Category Archives: Ask Hope: The Adoptee Voice

Ask Hope vol. 5

Now that you are in new educational and work environments, has being adopted or a former foster youth come up? If you have shared the information with new friends or colleagues, how and when have you chosen to share that information with new people?  

Yes it has come up before. In high school and middle school people wouldn’t really think much of it being adopted. Since I’ve started working I’ve found that surprisingly a lot of people including adults are oblivious to the fact that not everyone has two parental figures in their life. They all assume that I have two parents, and I’ve had some really immature reactions to telling people that I’m adopted.

As for when I choose to share that information, there isn’t really a specific time. If someone asks about family I usually just say I’m adopted; I’m pretty open about that stuff. It’s never really been anything that was difficult to talk about. Sometimes people can’t wrap their head around how I have a mom that isn’t the one who gave birth to me, even though it’s not that difficult of a concept. It’s only difficult when I say it and someone acts like an immature 12 year old. More than anything I just can’t be bothered with someone who would act immature over such a thing.

I imagine people assume you and ABM are bio family most of the time in public? If that is the case, how does that make you feel? I imagine a lot of TRAs feel extremely hypervisible, which seems quite stressful and like they never get a “break” from being obviously adopted. I’d like to think that it would feel better to not be so hypervisible, but I don’t want to assume.

I like that people think I’m biologically related to my mom, it makes me feel like we are blood related family. I’ve never had any issues with it. Since I was adopted people have said that I look like my mom and that makes me happy.

I don’t have any problem with people knowing I’m adopted, It doesn’t make me feel any different from anyone else. If anything, if someone I know doesn’t know then I tell them, and most of the time people I know forget I’m adopted. I don’t know if It has anything to do with the fact that I was adopted into a black family, but I’ve never had any issues.

Have your thoughts/feelings about adoption changed at all over time? And if so, in what way?:

I don’t know if I can say my thoughts or feelings on adoption have really changed but there are things that I definitely understand more since I’ve grown up.

I can say that I maybe understand myself more during that time and just the entire adoption and adjustment process in general.

I’m not gonna lie, before I was adopted I thought adoption was something out of a movie, I never really thought I would be adopted. Adoption seemed like a really fancy movie to me; it seemed almost unreal in a sense. After a short while I realized that we would have disagreements and good times just like any other family would, though I didn’t really know how other families were.

In the end, I am the daughter of my mother and that is just that.

If you have a question for Hope, feel free to send it to the main blog email adoptiveblackmom@gmail.com; be sure to put “Ask Hope” in the subject line!


Ask Hope, vol.2

What are best and hardest things about being adopted as an older kid?

Being in school, at some point talk of one’s parents comes up eventually and so for a while, I was constantly telling others that I was adopted and that I wasn’t from Virginia. Mostly this happened because I came halfway through the year.

One of the better things I guess is because I was older, I didn’t have to worry about losing any more friends that I made from moving around. I was able to keep friends from that time onward.

What are you most excited and nervous about as you enter (young) adulthood?

I don’t think that there is anything that I am particularly excited or nervous about. I’ve spent the past school year at a boarding school so I am ok with living away from home for a long period of time. Although I’m not worried about living without my mom, I am worried about how my procrastination will develop. I lose track of time very easily so I am definitely worried about how I am going to manage myself and keep myself in check and make sure that I keep my focus on what is important rather than getting caught in an endless loophole of distraction.

[ABM adds: We’re looking at some cool productivity apps that set timers and block sites for periods of time. If you have apps you like that help reduce distraction and increase productivity, please share them!]

What’s your current fav song??

I really love Kpop. Right now currently my fav song(s) are Wave/Illusion – ATEEZ and Twilight – ONEUS

What’s the best dirt on ABM?

Dirt? Hm, I don’t really know what I could possibly tell you. What do you already know?

[ABM responds: WHEW! Grateful I grew up without social media!]

Do you have any advice for younger kids who may feel out of place sometimes (for whatever reason they may feel that way)?

I’m not quite sure in which situation you are asking about but if it is in the foster care system then I don’t really have much advice for them because there isn’t much that they can really do but to try and wiggle their way into a group of people that they can talk to. It’s pretty likely that a kid in a foster home with other kids will feel slightly out of place. Although they may all be in the same place or situation doesn’t mean that they will be kind or will work with the other kids.

If I would give any one piece of advice it would be to not just let yourself be outcast, it’ll give the other kids a reason to come after you. Try wherever, whether at home or school, to make friends or at least find someone who you can talk to and someone who actually acknowledges you and treats you in a friendly manner.

What do you wish people understood about being adopted from the foster care system? What could adults (teachers, parents, doctors) do to be more helpful?

I’m not quite sure.

I do think that many who are adopted from the foster care system might have an issue with trusting the people around them, especially adults. Another thing that people should try to understand might be that the child could have a very hard time adjusting and that they might have some other issues from earlier on in life, or just during their time in the system.

I’m not really sure, but giving them space, listening to them, and just working with them. One thing that helped me was that I had some time to adjust to my surroundings before I started school so that everything wasn’t completely foreign to me. I got to see and do lots of things and had many experiences which helped me become comfortable and assisted in the progression of our relationship.

 

 


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