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A Message To Adopted Kids Everywhere: Stand Proud!

Updated on October 1, 2013

To all of you who were adopted I want to say first of all that I understand completely how you feel. I was adopted at nine months of age after spending time in eight different foster homes so I have the background to base this letter upon. I knew as a young child that I had been adopted (and I’m grateful that my adopted parents told me)so I grew up asking myself many of the same questions you have asked.

Why did my birth mother abandon me?

Why didn’t my birth mother love me?

Was it my fault that I was given up?

Am I unlovable?

What’s wrong with me?

You see, for those of us who were adopted those questions are as natural as breathing. There may be times when we can’t vocalize our true feelings but the doubts are deeply rooted inside each of us and at some point will rise up and trouble us.


Twelve years after adoption
Twelve years after adoption

The Ever Present Questions

Let’s take a look at each of the questions and try to find some answers. First, why did my birth mother abandon me? In my case I simply have no idea. She may have been raped or been the victim of incest or conceived me out of wedlock and couldn’t take care of me by herself or accidentally conceived me and chose not to raise me. The possibilities are endless and since I have chosen never to find her the answer will have to remain a mystery.

Why didn’t my birth mother love me? Who says she didn’t? The act of going through labor and then giving me up for adoption may have been a significant act of love. I cannot put myself in her shoes because I did not know her; I have no idea what circumstances led to the adoption so how can I possibly make a judgment about whether she loved me or not?

Was it my fault that I was given up? Let’s be real for a minute: how could a child just born be at fault for anything? What, I cried too much that first day? I made a mess in my diapers and because of that was instantly to blame? As silly as those two instances sound many of us still harbor thoughts that somehow it was our fault for something we had done which led to the adoption.

Am I unlovable? This, my friends, is a biggie and for many of us (at the very least for me) this question stayed with me and haunted me for years. The thinking goes something like this: if mothers by their very nature instinctively love their children then there must have been something in me that led my birth mother to give me up. She must have sensed that I was damaged goods or a bad seed or would turn into trouble along the way and that negated the natural motherly love and led to my adoption.

As silly as these questions may seem to those of you who have never been adopted I promise you that they are constantly lurking in the subconscious of adopted kids; and as illogical as they may seem to be they are still very real and troubling.

I was raised in an incredibly loving home. My adopted parents gave me as much love as I could ever ask for and not once in my time with them did I feel as though I were a burden or that I was receiving less love than anyone else in the family. I never lacked for anything and the lessons they taught me about love and family have stayed with me a lifetime. They were supportive of me in my every endeavor…..and yet those nagging feelings of unworthiness were always lurking.


Sixty-four years after adoption
Sixty-four years after adoption

Finding the Answer

For me it just took time. As the years passed and as I faced the questions I listed above I came to realize just how illogical they were and just how much positive energy they took out of me. You see, being adopted, being given up at birth, has nothing to do with who I am or what type of person I am. When my time on earth comes to an end I will be judged for the type of person I was as shown by the type of life I led over my lifetime and not for the type of person I was at the ripe old age of one day. I have come to realize that I am, indeed, a very lovable person who is gentle and kind and loving in return. I have, in fact, learned to stand proud and see my adoption for what it truly was: one small part of my life, a part I had no control over, and it is no more or less than that.

Today I tell as many people as I can that I am adopted; I have always made it a point to tell my students about my adoption because if there is any chance that I can help one of them to deal with their adoption then it is worth it. There is no shame in being adopted, and looking back at my life and who I have become I can say today that I am proud to have been adopted. Stand tall all of you; stand proud all of you.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Holly, good to hear from you. Yes, there might be many, many people dealing with these feelings....and it's okay. I'm so happy that you handled the news the way you did. I don't even remember when I was told by my parents, but I know they handled it perfectly....with love.

