Thursday, June 25, 2015

An Adoptee’s Life

    don’t get me wrong, this is not a hate campaign or a social media attention seeking post. So long gone are my angst-ridden, multiple ear piercing, wanting to express college days (and looking back at it, the multiple earrings fashion is just too tacky now, ewww!!).

         I am also not a product of a love affair with a wealthy congressman or aristocratic family that existence had to be kept, so it is not worthy of a tell-all biography. However, while the story of my adoption doesn’t belong to those requiring combing histories and rummaging from long buried registration books, being adopted does not exactly fall to the society's norm. While not socially condemned, the movie and TV series plots have already made a general impression of adoption synonymous to unwanted. With this, to an adoptee, the joy of an ordinary day out in pigtails and sipping Zest-o is robbed off by the children’s teasing and the innocence is crushed by the adult’s harsh repetitive reminder of not belonging to the normal.

Top 8 things, situations and questions adoptees deal with

1)      The questions like: Who are my biological parents? How do they look like? Why did they give me away? Lucky me, I know them from the beginning so I don’t have to ask these questions and the follow ups. But to those with untold stories of conception and birth registration, everything else begins with these questions they are dying to find answers.

2)     The gossipers. Coming from a small town and from family of teachers, my adoptee’s story was as simple as growing up with hushed adult conversation at school, market, PTA meetings, funeral or any gathering about my adoption. It was an on-going competition who can ask in front of my face if I know whose tummy I came out from and an endless confirmation I am the one. I had to deal with it until they were too old to remember or died.

3)     The endless teasing growing up and the branding. Adopted becomes your family name.

4)     Listing your biological parents in the spaces provided. I am not being ungrateful, but my adoptive parents have long been gone so I put my biological parents name in my wedding invitation. My reason was simple: it feels crazy being invited by deceased people (at least to me). I was serious about it and also felt the urge to honor my other set of parents on that special moment in my life. My birth has already been registered under my adoptive set of parents, they were listed as my parents in all my legal documents and they were the only valid beneficiaries under the Philippine law, so on matters I can decide on, I want to cross out one of that ‘adoptee’s what ifs’. In this matter, when to and when not?

5)     There is one or two you loved most or more. That is the truth even if you always answer equally when asked. And you will be asked hundred times growing up and even as an adult. It is already a torture to a child with one set of parents and being asked constantly, imagine if you have two. 

6)     Family health history left blank. I wasn’t hospitalized too often growing up that the blood type and genes I carried never bothered me much. If I filled up medical information in the past, I guess I never paid attention to them as my parents look healthy that time. Abroad, with legs spread my OB casually asked my family's health history, and I have no answer.

7)     Visa processing – as a result of my idleness and wandering while folding the clothes, I realized how Visa application and processing can be delayed, denied, expedited or approved according to your blood relation. #justoneofmyrandomthoughts

8)     Security questions and account verification.

CCA: And just for confirmation Ma’am, can you please provide me your mother’s maiden name.
Me: Concepcion or Torres? Oh, why can’t you simply ask my shampoo brand?

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