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  • Writer's pictureErin E. McEndree

Adoption: Support Group = Not so Much

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

To the FB adoption 'support' groups I am a part of; there are four: I thought I would like reading about different perspectives of adoption than my own and sharing my perspective. However, I have learned to stay in the shadows. I shrink back from posting my feelings because so many negative reactions follow. I feel so alone. I though people would be supportive even if they didn’t agree because we have the same thing in common: adoption.

My perspective is defiantly in the minority. I wonder if people want me to validate THEIR story by not sharing MY story. Isn't that being hypocritical? They want validation and tell their experience, but can’t validate others seeking the same unless their stories match. Well, my story does not match 90% of the stories in the group, but it comes from the same adoption root. I feel like people want me to feel something I don’t and accuse me of being in denial or living in a fog. I won't be fake just to fit in. I feel rejected from the very people who hate feeling rejected and should understand the most, but because my story is different, they can’t even show empathy or see a different perspective from their own. Many of the negative feelings people are weighted down with from their adoption are the feelings hoisted on me with every negative comment. You make me feel like something is wrong because I don’t feel your negativity. Shame on you. I feel abandoned by other adoptees not my birth mother. I feel alone in this journey while surrounded by other adoptees. I don’t feel supported or encouraged. I am led to believe that my story is worthless.

Why is this? Is it because I don’t have adoption trauma? Is it because I feel chosen and God has a purpose for my life and the life of my parents and birth mother? Is it because I feel special and that adoption makes me stronger, interesting and it gives me hope? I never knew telling facts about how I came to live with my family and how I was raised… MY STORY… would cause such negativity against me. Oh, the outrage if I started telling those who would post their opposing view that they didn’t have to feel that way if they would just choose positive thinking. Well, I’m getting told I’m in denial and in a fog. I’m getting told I should feel one way because all adoptees do, even when I don’t. People would get pissed if I told them adoption trauma wasn’t real and they just made it up, but its okay for them to tell me I’ve got it and just don’t know it.

The only trauma I’ve ever had was being in these groups and not being able to share my feelings or my story or what has helped me because, and I quote, “You are too positive.” I can’t be me. I have to say half truths to not get jumped. I have to stay in the shadows and shrink back from offering something that has helped me tremendously because I will get pounced on because people can’t let the words help who it will and scroll past if it doesn’t apply to them. The saddest part to me is that I know others feel the same way, but stay in the shadows as well when someone is getting pummeled and bloody with words. People won’t jump in even on a post because words really do hurt. I feel no support from people who are in my corner, because speaking up makes them a target also. This community of like minded folks has created in me what the same issues they run from. I have no community in my community. I have no family in my family. I feel abandoned. I feel rejected. I feel alone. I never did before I got here. But the constant barrage of telling me how I should feel (trauma) or how I shouldn’t feel (blessed and special and chosen) has almost created someone just like 90% of the people in the group.

I am so glad I have been in the Word every day and read what God says about me.

I am so glad I have unshakeable HOPE. I am so glad I understand that my beginning (birth mother and birth father) do not define me in any way…God does. I have been blessed with parents who gave me the best coping skills that have been around since Adam and Eve and continue to stand the test of time. I am so glad that I do not have to know my birth father to fill in missing pieces…God has already filled them. I am so glad He gave me my birth mother to know, but I was okay not knowing because I have faith in the One who made me.

So for those of you who have difficult stories of your beginning, abusive stories with your adoptive parents, rejection from your biological OR just the feeling of being alone, depressed, anxious or worthless, I understand many of those feelings even though I did not experience them in my body or mind. I experience them everyday in these ‘support’ groups for adoptees. I will always be positive even in struggle. I will always look at the bright side. This does not mean I don’t validate your feelings. I know they are real. I never say ‘you should’ but I do give examples of what has helped me. If my life story, my examples, my Truth, my coping skills triggers you, then let’s just agree to disagree and scroll on by or better yet, say, “That is nice even though I can’t relate to that,” or "Interesting," or "I never thought of it that way." Because saying, “Every adoptee has trauma,” or “Every adoptee has abandonment issues, feels like they don’t fit in and feels out of place,” or "You are in denial," is not helpful to those of us who do not have trauma, who don’t feel abandoned, who fit in perfectly with their family and bio family simultaneously (like I do) and who feels like they are in the perfect place in their life.

Because of these groups, I have become very passionate about writing my story to give hope to adoptive parents, healing to adoptees and peace to birth mothers. I am writing a book and will share excerpts here and I will start some video posts as well soon! I pray that my perspective will resonate with you, help you shift your thinking away from negativity, help you alter your negative thinking and, most of all, help you connect to the One who can make change possible even when you don’t feel it now. I want to share the harmony I have with the Spirit with others as I walk in what God says about me. I hope you join me on this journey. A book is the best avenue I have decided because I can write my story without being told my story is wrong…until it is published. :) After that, I am sure the floodgates will open with people trying to infuse their story into my story and saying mine is wrong based on theirs.

Take away:

1. If you are in a support group of any kind, make sure they do not marinate in negativity. 2.Make sure they are moving themselves and you towards healing and coping skills.

3. It is your responsibility to do things that move you towards healing.

4. I've learned I am not alone, but realized I am very alone on my journey at the same time.

5. Implementing strategies for healing is my responsibility.


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