My first adoption was finalized in 1960, approximately 18 months after going to live with my grandparents. Since I was only three at the time, no one consulted me on the decision and, honestly, I don't think there's anything inappropriate about that.
My second adoption? Well, the circumstances of that event were much different.
It was at dinner, sometime in 1968. As we sat at the table, my uncle said "How about we adopt you?"
Horrified, I responded, "No!"
He asked for my reasons.
My inner child was shouting:
- I feel guilty about "replacing" my grandparents, whom I consider my "real parents".
- I feel an intense desire to return to the Midwest, which I consider my "real home."
- I'm being bullied by my peers at school.
- I'm being emotionally abused by your wife.
- I'm being physically abused by your wife.
- I'm occasionally being physically abused by you (and your leather belt).
- I just don't feel like I belong this family, this school, this town.
But all I said was:
"Because I don't want to."