Wounded by adop­tion re­marks

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS - AMY DICK­IN­SON ©2017 by Amy Dick­in­son dis­trib­uted by Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

Dear Amy: I was adopted at 5 months old, in 1947.

I am very happy with my adopted par­ents and never knew my birth­par­ents. I was com­pletely loved by my adop­tive fam­ily and al­ways felt like a “real” fam­ily mem­ber.

When my chil­dren were small, I tried to find out about my birth­par­ents, only to be told the files were sealed.

My prob­lem is that oc­ca­sion­ally some­one who knows that I’m adopted will say I’m not re­ally part of my adop­tive fam­ily and can’t claim the fam­ily’s his­tory as my own. I’m re­ally con­fused and hurt.

My fa­ther and grand­par­ents al­ways taught me about our fam­ily his­tory in our state, so I could tell my chil­dren for them to carry on the fam­ily his­tory.

A lot of peo­ple I know don’t un­der­stand why I didn’t/don’t want to find my birth­par­ents.

I had won­der­ful par­ents. They are the only par­ents I have ever known, and, ac­cord­ing to them, I picked them, so to me that means we were meant to be a fam­ily!

And they loved me from the be­gin­ning. So to me, they are my par­ents, not my “adop­tive par­ents.”

Why are peo­ple so picky about who my “real” par­ents are?

Do I need to think about this dif­fer­ently? Adopted in Colo. Adopted in Colo.: My own ex­pe­ri­ence in help­ing to raise adopted chil­dren — and as part of a large fam­ily with many adopted fam­ily mem­bers — has taught me that there is no “wrong” way to view your own adop­tion story. I fur­ther know this: No one can tell you who your “real” fam­ily is.

Your own re­ac­tion to your fam­ily is com­pletely ap­pro­pri­ate. Their his­tory is your his­tory. The only thing your very lov­ing fam­ily did not con­trib­ute to you is a mat­ter of DNA, which, given your very long his­tory with them, is of no con­se­quence if you don’t want it to be.

I will never fully un­der­stand the im­pulse to ques­tion or chal­lenge some­one’s parent­age. It sim­ply is un­kind to do so. I think you should re­spond proudly, “Well, you don’t re­ally have the right to ques­tion my re­la­tion­ship to my fam­ily, so I would ap­pre­ci­ate it if you kept your views to your­self.” Dear Amy: I think you dropped the ball on “No-win,” the cou­ple in their 80s where the wife wanted to move to live near her son.

It’s ob­vi­ous they can af­ford two homes, so why couldn’t they split the year and live to­gether at both places? Seems like a much bet­ter idea to me, and ev­ery­one wins. Win­Win Win-Win: I got the sense that the hus­band didn’t want to re­lo­cate to that ex­tent, but, yes, this is a great so­lu­tion. Amy’s col­umn ap­pears seven days a week at wash­ing­ton­post.com/ ad­vice. Write to

askamy@amy­dick­in­son.com or Amy Dick­in­son, Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, 16650 West­grove Dr., Suite 175, Ad­di­son, Tex. 75001.  You can also fol­low her @ask­ingamy.

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