Oh, really? Okay. Thanks for telling me how I'm going to deal with being adopted. I'm glad you know so well how to handle daily life as an adoptee. I'm glad you somehow know that being adopted is just like dealing with anything else in life.
Certainly. And the fact that I'm constantly surrounded by people who look nothing like me and who assume that English is my second language and harangue me for not knowing Korean will one day no longer remind me that I'm adopted.
It irks me when folks come along, especially adoptive parents, proclaiming that they understand fully what it is to be an adoptee. My insides bristle when someone claims, "I myself completely understand and know exactly how you feel because I [fill in with perhaps somewhat related but completely different personal experience of speaker]."
What would be a more truthful and accurate response is "I think I can relate somewhat emotionally due to my life experiences, but ultimately I realize I'll never know what it is to be an adoptee."
Look, yes, trying to gain understanding into the adoptee experience is a good thing. I'm not discouraging that. I'm not trying to create a Catch 22 for the non-adopted persons trying to connect with their adopted loved ones. I'm just making the point to please be honest and truthful about your understanding. We can tell when we're being patronized or when our feelings and experiences are being diminished. (And that obviously applies to a vast many other situations.)
* * *
Ultimately, when it comes to responding to and comforting loss and the associated grief and pain, it's often a lot more simple than folks make it.
We don't need to be fixed...we don't need "wisdom" or a sincere but presumptuous attempt to provide "answers"...we don't need you to pretend to understand or to tell us these things happen for a reason...
What we often need is what an adoptive mother alluded to in a comment to one of my recent posts, "...And maybe all my daughter will need on some of these occasions, all she'll want is to be held and listened to..."
That's it--simply and sincerely, heartfelt compassion and a listening ear. That's often all it takes.
I'm not looking for someone to fix me or give me all the answers they think I want or need to hear. I'm not a problem that needs a solution. I'm a human who needs sincere compassion and validation--not pity, and not charity.
What I need is to be treated with respect as an intelligent, competent, mature adult--not some angry, bitter exception to the norm. And as a child, I needed the same, simply applied in a way appropriate for my development.
Now, is that really too much to ask?
Apparently, for some, the answer is "yes."