- Family and Parenting
Overpopulated Foster Care ~ Never Getting Adopted
A fellow writer here billybuc wrote an article here a while back entitled What It Feels Like Being Adopted. He and I share many of the same issues and many of the same opinions. While I have no expectation of this ever being of the same standard, and quite honestly probably more depressing, I wanted to offer readers the other side of the coin. Being adopted is something I know only a little about. However I am full aware that it will come with many ups and downs just as not getting adopted.
How It All Started
I was born in the summer months of 1983 to a mother who was 21 and a father who was 38. My mother was uneducated and mentally handicap, and my father was over educated with a controlling side. He hooked up with my mother sometime around her 18th birthday. I was born a few years later. The stories I have been told lead me to believe we lived in the woods until I was 6 months old when DSS/CPS took me because I was malnourished. I was returned to my mother a few months later with the condition that she remain in the home with her mother. This lasted for as long as there was a requirement. As soon as they left her alone she returned to my father. I will save you all the details, because they would likely make you uncomfortable and make the Hubpages and Google bots unpublish this article. To put it simply I was physically, mentally, and sexually abused from my earliest memories until I went into foster care at 14. In one day I lost my home, my mother, my dog, the abuse stopped, and I was left in a swirling cloud of confusion, gratefulness, emptiness, and fear.
Being The Other Child
So I went from being an abused child to being the other child in each and every foster home. Have you ever walked into a room when other people were talking and everyone gets quiet? That’s what walking into a foster home is like. That moment of uncomfortableness that just makes you feel off inside, like you don’t belong. 32 placements and I never felt like I belonged. Every time I walked into that new placement there was a little voice inside my head that hoped they would want me, that they would keep me. Maybe if I was good enough, or if I acted like their blood children they would adopt me. Time after time I tried to be the me they would want me to be. I tried being good. I tired showing them I could help around the house. I tried showing them I could fit in. It just wasn’t ever enough. No matter what I did it was never good enough for them to adopt me. I was disposable and unwanted, a sad feeling that has haunted me ever since. 32 placements later I was a 19 year old coming out of a lot of messed up homes with no one to call mom and dad. No one to be there for me when I needed help or advice. I went from being the abused kid to being the other kid, to being the alone grown up.
What It REALLY Feels Like Never Getting Adopted
I remember the 15 year old me. The one that was seriously badass (I say that in the most sarcastic way possible). I didn’t take anything from anyone. I didn’t need anyone else to help me because I could do everything myself. I could handle my own issues, so I thought. I think I knew then, just as I do now, that pretending to be strong kept me from being hurt. It kept me from dealing with them not wanting me. It helped hide the pain of loneliness from the world. I became bitter, and to this day I am pretty sure that is what kept me from getting adopted.
Here I am 16 years later and it’s amazing how much of that personality has stayed. I’m not bitter anymore thankfully, but I still hold myself to an expectation that is higher than it ever should be. I still block the world out. I still distance myself from everyone.
The reality is never getting adopted really feels lonely. Knowing that the only parents I had never really wanted me, and out of 32 placements no one thought I was good enough to keep me is depressing. It makes me wonder what was/is wrong with me.
Is Not Getting Adopted Really All That Bad?
The bottom line really isn’t as depressing as it sounds. It has its moments that are still sad, holidays, birthdays, and important events. Most of the time though I am happy. The fact that I didn’t get adopted is disappointing, but it makes me stronger. I have a family that I made for myself. A family that is really awesome if I do say so myself. I created what I needed. I found someone that thinks I am worth keeping. I found someone who taught me that my worth isn’t made based on if I have parents or not. Not getting adopted is sad, but it’s also empowering. It’s amazing how the lack of something can create something good. Not being adopted just makes me have to find more original ways of creating what I need!