Maybe you have a friend that’s adopted, maybe a family member, maybe you are adopted. The point is: you’ve likely encountered or are going to encounter adoption in your lifetime because sometimes people do the ol’ switch-a-roo (and that’s alright). It doesn’t have to be taboo and, trust me, we don’t want it to be. So, without further ado, please enjoy “Five Things Your Adopted Friend Probably Won’t Tell You”:
- “Who is my fake family and should I find them? Are they hiding? Do they need supplies? Fake Family, if you’re out there, throw up the Bat signal if you need help!” This has got to be the most obnoxious thing that adopted people have to deal with. Picture this: it’s a bright, sunny day. You’re hanging with your friends. Then, someone in the group finds out that you’re adopted. The clouds begin to roll in, covering the sun, and a deep rolling thunder growls as they say, “Well, where’s your real family?” There’s an audible gasp from the entire group because, they too, need to know about the mythical unicorn that is your real family. You almost choke on your spit because you “can’t even.” You want to tell them to piss off, but – as the refined, delicate, understanding princess you are – you explain to them that your adopted family is as equally real as your biological family. Honestly, we’re usually pretty great at handling this situation, but we can’t make any promises the hundredth time you say it.
- “But, like…it’s not that bad.” Now, look. I don’t have a stick up my ass – I really don’t. I love a good joke. I can roll with the punches, but I honestly don’t get what y’all think is so bad about being adopted. You know what I’m talking about: movies, shows, radio hosts, daily conversations – you name it – the “LOL, you’re adopted! NOT!” joke crops up and it confuses me. Why is that an insult? Why is that hurtful? Do you think all adopted people sit around mulling over the conundrum of their faults and include adoption as one of them? Like, “Gee whiz, I can’t sing for shit, I’m always five minutes late for work, I can’t figure out how to make a proper flambe, and I’ve went and got myself adopted. Boy, did I f$%@ up now.” You can’t possibly think that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure some of my fellow “adoptees” do get down in the dumps over the fact that they’re adopted. I’m lucky (or stubborn) enough to not feel that way, but the fact that some people do should be more of a reason to drop this antiquated joke.
- “No kissing cousins, not on my watch!” This one goes for those of us who’ve not met a portion of our family (or any of them), have a closed adoption, or have little-to-no family history. Growing up in a small town, surrounded by small towns, where “everyone knows everyone” definitely played to my advantage on this, but living in a big city or looking for love with people that aren’t from your town can be a little nerve-racking. We’ve all, probably more than once, wondered whether or not our new love interest was a distant cousin/brother/uncle at the beginning of a budding romance. And, yeah, despite the overwhelming evidence and confirmation from your adopted family, biological family, and his family, you may still – after eight years of being together – fantasize about comparing DNA with your husband just in case. Wait, oh..that’s just me? Okay, then. I’m just an extra careful person, okay?
- “Did you really just ask me that?” This is one that grinds. my. gears. We get it, Nosey Nelly. You love the tea and you’re lookin’ to spill it, but don’t ask me why someone gave me up. First of all, I’m not out here asking you why I saw your daddy with another woman in the middle of the night outside the Dollar General Redbox (Redbox and Chill?). Second of all, we all know nobody was trying to give me up out of there life because I am clearly a joy – a f%$@ing joy, Nelly. If ever you find yourself wanting to ask an adopted person why they were “given up”, take a step back, count to one-hundred, paint your toenails, eat a salad, and, if the feeling persists, hold your breath until you pass out. (Repeat as necessary.)
- “Sure, yes, don’t call me by my name.” Most people are really great about assimilating to the idea of a new family member that wasn’t *gasp* spawned from the vagina of their new mom, but others, ehh – not so much. That’s not to say that you’re necessarily ostracized at certain events, but you’ve definitely been called “that little girl that they adopted” or “oh, uh, Kristine, is it?” or “who the hell is this” more times than you’d like to admit. It’s the very same for those family members who can’t seem to drop the “my” conversations and replace them with “our”. For example: “my cousin” instead of “our cousin”. But, don’t worry. I’m practically an evil mastermind and have spent most of my years working on a divisive plan that results in total family domination.
So, there you have it. Being adopted doesn’t mean that you’re moved into a new life that’s all rainbows and roses and it doesn’t mean that you have to spend your life feeling like society’s castaway, either. What is does mean is that you’re lucky enough to have extra people to love.