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Being Adopted Has Unique Challenges

Life in today’s world is difficult enough even when you have had the privilege of being born as a natural child into your family.  The challenges of an adopted child increase tremendously the older you are at adoption.

Then there are the added challenges associated with the quest of locating family members that you know exist, as well as finding your biological parents.  In my situation, which I will elaborate on more fully in the days ahead, finding family members was a ‘mixed bag’ of emotions.  There was the incredible feelings of finally finding the siblings that I remember from years past to the apprehension involved in wondering just how aggressively to pursue this quest.

Add to that the reaction of your adopted family when you suddenly announce to them that you have found lost family members.  In my case the attitude was a ‘ho hum’, ‘well that’s nice’ reaction that I experienced when I located the first of my family members.  And then 23 years later when I found two (or really three) others, it was the same reaction that you get from people many times when you have experienced a death in the family.  When you are around them they avoid bringing up the subject  or anything that has to do with me locating my biological family, it’s as though they were offended, maybe they are, shame on them if that is the case.

The truth of the matter is that this whole ordeal has made me more grateful for my adopted parents and the family that I was adopted into.  My biological mother and father ‘did the right thing’ in their situation by recognizing that they were in over their heads.  Poor decisions on their part forced them into this situation, this is regrettable. This decision was one that they ‘agonized’ over for the rest of their lives, but they did the right thing for the sake of the children. It was the ‘Hand of God’ that brought me to the McCulley family.  I am honored to carry that name.

Maybe I am wrong to expect my adoptive family to say ‘congratulations, we are so excited for you’.  What do they expect?  I have found myself asking ‘what would they do if this was their experience’, if they had been taken from their home at seven years old then had the opportunity to re-unite?