Thursday, February 24, 2011


Wednesday night I watched America's Next Top Model. To teach the girls they selected for the season about rejection, they made them think they were going home. The girls who weren't picked for the new season were actually made to believe they had made it to the next round. They showed the emotional reactions of the girls who were actually staying and while it was amazing to see their excitement, they didn't show the girls who were actually going home.

Now I understand that in that world, models are rejected daily just as most of us have been or will be. I'm sure many of us (if not all of us) have suffered the feeling of rejection. We have interviewed for jobs that we didn't get, we have applied for loans that we didn't get, we have wanted to be on a team and weren't selected, etc. And with those rejections we have endured the feelings of momentary low self esteem and lack of confidence. For the most part, we get over those feelings and move on.

Imagine the feelings of rejection for an adoptee, especially an adoptee who is searching for a parent. Each day we can't find our family members we have to acknowledge that rejection on a regular basis. I really wish that a birth mother who decides to relinquish their child would take the time to think about the rejection that child will feel later in life.

With all of the rejection people go through why would someone purposely inflict that kind of pain? Tyra Banks who had been rejected several times at the beginning of her journey should be the last person to deliberately inflict that kind of pain on anyone. Tyra, I have to tell you, you missed the boat on this one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interview with Adult Adoptee 37/F

Puzzled Piece
Adult Adoptee Interview

Age: 37

Gender: Female

1. What age were you when you were adopted?

8 yrs old

2. In what State were you adopted?


3. Was your adoption open or closed?


4. How old were you when you were first informed about your adoption?

Always knew

5. Have you considered searching for anyone from your birth family?


6. Did you inform your adoptive parents of your plans to search?


7. Were your adoptive parents supportive in your search?


8. Have you actually started your search?

Completed my search

9. Do you know any member of your birth family?


10. Were you adopted with a sibling? (If yes, male or female sibling?)

There were two of us put up for adoption. Both were adopted by different families based on race. He is white and was an infant, and I am black (biracial) and was 6 years old.

The following questions were asked to get a better understanding of some hereditary conditions that may have been avoided if the adoptee had access to their medical history

Autoimmune Diseases-no
Hair Loss-yes
Heart Health-yes
Lung Health-no
Mental Health-no
Multiple Sclerosis-no
Reproductive Health-no

In your own words how do you feel about being adopted?

Now that I’m grown, and have met the paternal family, I am glad I was adopted. I see that I would not have had as many opportunities had I been raised by them. Had my maternal grandparents kept me, I may have had an identity crisis at a later age than I did, and therefore have been put at a disadvantage by not understanding my African American heritage. I feel that being exposed to my heritage at an early age prevented me from being blindsided by racism, when it occurred.

Of course there are several aspects of the adoption I wish would have gone better. The bond that an adopted child and adoptive mother/father have is almost non-existent if compared to that which biological children and parents have. Of course I am speaking of healthy biological bonds. As you grow older you learn to make allowances for behavior based on the adoptive circumstances. The allowances may be bad or good, however the need to make them exists.

When I was a child however, I was very confused, and often felt unwanted or used. Maybe this was because I was adopted at the age of 8, and not as an infant. Or maybe it was because I was thrust into a foster parenting system and abused by many prior to finding a good home. It was very hard to trust. I was exposed to things children should know nothing about. You arrive as damaged goods. If you, as a first time foster parent, are not informed of the issues that may accompany the child, then you are going to have problems raising the child to have a healthy self-esteem, rather than finding fault in ALL that they do. I was considered the BAD kid. The black sheep, and all was blamed on me whether I had a part in it or not.

Because I knew my biological mother and grandparents, I felt abandoned by them. I always wanted them to take me back. I am sure this was very hard for my adopted mother to deal with. Again, I was damaged goods, a bi-racially confused and spoiled kid benefiting from financial advantages of white society, only to be adopted by a less financially advantaged black family. I see now why I needed to be with a black family, however, back then I just saw it as being marked, which then was what it was. God had a bigger plan, and knew that’s where I needed to be.

After, and today, sometimes during the pain of it all I can’t help but to see how much worse it could have been. This is not to make light of the situation, it is just to point out that in my situation, and in several others, God knew what he was doing. I also believe that God helped me use the pain to appreciate the struggle and have a testimony. Through me He is able to bless others by allowing me to tell my story so that it can be a mentoring opportunity for those He sends my way. It is important under any circumstances to know that you are NOT alone. The pain will never completely subside. I am not sure if it is suppose to.

Puzzled Piece and Rosa Elmore Ferguson would like to thank this participant for her candid answers about being adopted. It is my desire that these interviews will give voice to adult adoptees who were silenced for so long!