If you know someone, are related to someone or are yourself an adoptive parent, I cannot recommend strongly enough a movie I just finished watching on youtube...Adopted. I've embedded the movie below or you can type, "Adopted Full Movie", into the search bar at youtube.com and, at least for now, the full movie, all 1 hour and 19 minutes, is available for free.
I believe that this movie will haunt me for many years to come. I couldn't help but write down a few of the more powerful quotes from this documentary, all of them said by the now 32 year old adoptee, Jennifer, adopted from Korea, and her adopted mother.
Jennifer: Giving up a baby is hard and I believe that if we don't acknowledge that, if I don't honor that, that's dehumanizing her. It's just too bad that she doesn't know that I'm ok. That I found a good mom. But I have a connection to her as much as you do, don't you think?
Jennifer's adoptive mom (A.M.): I appreciate that she gave you up and I appreciate that I have you but as far as anything else I have no....I don't care about her.
Jennifer: I wish you did because I'm part of her, I have her face, I might have her eyes. The biggest invisible privilege among birth families is that they look like each other and that is a powerful validation...constant validation. Why do you think I need so much attention and validation? Because I don't see it. Now what can you do about it? Be curious about it.
A.M: But I don't want to be curious about it. I want you all to myself.
Jennifer: You'll actually get more of me if you imagine that I was connected to someone else at one time. I can never be the woman I'm supposed to be....
Later, in a Korean restaurant with her adopted father she looks at a table full of young Koreans all speaking Korean and remarks:
I feel really lonely here. I look like them but have nothing in common with them.
And finally this statement which is one of the most profound:
You can overcompensate and sugarcoat the adoption story...about how much you wanted her, about how long you waited, about how much you paid for her and whatever else it was...but you only got her because she was abandoned. And she knows that...at a younger age than you can ever imagine.