Being adopted has always been something I’ve had an internal struggle with. The greatest aspect of my struggle to come to terms with being adopted is feeling as if I cannot talk about the fact that a struggle even exists. Adoption is such a wonderful thing for so many individuals, myself included, but that doesn’t mean it is without consequence. I often find myself harboring feelings of uncertainty or instability within myself and I believe they stem from my constant questions growing up. I remember being green with envy when I would meet my friend’s parents and being able to instantly recognize that they were the spitting image of their mother and father. It is from these tiny wishes of being able to know why you have red hair or what kind of person you are born from that feelings of having no direction or no foundation stem from and can have an unconscious affect on your life.
I do not have a sob story. My biological parents (so I’m told) were simply young and ambitious and did right by me in finding a much more capable couple to be my parents. My adoptive parents are my parents, no question, they have given me more love, support, and opportunity than I believe many people receive. They would give absolutely anything in order to see me happy and succeed. It is because of this that I feel like I cannot reach out when I began to feel sad or angry or lost. Who am I to complain about not knowing something as trivial as my medical history when I have been dealt such a fortunate hand? This has and still creates a great internal struggle for me. I also feel as though these unexplored emotions have led to intimacy problems within my personal relationships. I consider myself to be a master of committed detachment. I value my independence very much, and am drawn to the idea of flight.
I can honestly say that for at least one brief second day, I have a thought about my biological mother. These thoughts can range from inviting her to my wedding to finding out she’s passed away. So much uncertainty about the one person you are told from day one that you should know more about than anyone MUST have a lasting impact on your development of sense of self and as a person in general. I am thankful everyday that I was given the parents I was given, and wanting answers about my biology and genetic makeup should not contradict that. I hope to one day have the courage to ask my parents for the information in order to locate my biological parents. Even more I hope that when that day comes, my parents do not see my request as a comment on their parenting.
Chelsea Westfall, Adult Adoptee