Adoption Affected My Mental Health, Ultimately Benefiting It
Adoption affected my mental health through the years, but it also caused some problems. For one, not knowing your biological parents can make self-discovery very confusing, as you have a lot of questions about where you came from and who would have raised you. Here's my story about how adoption affected my mental health throughout my childhood and how my perspective on myself and my life have changed.
How Adoption Affected My Mental Health Through the Years
From a very young age, I knew that I was adopted
I was very lucky to have been adopted at the age of two months. I never met my biological parents. By the time I was four years old, my parents had adopted four children. Two of us were Caucasian, and two were half African-American.
Around the time I was five, I became very curious about this. I remember asking my mom about why some of my siblings were different races. My mom responded by simply saying that my biological parents weren’t ready for a child. So they chose to give me two parents who were. My mom said that she loved me very much and that she was very happy to have adopted my siblings and me. I believe growing up in a family through adoption benefited me by showing me what it means to love unconditionally and accept people of all different races and abilities.
In elementary school, I asked my mom if I could meet my biological parents. She said that she didn’t even know who they were. As I grew up, I kept asking about them. I loved my parents who adopted me, but most of my friends knew their biological parents. Why couldn’t I meet mine?
By my teenage years, I was confused and angry about my genetics
Like all teenagers, I faced a lot of angst and confusion about my identity. Growing up, I had learning disabilities and a lot of anxiety in adolescence. I did not know what ultimately caused these issues. After all, my parents were smart, loving, and patient. Why was I the complete opposite?
Sometime during those four years, I started to find answers that I did not like. Both of my biological parents had mental health issues. They were not stable enough to raise a child. Due to some of their poor choices, I was born premature and found to be developmentally delayed.
The more I thought about these discoveries, the angrier I became. If my biological parents had not had mental health issues and if they had not made poor choices, would I have had an easier time in school? Would I have had less anxiety and better social skills? Would I have been more confident? I assumed that everything would have been better. I was so angry, and I blamed my birth parents for all of my quirks. I wanted to meet them and tell them how I felt. Looking back, it was a good thing that I had no contact with them.
During college, I felt comfort knowing that I was not alone
Sometime during my junior year of college, a friend of mine mentioned that she was adopted. We had a long talk about it, and she told me about her open adoption and what it was like to stay in contact with her biological mother. The more I talked to her, the more comfortable I felt talking to other people about my adoption. After that, I made three more friends who were adopted. Although they knew their biological parents and I did not know mine, I gained acceptance and appreciation for my birth parents and their decision to give me up. My mental health around my adoption improved.
The Mental Health Effects of Adoption
Watch my video to learn about my post-college views on my closed adoption and how my mental health has been positively affected now.
Lueck, M. (2017, September 17). Adoption Affected My Mental Health, Ultimately Benefiting It, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2017/09/adoption-benefited-my-mental-health