    • lavenderholly profile image

      Victoria Raquel 4 years ago from Tejas

      When I was eleven, I found out that I was adopted; and I can tell you that I'm quite lucky to have never encountered those thoughts, and if I did, that they were quite fleeting and didn't leave an impression on me whatsoever. I remember the day that I found out because my mother was absolutely distraught (my aunt had told me when it was certainly not her place to do so), and I felt strange, but that night when I prayed I said a thank you to my biological mother for giving me up to the best mother in the entire world. I found that I actually grew to love my parents even more as a result of the discovery; that I was grateful to them for providing me with so much and not asking for anything but love in return. I never once called my biological mother my "real mother" and always, always said that a real mother is the one that is the one who does all of the things mothers do (reading bedtime stories, playing the role of nurse, making me absolutely delicious meals and loving their child unconditionally) and I always explain this to anyone who doesn't understand. I'm so glad that you're open about this because there's so many people who might be dealing with this right now.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      khmazz, so true, and thank you for the visit and the positive attitude.

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 4 years ago from South Florida

      I too stand proud being an adpotee!! I loved it! Thank you for writing something so many of us need to read!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Terry, I think what you described is pretty common for most adopted kids. I know that I am socially inept at times; better now than I once was but still, inept on my best days. I can't shake the feeling of not belonging and I'm sure that comes from being adopted. I can't explain it, I just know it is a real feeling and one I have to accept. I have forged a good life for myself and acceptance of my past has helped. Thank you for the great comment.

    • profile image

      Terry(assert1958) 5 years ago

      I love this hub, you are truly a wise man. I'm adopted my thing is I as an adult still have a sense of knowing were I'm not wanted. if that feeling comes over me I feel the need to leave wether it be at someones house or at a party etc. Is that just me or is it self protection like a feeling I can see that I'm not supposed to be here. I have great social anxiety. I had (with my twin) a great life & parents. growing up though I always felt at family reunions that we were the adopted twins an never fit in with my cousins. now that I'm older I have no contact with the cousins.But on the other hand I don't really care if I ever do. I HAVE BEEN HAPPILY MARRIED for 33 years an I have 3 wonderful sons & 5 amazingly cute grandkids. my boys say I obsessed in my love for them. I tend to hold on to tight. that's all for now. thanks for letting Lego on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stu, if you read this hub and the others I wrote on adoption then you know where I stand on this....your son has to be told for his own peace of mind. It simply isn't fair to him not to tell him.

      It is rarely the traumatic experience people think it is going to be. I don't even remember my parents telling me; that's how effortless it was. You might want to talk to a counselor about it...there are great childrens' books out now that help with the telling.

      As you know my son is adopted too and he doesn't remember us telling him, and we told him by using books that told stories about adoption. It really was not worth all the angst we went through prior to telling him.

      I know many other adoptees and they all agree that they would have been terribly hurt if they hadn't been told.

      I hope that helps; if you need to talk some more you know how to get a hold of me.

      bill

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      stu 5 years ago

      Read your thoughts, and thank you so much, you have taken a great load off my heart.

    • profile image

      stu 5 years ago

      My wife and i adopted our son the day after he was born. I love him so much, and i have a secret fear that he will not love me and my wife once we tell him how he came to be. I know its wrong, but i just want to never tell him.He is such an awesome boy ,I don't want him to ever doubt his self worth. I feel so bad inside for feeling this way,am i crazy?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you Windo; greatly appreciated.

    • winbo profile image

      winbo 5 years ago

      Beautiful article.voted up

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Prairie, you are such a nice person. Thank you for your positive responses to my hubs. I am honored that you are following along with me.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 5 years ago from Canada

      Billy, I appreciate this hub so much. My husband was adopted and I think he very much felt those things. Like you, he had a very loving family but he said he always felt like he didn't quite belong. I love your positive message and I am going to share this with him. Awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awwww shucks, you are welcome! I'm glad you found time to write considering all the walking by the creek you do each and every day. I am determined not to let my jealousy show....how am I doing so far? Thank you my dear; your words always score with me.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      billy...Your attitude on having been adopted is positive and realistic, as it should be, in my opinion.

      While placing a child up for adoption, supposes any number of reasons, as you point out so well....there is logically only one reason couples adopt.

      They want to bring a child into their life, to love,provide for & nurture.

      This is a sweet and touching story. Thank you for sharing it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cls67...thank you and I consider that very hight praise. I appreciate your support and look forward to many more "conversations" with you.

