Adoption – My Personal Story
Adoption: To Tell the Truth or to Lie?
This is a personal account of adoption written by an adult who was adopted as a child. I am not a counselor or a therapist. This is simply a documentary of my experience and my opinions. I hope that you can glean something from it, maybe learn something, or find it helpful for you and / or your family.
If you are anticipating adopting a child, I think this is a “must-read”. If nothing more, it may bring some questions to mind that you had not yet considered.
I expect you are looking forward to bringing your new baby home. Life must be in a bit of a bustle with excitement. There are so many preparations to consider, but have you really stopped to consider what the child is going to think of all of this? What impact will all this have on the child’s future?
Do not get me wrong, I’m not judging you. I just want you to think of an alternative perspective, of the possible consequences of what you are doing. And, more importantly what you are saying.
It is my hope that this account of my experience can play a small part in making a big difference to you and your child’s future.
How do you tell a child about adoption?
Is it something you can talk about freely or is it a secret?
How can adopting affecting a child?
One lie begets another, and another and another. If you start with a lie, when do you stop lying?
In the beginning was my life a lie?
I was born Barbara Jean Johnson, on April 16,1950, in Salem Clinic, Salem, Ohio. My mother was Barbara Jane Johnson and my father, Wilmer Dale Johnson. So reads my birth certificate.
Now, I lived a “normal” life. I had an older sister and a brother who was born when I was four years old. I grew up believing Mommy and Daddy were exactly that, Mommy and Daddy, until I was given a certain grade school writing assignment.
I came home from school and told my mother I had to write something for class. I do not recall the exact title of the assignment but her response was shocking. She said “Why do not you write about being adopted?” So I asked: “What is that?” My sister, eighteen months older, who was adopted at the same time with me now says I’m stupid for not knowing what “adopted” mean.
So This is how I learned that I was adopted, and that, I had another set of parents. I had grown up with an uncle visiting and now I was told that he’s my “real” Dad!
I was told that my parents were divorcing and the children needed to be adopted. By “the children” I assumed my older sister and myself. I was twelve months old when my new mother took my sister and me into her home. She described a woman from an office who would come to inspect the situation. This continued for six months, and then we were adopted. My mother ended her explanation with the words “You are my children and I do not want to talk about you being adopted.” Now, I do not remember, the exact words but the point was taken that this was an issue that was not open for discussion.
I think I did probably write that paper on adoption, since I did not know what else to write. I do not recall the grade I received, or any questions or responses from the teacher.
Meanwhile, life at home changed. Occidentally, my mother would go to town and we (the children) were left at home with my Dad. My Dad, who never spoke to the children other than to give us work orders, started talking about out past lives. I learned there had been a boy taking care of me, and he would feed me hot dogs. My parents bought me for $ 158.00.
I grow up listening this same story, over and over again from my dad. But, I had been told I was not allowed to talk about it.
Trust me. Children can handle the truth. In my experience, the truth is much easier to accept than the hiding, omission or avoidance of the truth, and the lies.
If you find yourself, reading this because you are considering adopting, I ask that you please look at other parts of your life and see if you feel just have to be in control.
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