Posts Tagged ‘adoption and teens’

Thoughts from a 15-year-old girl adopted from China

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Leceta Chisolm Guibault, an adoptive mother to two teens born in Latin America, posted this letter by a 15-year-old girl adopted from China on a Guatemalan listserve. 

Introducing the letter, Leceta said, “I have no doubts that she is not alone in her feelings. Note that her family has been very open and proactive. She has attended Jane Brown’s workshops, adoptive families groups as well as a homeland tour. Then puberty hit.”

The letter seems to illustrate (at least) two things: First, how feelings toward adoption evolve as a child grows and matures. And second, how challenging the experience of adoption can be and is for our children, despite our best efforts.

 With the permission of Leceta (who got permission from the 15-year-old girl), I am printing excerpts of the letter here.

 “I’m kind of struggling with my adoption… I don’t get why it’s all coming to me right now. It’s not like I haven’t gone through all the adoption workshops or anything like that. I’ve been really involved in everything adoption but all of a sudden I’m asking the same questions but differently. Of course I still wonder if my birthfamily thinks about me but now I wonder if they realize the amount they have affected my life just like the way I live it. They obviously think they did the best but do they think about how it negatively affects me from day to day. I look in the mirror still and ask myself if I look like them but now I look in the mirror (which happens a lot more now) and wonder if they had simple things like a birthmark or something…”

“[E]verything I thought I was at peace with I’m like not anymore. They are the reason for so many of my insecurities and they don’t even know it. Is it bad that I don’t even consider them real people? Because I don’t. I can’t picture them just like I couldn’t picture China before I saw it for myself. Obviously I know I didn’t come from my adoptive mom but sometimes it’s like maybe I don’t believe that. It’s so weird… I almost hate my birthparents sometimes… Is that like wrong because I feel bad about it. I want to find them I really do but I don’t know if I can emotionally handle if I can’t and I don’t want to fail. I know it’s next to impossible so I’m just really confused… [F]or some reason I feel like I can tell you this but not my own mom …”