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The Luxury of Having No Questions

Updated: Feb 28

A few years ago, I happened to be conversing with a new friend who asked me what I liked to do for fun. At the time, I was delving deep into the history of adoption in the U.S., and had been doing quite a bit of work examining both the sociological and historical conditions that had accelerated the popularization and legislation around adoption. I shared this hobby with them since it was the only thing I could think of at the moment.

The conversation inevitably led to the fact that I myself am an adoptee. I shared a little bit about 'coming out of the fog' with them. I explained how, as an adoptee, you reach a point where you want to understand how and why adoption has impacted you so much and you start asking questions. I articulated some of the challenges 'coming out of the fog' has on the adoptee, particularly how it pulls the rug of identity out from under us and forces us to almost 'start over' with our sense of self. My new friend was intrigued but found the entire description odd. "Why didn't you just leave it be? I mean, you look like your family. You could have just ignored it." They said.

I was surprised by this response - both because I knew the depths of adoption's impact on any adopted individual but also because I had never considered this a viable aspect of my privilege before. I had always known I escaped the racial aggressions and intense obstacles many international or transracial adoptees have to experience growing up in their family's communities. I had never considered the fact that I could possibly have just 'left well enough alone and left my adoptee identity unquestioned since I was 'biological passing' at a glance.

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