who am i

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who am i

Postby queenv » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:18 am

This forum I find very interesting, and its good to know that people are able to share without having to explain, which so many times I feel I do (whether I need or not)
Up until the age of 33 my life seemed on an even keel so to speak ,my adoption really was not an issue as such, and my adoptive family are my family!! My adoptive parents are both from the Caribbean, and so is the extended family. So I have grown up and lived my life as black woman who has been influenced by this.

Eight years ago I applied to have access to my adoption records (what a palaver! Another story) With trepidation I went along to view my file, the social worker was very matter of fact and seemed to do things very mechanical. Fortunately there was lots of information on my birth parents, and background information as to the reason why I was adopted. Turns out, far too much information…..in the sense it blew my world apart. My birth mother in the information given, states her ethnic origin as African, she was in the UK training as a doctor and came here to study from Nigeria. My birth father, well, he was a white British man, who hailed from Surrey.

For weeks after I had this information, I was numb, I just could not digest it all in. My family were very supportive, and did all they could to reassure me that things had not changed as far as our relationships and feelings were. But my feelings changed dramatically, I was very angry, but who at, there was nowhere to go with this anger, so I became this mad old bitch to my family and friends….and anyone who came within lashing out distance. I put everyone through hell!!
The decision to trace my birth mother was made for me, my birth mother left a letter for me written after I was born, and adopted which was left on my file. She clearly did not want me to ever contact her, saying her family back home would not understand!! Excuse me!!.......but don’t I have a say in this too?.....I still don’t know, I have traced her, and I know her where abouts, but I feel I have no right to disrupt her life……she is a doctor, married with children. So I have siblings. Part of me wants to contact her, but her words in her letter are so heart-felt and ring in my ears, I just cant.

As for my birth father, he died in 1986…..I know his next of kin so in theory I could make contact with them. But all this is too much to put myself through, and my family, who could not have done more for me…..my father died 3 years ago, and my mum has moved back to the Caribbean.
I’m now left feeling adoption has stole my heritage, I was ‘given’ a heritage, a gift from the adoption agency, a legacy in which someone made a decision, either to ‘fudge’ the truth and give my adoptive parents mis-information, or did they think they were doing a favour….who knows, but what happened I fell was so wrong.
So, here I am, my life has not changed dramatically, but my sense of belonging has. Its strange, one of my friends suggested we go to Nigeria, and see where my birth mother comes from….part of me is curious, but what the hell do I do when I get there….soak up the atmosphere, take on local dress / costume, eat whatever they eat….lol…!! For the moment, I’m doing nothing, which is not easy for me, as I’m not a sitter on the fence type gal!!

It would be great to hear from anyone who has been in a similar position, or from anyone with a view to my post.
Thank You Vanessa
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:16 am
Location: england

Postby lilit » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:57 am

Hi Vanessa

You must feel like your head is going to explode!

It must have been a massive shock finding out the truth about your birth parents. It sounds like your mum and late dad are fab and have done everything possible to help, but you still have to deal with this "differentness", which is something us adoptees often feel anyway. Having the rug pulled out from under you about who you are is horrible.

While there were no shocks of this magnitude for me I think I understand what you mean about feeling your heritage has been stolen. I had ideas in my mind about my birth family and had assimilated them with my upbringing to form some sort of explanation for why I'm like I am - to then find out I was wrong about a lot of it is pretty hard to come to terms with.

Do you think you could go to Nigeria and see how you feel when you get there? It might make you feel a bit more "settled" in your uniqueness if you see what I mean - you might feel really comfortable and 'at home' there or you might not, either way it might help you? It's weird what's "genetic memory" and what's conditioning sometimes - for example I've always known exactly what to do in a Catholic church but there are things my whole birth family do that I just cannot understand at all!

You might get more responses if you post in the general adopted people area - there are a few transracial adoptees and adopters on the board but I don't think many non-transracial folks read this page (I do but then I read EVERYTHING pretty much!).

Lili x
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:55 pm

Postby queenv » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:59 pm


Thanx lilit for taking the time to read and reply.......you made me titter a little......imagine me in Nigeria, i wud stick out like a sore thumb. Its not the first time this has been suggested, my friend said she wud go with me, but im a little frightened.
Ive lived my life as being from the Caribbean and not from Africa. I associate myself to this....i cant really explain.......I can spot an African, the way they walk, talk and hold then selves, and that is not me, omg, it comes out wrong i know, but I will consider it.....watch this space x

I will do as you suggest and post this in the adoptee section .

thanx again
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:16 am
Location: england

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