Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why Don’t They Understand?

***Special Note - I was in a really bad mood when I wrote this post. In fact, I saved it and didn't post it because I knew that I was in a bad mood. I was mad at other adoptees for blaming their adoption for all of their problems and I was made at parents for blaming adoption for all of their problems. What I really wanted people to do was take some responsibility for their own actions and reactions. However, I've decided to post it anyway and just ask that people remember that I was in a bad mood when I wrote it.***

On one of my boards, a discussion was started by an adoptee upset by her parent’s lack of understanding. It made me think a little about understanding. Often, in these conversations (no matter what part of the triangle you are from) you hear the question, “Why don’t they understand?”

Here is my question…why do we expect them to understand? Why does an adoptive parent expect that their adoptee understand their insecurities? Why does the adoptee expect their parents to understand their identity crisis? Why does a birth parent expect their child to respect their privacy? The questions go on and on and on…

Why do they have to understand? I often evaluate a situation from a non-adoption point of view so that I can better understand the adoption situation. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to distance yourself a little from the emotional topic.

I have a friend who will never understand my political leanings. I believe that how I act or how I fail to act will make me less of a person. Who I am has a lot to do with what I believe. Would it be nice if she understood where I was coming from? Yes. Should her lack of belief send me into an uncontrolled tailspin? No. Can I accept that she doesn’t understand? Yes. Does she try to change who I am? No. Can I continue to be who I am? Yes.

Sometimes, I think that we have unreasonable expectations for our family because they are such an important part of our lives. We are unit, so shouldn’t we think as a unit? Shouldn’t they understand and support everything that we do…that we think? Wouldn't life be boring that way?

Personally, I hate it when someone tells me that they understand when I know (without a doubt) that they will never really understand. Haven't you ever had a similar experience - adoption or non-adoption oriented?

I don’t think that it will always be possible for me and my son to have perfect understanding. We are two different people. We are separated by gender, generations and life experiences. We’re both adopted…big deal. It has nothing to do with adoption and everything to do with human nature. I hope that some day when my son is going through teenage crisis, middle age crisis or general every day crisis… that he will not look at me and assume that I don't care. I hope that he will look at me and know that sometimes I just won’t be able to understand – I won’t have the same life experiences to walk in his shoes. But like my parents were there for me, I hope he knows that I’ll be there when he takes that walk.


Felice Luftschein said...

What can I say, perfect post!

nush said...

Amen sister! Bad mood or not, i agree with ya!!!!
Hubby and i are in the process of adopting from korea too! we are so excited! I was tooling around on line and punched in korean adoption blogs and yours came up so i hope you dont mind my writing on yours!

Melissa said...

Wow -- what a well-written post! I'm glad you decided to put it up. It's a different POV that is not often heard. Thanks for giving it a voice.