    • cls67 profile image

      cls67 5 years ago

      Excellent hub billy,I always feel like I am in a conversation with you when reading your articles. This one is very touching.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      carozy, you are making me feel very good tonight. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my articles and commenting so nicely.

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Another beautiful article..

    • profile image

      Sarra Garrett 5 years ago

      Yes you are!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sarra....thank you for your compliment and for reading my hub...I have heard many others say the same thing you just said..."I wish I had been adopted"...I was one of the lucky ones for sure.

    • profile image

      Sarra Garrett 5 years ago

      What a great hub! You have a positive atttude about your adoption and you should. You also don't judge your birth mother as you don't know her situation. She loved you by giving you life and allowed you to live with love and dignity. Sometimes I wish I was adopted by other parents as mine were from hell and will probably end up there.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hooray for you Glassvisage; I love your screen name by the way. As a p.s. to the hub, my son is adopted and he wants to find his birth parents and I am fine with that; he also has a desire to learn as much as he can about his adopted family and I am fine with that.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      Yay! I love these stories :) I was fortunate to grow up in a very loving family as well. For Korean adoptees like me, I think that our biological parents were unable to keep us because of the societal conditions back then. I have no desire to seek my birth parents - I'm perfectly happy with how things have turned out :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rod,

      Great response to my article and I applaud YOU for the work you have done over the years. I don't know the answer to your question of "why?"....there seems to be a deep-seated feeling of rejection in all adopted kids and only time and love can lessen the impact of that feeling...you are doing a wonderful thing and for all foster kids I say thank you!

    • rodelmore profile image

      Rod Elmore 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Great post! I appreciate your time and your outward gratitude. As the father of 9 children, 4 adopted and 5 biological, I too find myself hearing these questions from my children. Even though I have provided a loving and giving home, they still want those same questions answered. Why? My oldest Son is 21 years old and I am still unable to answer his question. As fathers we pride ourselves on protecting our children, answering the hard questions, and providing encouragement where needed. I applaud you for providing needed encouragement to a world that is results driven. For 12 years I had the opportunity to care for over 85 foster children. My wife and I loved every moment of it. Though there were challenges, we were able to work through them. Once again great Job!

      Rod Elmore

      Life Coach

      Askrodnow.org

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith, I couldn't agree with you more; there are many moms who gave up their child out of love....I understand that NOW but that does not change the fact that many, many adopted children DO NOT understand that.

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      We have many adoptive families in our big church and we teach that , just as God adopted us into His family, adoption is a great way to grow a family. All adoptive parents expect to get these questions, and I hope our loving church community helps these families show love to all children, however they came to be a part of our families. Voted up and beautiful.

    • profile image

      KeithCookie6 5 years ago

      This is simply not true, there is no way you can know exactly what each person feels. Every one is different. I gave up my 2 year old for adoption, straight to a family. I love him more than life. I never threw him away, I surely didn't get rid of him because something was wrong with him. I did it because it was the best choice for him to have a solid foundation to grow on. It would be way too much to explain why and all the factors in our choice. I did it for him, because I love him. Raising a baby on welfare and alone is not a good life. He deserves to have a shot at life and a great chance to succeed. My son is 6 1/2 now, I have 3 visits a year and send lots of packages and letters. I call him often. He got a toddler brother and sister, 5 and 4 now. I love all 3 kids, and crazily they all 3 looks similar. you'd never guess they came from 3 different families. I don't know the other kids' stories but I know ours very well. My son is absolutely everything to me. I never want him to think he did something wrong or wasn't good enough, he's more than I could have hoped for. I wouldn't change anything about him. I'm sorry so many of you can't have such a strong and loving relationship with birth families. No child should ever feel thrown out. There are many moms like me who did it all in the name of love.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for your comment and for taking the time to read the article; this is something I feel very strongly about and I hope it helps some kids out there.

    • instantlyfamily profile image

      instantlyfamily 5 years ago

      This is beautiful. I love your message; Stand tall all of you,stand proud all of you. Thank you for sharing this. I hope that many take the time to read it and that they may too, stand proud.