I knew I was my adoptive mom’s charity. The reason I knew this was because she told me. When I wanted to donate to something important to me, she said, and I quote, “We already did our charity when we got you.”
I was 6.
Well, you can’t say she wasn’t honest about how she felt.
I know that some adoptive parents feel this way even if they do not come right out with that label: charity. I’ve read such comments as “we’ll provide a good home for a needy child.” And many others. Ugh. Makes me want to barf.
Guess what? I NEVER WANTED TO BE YOUR CHARITY!!!
Would you say any of the following about your biological child?
I will be “sharing my home …”
I am “lending a helping hand to society.”
I will “provide a home to a less fortunate …”
Of course you wouldn’t, but these thoughts, comments and principles seem commonplace in the world of adoption.
How would you feel if someone considered you charity?
Here are some of my adoption truths.
I do not contribute to you feeling less shame.
I will not make you guilt free.
I cannot make you a better person than your neighbor, sister, friend or anyone else you are competing with.
I am not here to help you contribute to society.
Be proud of me, not proud of yourself for adopting me.
I do not want to be your “adopted daughter.” I just want to be your daughter.
You do not have better morals because of adopting me.
Do not “share” your home with me. Do feel like you are home when you are with me.
I was not a lost cause. You do not have a crystal ball to determine how I would have turned out.
I am not one of your achievements. But be beside me, watching me achieve.
Adopting me does not prove ANYthing.
If loss in life has made you bitter, I can NOT fix that for you.
I do not owe you anything for adopting me.
You do not offer me redemption. You do not have a Jesus complex. You are just an imperfect selfish person like the rest of us. You are average.
You are not scoring points in heaven or any other afterlife you believe in by “getting” me and celebrating it annually as a reminder to your God of your “good deeds.”
I am not here to serve a purpose for you. And if that is the reason you adopted me, then shame on you.
Lastly, even if you do not say these things to me, I will know if you are thinking them. It will show in your attitude. It will show in your presence. It will show when you are mad at me. It will show when you speak to others and think I am not listening.
It will show.
I never wanted to be your charity.
I never wanted to be your charity. Holding these beliefs sets up an expectation of me and my words in the future. It tells me that I am supposed to be grateful. When I am not grateful, it allows you to use new labels for me such as ungrateful, unappreciative and unthankful. These expectations are unrealistic and unfair.
It is no more realistic than expecting your biological child to say, “Oh, thank you so much for sharing your home with me and providing for my basic needs in life. Thank you for showing your superiority over others and contributing to society by taking care of me.”
And if you do expect that out of your biological child, then you need help. Seriously, seek help.
If you are adopting for any of the above reasons, I would suggest that you carry out your desire to do charity in a variety of other ways.
Do not rely upon a child to be your charity because when you label a child as your charity, you are only labeling yourself.