Coming Out of the Adoption Closet and Secondary Rejection
It’s go time.
I’ve been “out” as an adoptee for years. Hell, I published a book called Adopted Reality.
Because I didn’t want to get sued, Out of respect for my birth father’s privacy, I changed his name and identifying details. His wife knows I exist, but he never told his three kids.
For those who
haven’t read all the gory details in my memoir aren’t aware, after my birth father rejected me in a loud, aggressive fashion, I never contacted him again. But, I always wanted to know my half-siblings. Furthermore, I’m sick of my birth father holding a secret which isn’t his to keep anymore.
What follows it an email I sent a few weeks ago (minus identifying details).
Dear Complete Stranger, Who is Also My Brother
I’m a complete stranger to you. And yet, I’m your (half) sister.
I’m guessing this comes as a surprise. It’s not a surprise for me; I’ve known who you are for more than ten years, but I waited to contact you until I was sure you were over eighteen.
Of course, the relationship between my birth mom and your dad was not meant to be. After I was born, your mom and dad got together, and soon enough, they had three beautiful children of their own.
In the meantime I was born, assigned to my new parents, and called Laura Dennis.
It wasn’t until I was 23, planning to get married, that I finally decided to search for my biological roots. In March 2001, I reunited with my birth mom. A few months later, I spoke several times with your dad. He acknowledged that he was my biological father. He mentioned that he had three children.
When I said, “They’re my half-siblings,” he replied, “I guess you could look at it that way.”
Well, I do. I do look at it that way. I have three additional siblings, about whom I know extremely little.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my adoptive family. They gave me unconditional love and support. I’ve had a good life. And yet. I have three additional siblings.
Why am I contacting you? Why am I potentially disrupting your life?
The best answer I can give you is, I would like to know you, and I would like you to know me.
I’m married, I have two children, aged three and five (your nephew and niece, actually!). I also know that when I was in my early 20’s I was not interested in family “drama”; I was focused on socializing with friends and developing my career. I get it if you’re not interested. I would be sad, but, I would understand. I would only ask that you please just let me know that you received this letter. Even if you don’t want contact, just that you received it. Please.
I’m also sending a letter to your brother. I’m not sending one to your sister, because I believe she isn’t eighteen yet, and I think it’s best to respect her privacy until she is an adult. (That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to know her, though!)
I am 99.9% sure that I am your half-sister. I found you through a mutual friend of my birth parents.
I hope I can be “found” back.
* * * * *
“Secondary rejection” defined
Almost immediately, the eldest brother blocked me on Facebook.
The younger brother has not responded.
In the weeks that have passed, I’ve been sad and confused, but also at peace. I tried, I outed myself, and I’m still okay. I look at the photo of the younger brother and it’s bittersweet … because he looks like my son, they even have the same haircut.
I’ve really wanted to write about this “secondary rejection.” It happens more often than people realize, and comes in a variety of forms. It’s important for the non-adopted world to realize that adoption secrets still exist. People are hurting because of them. Nevertheless, I’ve been reluctant to post this story, and I asked myself: Why?
Then I read an article recommended by one of my Lost Daughters sisters called, The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck. And I realized that I was keeping quiet because I hoped that if I remained a “nice, grateful, compliant adoptee,” I wouldn’t be rejected … again. Maybe, if I waited long enough and patiently enough, my birth father and his family would realize I’m loveable and would respond to me.
Then, I decided: fornicate this fecal matter.
Like I said, It’s go time.
I take your secondary rejection and I raise you one loud adoptee. This, right here, is the adoptee trump card: I’m out. I’m adopted. Truly, I’d love to hear from you, but I won’t be crying any tears
if when I don’t. You may think I’m crazy, you may want nothing to do with me, but you know what? I exist. I won’t be quiet. I. am. still. here.
More importantly, I have plenty of people who like and even love me. I choose to focus on them.