because all his life he had been told that he was sterile. He had also been diagnosed with cancer. He knew who her birth mother was and took her over to the woman’s house. When the young women introduced herself and said that she thought the she was this woman’s biological daughter, the woman quickly denied her. DNA did prove that she and the man were in fact biologically father and daughter. What touches me and hurts me, being that I am a mother, is to see mothers deny their children. I can certainly understand not wanting to have a relationship. There are many circumstances that can cause a woman to become pregnant and then after so many years passing, the thought of having a relationship with a child you felt you had to give up can be unbearable. But how can a woman deny giving birth to a human being? That’s the lowest form of kindness and that belittles a person to less than human qualities. In my situation, it is strange that my birth mother is willing to acknowledge me, but not my half sibling. I have looked at the whole situation from various points of views. I have accepted it for what it is. I don’t understand it. But it’s not for me to understand. I just hope that other adopted individuals understand that the denial of their biological parents does not define them. I am all about ancestry and genealogy. But those two terms are associated with family, and family is not having to be biologically related. My adoptive family is my family, and those ancestors are my ancestors because without them I wouldn’t have been able to have my mom who raised me. I may not have any of their genetics or physical attributes, but I have the disciplines that they instilled in their descendants and I am one of those descendants and so is my son. I am aware that I am fortunate to know and be accepted by both of my biological parents. I know my biological ancestors. However, I only inherited certain characteristics and physical features. Any lessons they instilled in heir descendants, did not get taught to me. I am how both of my families connect and where my ancestors all come together. I just want people to remember that identity is not just biological, it’s familial. I started Discovering You because I struggled with my identity. Through my journey I learned that my identity has multiple components. All of my ancestors have made me who I am. I’m grateful to know who all of them are. I also know that my brother may never know some of his, but he has enough to help him define who he is and who he wants to be.

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