How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? – Gary Eugene

GaryE

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ADOPTED?

BIO: I’m a grape grower for a winery in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I’ve been married 19 years. I’m an army veteran and a marathon runner. I have since developed a great relationship with one of my half sisters from my mom’s side. I am also now in contact with my entire paternal side and fully accepted even though the records said he denied being the father.

 

 

 

Content Warning: The following article you are about to read may contain written material of a serious factual nature that may be disturbing to some individuals. Reader discretion is advised. 

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ADOPTED?

This may be quite lengthy, but I’m going to attempt to describe what it is like to be adopted. And this is entirely from my own point of view.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist home, where they told us from the very beginning that we were adopted. My adoptive mother’s side of the family immediately accepted me as one of their own. However, my adopted father’s side of the family always made it clear that I was the adopted kid. It was true, of course. But it was said in a similar way as a racist would unnecessarily describe a man as being a black man; true, but unnecessary and derogatory. Eventually, they started to be more accepting as I started to excel musically.

Even as a young child, I often imagined one day meeting my “real” family, and to be able to finally know someone like me. I can honestly say that not a day went by that I didn’t think of my birth mother several times a day. As I became an adolescent, I started to struggle with depression associated with not having a birth mother who loved me.

I kept thinking of the phrase, “someone only a mother could love”, and I thought that if she couldn’t love me, who could? I decided that I was a mistake that needed to be corrected.

Slight aside: the family I grew up with hunted a lot. In Mississippi, a poison called Anectine is legal to use on arrows for deer hunting. It is a powerful muscle relaxer.

Back to my point: in order to correct my birth mother’s mistake, I decided to ingest an entire bottle of this stuff. Nothing happened. I went to plan b. I diluted the powder in water and injected it directly into a vein in my arm; just like you see the heroin addicts on TV. It would have been way easier to just put a gun to my head or jump off a bridge. But I didn’t want to burden anyone with having to clean up a mess.

Using all my fading strength, I emptied the syringe and was barely able to pull it from my arm. I immediately collapsed onto the concrete slab in front of the band hall at school. All my muscles didn’t work except one; my heart. I heard my heart beating strongly until I went into a dream like state from lack of air. I don’t know how long I was out. I remember chanting in my head, “Just let me die”, over and over again.

At some point, I realized that I was actually hearing what I was chanting in my ears. I thought to myself, if I’m hearing it, I’m making sound with my mouth, which means air is moving. Eventually, all my muscles regained use. At the time, I thought it must be Devine intervention. Only years later did I learn that humans possess an enzyme that slowly breaks down the poison.

I still wanted to die. However, I had started questioning my ability to ascend to heaven if I committed suicide. So, during my junior year of high school I signed up to enlist in the army. I took the ASVAB test and scored very high, allowing myself to have my choice of any job in the army. I chose infantry. I though it would be the job most likely to die doing. And it wouldn’t be suicide. However, during my time in service, I realized that it was my job to keep all of my fellow soldiers alive. And the best way to do that was to stay alive myself.

Don’t get me wrong; I volunteered for more than my fair share of crazy dangerous things. I met my wife while I was in the army. Since then it’s my duty to live for her.

Fast forward to finding my birth mother: like many adoptees, I had this Hallmark Channel worthy fantasy about our loving reunion. She got my letter and called and said never to contact her or her family ever again. Needless to say, I was devastated. I think at that moment I was experiencing every human emotion all at once. While I had intended to also contact my half siblings anyway, maybe I did so with my sister somewhat out of anger and spite toward my birth mother. This sister and I get along well. My wife and I have met her in person a few times now. We’ve been in her house twice, and met her husband and my beautiful niece and nephew. Still nothing from my birth mother. She’s the wife of a Southern Baptist pastor. My sister thinks that they’re afraid that their congregation might find out that she had a child out of wedlock.

I recently told my adoptive parents about finding my birth mother and sister. They have no sympathy for my feelings. Instead, they worry for my birth mother’s feelings. They think I was a jerk to contact my sister against my birth mother’s wishes. So now here I am without any parental support. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but those adolescent thoughts are returning.

That’s all for now.

Gary Eugene

Adult Adoptee

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5 thoughts on “How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? – Gary Eugene

  1. Thanks for sharing your story Gary. I’m sorry that your mom can’t/won’t face her fears in order to open her heart to you. If only she could know that the truth really does set you free (from the shame that society put on us moms).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am also former military and I understand partially where you are coming from, Gary. I would encourage you not to do anything to hurt yourself. I have also thought about suicide too much of the time and yet it is for much the same reasons as you have written that I have done nothing — the unknown of going to Heaven, and the hurt it would cause my wife and kids.

    My second adoptive father was a Southern Baptist minister. He has also never married, or even dated anyone since I came to live with him in 1982, as a 12-year-old. I now know why he never had interest in a female partner as he is a child molester. I have no relationship with him, and haven’t for nearly 20 years. I also find that I have an aversion to Southern Baptists for many reasons — many of them turned their backs on me when I, and and another victim of my second father, turned him in to his bosses 20 years back. He lost his job, his ordination to be a Southern Baptist minister. He also signed a letter saying he would not work with children in any capacity any longer. He has tried a few times, but I have foiled his efforts. That partial story is located on the blog of a friend of mine. You are welcome to read that story, if you have interest. I am the ‘John Doe’ mentioned there:

    http://stopbaptistpredators.blogspot.com/2008/03/two-letters-in-file.html?m=1

    Stay strong. You are not alone. We both have good women in our corners. 🙂

    Peace. mH

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Gary,
    Thank you for sharing. My story is similar to yours. I as well was rejected by my birth mom. I contacted her via phone. We talked for about a hour and she informed me that there would be no contact. I did learn that there were 4 other children that she had raised. I contacted my younger sister a few months later. My birth Mom was very unhappy as I disrespected her wishes. It took me years to finally understand that it was not me, it was the circumstances. That is what made the difference in the healing. I know what you are feeling as do most adoptees who have been rejected by a reunion. Focus on who is in the life of Gary right now. That is your tribe!! Blessings to you.

    Like

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