an adoptee pain point

Ah yes, the ol’ joke about how the person must be adopted because they’re so different from the rest of the family… so different, in fact, that they couldn’t possibly belong with the rest of them.

You’re not one of us. Cue laugh track!


So funny that it makes me want to literally punch the person who wrote the line in the face. And then punch anyone else involved who allowed it to make to air.

Listen, I’m adopted. It’s really complicated… the experience, the feelings, the thoughts… it all has so many layers that it’s really hard to understand them all. Even more so, it’s harder to feel comfortable with it all; to feel comfortable with yourself and who you are.

I have a great family, and an overall good adoption experience but, adoption – and being an adoptee – is not a “thing” that can be summed up with a binary “good” or “bad”. Like I said, it’s really complicated.

I don’t (publicly) write about it because I still struggle to understand a lot of things around it. Every adoptee has a different experience, a different story, and a different set of feelings that they need to work to understand. Each adoptee will react differently to things like this. Some might even find that joke funny.

That is 100% valid and acceptable.

It. Is. Complex.

I have my own pain points. I have my own triggers.

That ol’ joke? Yeah, that’s a trigger. Yes, it’s a pain point.

A story about finding out…

Writer, and fellow adoptee, Matthew Salesses is writing an online novel called This Is Not About #Adoption. It’s “A book about finding out…”.

I’ve been keeping up with it, and admire his brutal honesty while writing about emotions being an adoptee, spending time in Korea, and his family dynamics.

Much of it really resonates with me, such as this excerpt:

You can see how a constant issue is not knowing what is about adoption and what is not.

And this one

I am not sure whether this is about adoption.

I am not sure whether my adoption had anything to do with falling in love with my wise, strong-willed, fiercely Korean wife.

I am sure, however, that adoption is behind the enormous fear I have of parenting, of having any negative effect on my daughter’s life.

And this one

It is a particularly fraught position for me as an adoptee, to be constantly between sides, to defend America on the one hand and Korea on the other, simply because I can never feel allied with the person I am with, as a Korean or as an American.

Matthew also has a couple novels published, one just released a few weeks ago called I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying. I can already tell you that it’s one of my favorite reads of 2013.