The Hazel Perspective
As a 23 year old woman, it still bewilders me that I am adopted. What may be different in my life, however, is that I’m someone who is very fortunate enough to have grown up within a strong, stable adopted family, with parents whom did nothing but support my growth and encouraged me to strive and be great. I have had opportunities and a lifestyle that not many can say they have ever experienced, and that is why I am so lucky. Despite this, I have always, and still struggle with having a sense of belonging.
Alhough I grew up with amazing family and friends, it is difficult to explain the feeling of loneliness that I frequently experience, grounded in the the belief that no one really knows what it feels like to be adopted unless well, you’re adopted. It is something I believe has shaped me as a person, and has affected me in many ways, both mentally and emotionally. I am unable to shake the questions that uninvitedly come into my thoughts and cause real discomfort .. ‘Why was I given away? Was I not good enough? Does the man who helped conceived me know that I even exist? Where is he now - is he even alive? If my biological mother couldn’t look after me due to mental and health issues, will I too struggle with the same problems when it comes to raising a child? – These thoughts consume me continuously and have done so for an immeasurable period of time.
It is for this reason that I wish to create a space where those who have experienced either adoption, foster care or the like thereof can come and speak to others who can relate to one another. Whether this be partially or entirely, it is a haven filled with no judgement but simply a place where stories, experiences, kind words, support and empowerment can be shared. I want to create a community where people from all walks of life can meet and relate in a way that is difficult for many. Though there are many charities and support agencies that exist on a much larger scale, I found it difficult to come across a place where adoptees can simply just talk without all of the daunting clinical connotations being thrown into it. Whether the discussion is of a positive or negative experience it is a place where they can escape and write about their feelings to others whom ultimately are likely to know how they are feeling. Though I know this may be a significant challenge, as is breaking any social norm but I am very aware that this is a marathon, not a sprint and essentially I am an advocate of reversing the silence that surrounds talk about all things adoption. It is an experience I want to share with others. With that being said, this isn’t an entirely exclusive sphere, my intention is to make everyone comfortable with talking about such things and that includes those who may not be adopted or have experienced care themselves, but wish to become educated in the matter. If I am able to to open the mind of just one person about the perspective of adoption, and help at least one adoptee feel as though they are not alone, then that would truly be a huge step in the right direction.