TW: Mentions abuse

Being lucky should never apply to the absence of abuse.


I perceive myself lucky in moments in which something happens in my favor w/o any effort on my part. I consider myself lucky to have the friends I have, for example, because they chose to be friends w/ me and show up for me w/o any additional engagement on my part. I did not bribe them, or threaten them. I didn’t sweet-talk them or actively do anything to influence the outcome of our relationship. I was passive in their decision. The other way around, I gotta say, I do not consider myself lucky to have chosen my friends as people to be friends with and show up for – I consider myself intuitive for having given it a shot.

That said, I also perceive myself lucky to have five supporting and loving sisters and a family that welcomed me back after 19 years. However, I don’t feel lucky about being adopted or about how it all went down and played out in the end, even though others in my adoptive family would consider themselves lucky about that. That’s because different people can feel different things about the same thing. Another reason might also be that my adoption experience was different from the way my three year older sister experienced my adoption. But I would agree with most people who‘ve met me: Y‘all are lucky to have me in yr lives :D.

Most people consider adoptees lucky to have been adopted. I, personally, only consider adoptees lucky in regards to their adoption placement (!) when the family they got adopted into is:

  • Emotionally and physically safe

That does not apply to families in which there was no regard to the adoptee’s emotional needs and boundaries of any kind, and where abuse and/or negligence of any kind were normalized. I considered it lucky because it’s not the default. Most days that I talk to fellow adoptees, I shake my head and think to myself:

Can we please stop letting luck decide whether or not adoptees experience abuse in their adoptive homes and actually start putting in some effort that this doesn’t happen? Please?

When you plan a trip to the beach and turns out it’s gonna rain all day, you can positively say, “yupp, not my fault”. But abuse? Nope! Yes, we cannot control nature but we can control our behaviour. The weather is not our responsibility. But our behaviour sure is.

In a recent IG poll I asked fellow adoptees:

1. Would you say that your adoptive parents acknowledged your trauma (responses)?

100% of all participating adoptees denied that. I know that this is a systemic problem that doesn’t start w/ the adoptive parents. But I gotta ask: How do you take care of a child whose trauma you don’t even acknowledge? Adoptees are traumatized people. Yes, all adoptees even though trauma responses may differ. You cannot take care of a traumatized child the way you do of a non-traumatized child. This is especially important for all those who raise both, adopted and non-adopted children.

2. Would you say that you had support from your adoptive parents in healing from your original trauma (e.g. therapy).

This only applied to 24% of participating adoptees. Children cannot figure trauma out on their own. This is why so many adoptees start speaking up about their trauma as adults because a) for most of us the trauma happened pre-verbal and b) we only then were free to explore it and start to heal. CW: Suicide Adoptees are 4x more likely to commit suicide than non-adoptees. In the US there is a whole month dedicated to all the adoptees we lost either in suicide or at the hand of their adopters. Our adoptions are not minor incidents in our lives. Please, pay attention. If you’re a family member of an adoptee, make them feel seen, safe, and heard.

3. Would you say that you experienced physical, emotional, or mental abuse (e.g. Gaslighting, Spanking, Emotional Blackmailing) as a reaction to your trauma responses (e.g. crying, rage/anger)?

68% of the participating adoptees said that they experienced physical, emotional, or mental abuse in their adoptive homes as a reaction to their trauma responses.

I don’t have the words today to make a statement about the last question. But I got two things to say. 1. What really angers me about this is that these people will most likely never be held accountable for the harm and pain they’ve caused – no, instead they are even celebrated by society. 2. Shame on those who neglected to make an effort but rather relied on luck to come and do their jobs for them.

To all the adoptees who participated in this short survey and shared their experiences: Thank you very much for sharing and speaking up! I hear you and I see you. Let’s rest and heal.

I love us. ✨