Adoptees Surpassing The Six Stuck Spots: Reason for Adoption

Adoptees Surpassing The Six Stuck Spots: Reason for Adoption

Beneath the Mask Reason for Adoption wording next to yellow mask with orange question
Written by Rachel Shifaraw, Adult Adoptee, C.A.S.E. Emerging Leader & Creative Content Specialist
Published on: Mar 08, 2024
Category Adult Adoptees

As an adult adoptee it’s hard to imagine growing up without constantly wondering why I wasn’t with my biological family. In my quest for wholeness, I’ve come to discover that being stuck in wondering the reasons for my adoption is a quite common place to sit stagnant. I always knew that I was adopted but I also always wondered why. When I first came to C.A.S.E. & learned about the stuck spots through the Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens book, “reason for adoption” was the first one that jumped out at me.

After talking to various groups of adult adoptees over the years, I have found I wasn’t alone being stuck in this space. There were not only lots of us who sat stuck in this spot in our youth but some of us, STILL stuck in this spot today…as adults.

I spoke to our emerging leaders, discussing their personal experiences on this particular stuck spot. “Have you ever found yourself stuck in your reasons for adoption? Is it something you struggled with in your youth? Is it something you still struggle with today?”, I asked…

Most of our emerging leaders team expressed being stuck in this spot as young children…”I began wondering about my reasons for adoption at an early age, as young as elementary school”, said Michaela Battle. Sara Bruce echoed this sentiment, “it’s something I thought about pretty often.”

Emily Kwiatkowski recalls thinking about her reasons for adoption, “almost everyday” as an adolescent & says despite getting answers as an adult, she was “honestly still frustrated.”

Keith S. expressed finding out he was adopted as an adult…his reasons for adoption came along with his family secret. “Knowing the many reasons, which were all unfortunate, I do still find myself thinking about it (her struggles)”, Sciarillo said.

It seemed as if our conversation was full of hard things. Many of us had negative connotations about our reasons for adoption…but one of us did not. Zoe Bullit remembers growing up in a home where her reasons for adoption were openly discussed, more information being released as she grew. “I think my mom started from an honest place that could be built upon with age appropriate steps. Nothing was ever a shock or upsetting, it just progressed”, she recalled.

I thought about her response & found myself wishing that my story had just progressed. I wish my reasons for adoption weren’t kept from me until I was faced with the harsh realities of them as an adult. I wish all parents could build upon our reasons for adoption with age appropriate blocks.

I suppose sometimes our reasons for adoption can be sorted through & understood. Other times, these reasons remain a struggle or even still a mystery. If we could advise our peers & their families who are thinking about starting the search for answers to their reasons for adoption, we’d stress the importance of preparation & transparency.

We suggest working with adoption competent therapists to guide you through the complexities you may encounter. This adoption journey is forever but support certainly helps the lifelong journey feel more manageable.

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