Thursday, March 24, 2011

Origins

So recently I've been watching the show Dexter. Its characters are pretty f’d up. Anyway, the main character is a serial killer who just so happens to have been adopted from foster care.
In an episode I just watched (season 1 episode 9) Dexter receives an envelope through certified mail. Turns out, some guy has died and has listed Dexter as his son (and heir). Problem is, Dexter’s dad supposedly died decades ago, at least that’s what his foster dad told him. He goes to check things out and ends up having a DNA test done to prove once and for all if the man truly was his father (the guy hadn’t been buried yet, obviously. Oh, and the test was positive). His foster/adoptive sister finds out about it, and she FREAKS OUT. She goes on and on about how this guy (Dexter’s bio dad) isn’t even family and the fact that Dexter had the test done means that Dexter doubted their father and that Dexter, for some reason, cares about this man (his bio father) and that he shouldn’t care about him or try to find out anything about him. By trying to find out more about his biological father, Dexter, in her eyes, is betraying their family.
What a very real scenario (well, aside from the whole secret serial killer part). Too often an adoptee is discouraged and down right forbidden from seeking out their birth family. Even if they are only looking for information and not a relationship, quite often, their adoptive family feels threatened by it. While I can come up with a few possible reasons as to why this might be, none of them are very reasonable. They all seem to center on the personal feelings, doubts, and fears of the adoptive family- not what may or may not be best for the adoptee, or what the adoptee may desire.
It is completely normal for someone to ponder their roots, their origin. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t have shows like “Who Do You Think You Are?” or websites like Ancestry.com. We wouldn’t have school projects that involve making a family tree, and we  wouldn’t have to fill in the bubble next to our appropriate race when filling out a census or completing a standardized test. But the reality is that we do in fact do these things, because we all wonder about our family history. Why? Because it’s normal, and it matters. I mean dang, I wonder what my dog is mixed with, I couldn't imagine not knowing the history of my child.
So why is it such a horrible thing for an adoptee to seek out their origins? Can some one PLEASE give me just two GOOD reasons as to why this is a horrible thing- Two reasons that are centered on the adoptee and not the adoptive or birth families? Can anyone come up with two reasons? I sure as hell can’t, but I’d love to hear your reasons, if you’ve got any J

2 comments:

mamamargie said...

I have no good reasons to share because there are none. My mom was a foster child and was not encouraged by her foster family to reunite with her birth family. My mom did anyway. I never understood it all until I began adopting and realized how much I wanted to be the mommy to these precious children - their ONLY mommy! And then I stepped back, took a long critical look at my selfish self, and realized it was NOT about ME. And that is how we have ended up with an open adoption. And, might I add, a very happy open adoption. God is good! :)

Not Just A Birth Mom said...

God is most certainly good! I am so happy to know that you were able to have a change of heart. Your children will love you even more because you respect where they came from, and in turn, respect them.

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