Adoption is Paradoxical

“Some adoptees are full of internal tensions that seem irreconcilable. Their lives are paradoxical. They act like comedians on stage, making everyone around them laugh. Still, they are deeply internally conflicted and emotionally troubled.” Judith Land

 “Paradoxes arrest our attention and provoke fresh thoughts and altered ways of thinking. Life is hazardous. Fear slows progress. Proceed with caution. This image of a mountainous road is how many adoptees perceive the world—one wrong step and you’ll be crushed. The way forward is challenging and uncertain. There are huge emotional barriers to overcome. Adoptees have many more things to think about and obstacles to overcome.” Judith Land

Truth is rarely pure and simple. Facts don’t cease to exist because they are ignored or hidden. When the idea of two contrary sets of parents collides in a child’s mind, that’s paradoxical. The lives of many adoptees are contradictory, inconsistent, unpredictable, and confusing, especially when the truth is improbable, ambiguous, and contrary to the facts. Was their birth a paradoxical twist of fate? Sometimes, the truth is illogical and downright strange. What if the child finds out the truth is contradictory to the oral family tradition? 

If you are an adoptee, have you ever wanted to know the identity of your parents and siblings or the reasons why you were adopted? Are there significant others in your family tree that you would like to meet? Are you curious about your medical history? Are there paradoxes in your life that are difficult to explain? Has fate resulted in serendipitous good fortune or catastrophic disasters that are unfortunate? Is there anything ironic about your situation that is interesting or humorous? Has adoption ever caused you to feel irritable, moody, anxious, or depressed? Did you ever feel overwhelmed or unmotivated and lonely and isolated, unable to function or make daily decisions without feeling depleted because you were adopted? 

There are many paradoxes in life, like why is there is so much poverty in such a rich country? Why are some people both charming and rude? Life is paradoxical when you land a teaching job at the same school that expelled you and the fire station where you work accidentally burns down. What if your best friend turns out to be your sister? Adoption is the greatest paradox of all, knowing there are more potential adoptive parents than children available. Paradoxically, parents of adopted children tend to be wealthier and more involved. Yet, adopted children tend to have more behavior and attention problems. The trauma, loss, and possibly other horrific things that happened to them are often long-lasting and deeply troubling. 

Life is messy. It’s a fact of life that merit doesn’t always recognize winners. Anyone that has lost the connection with their biological parents, siblings, culture, and language is naturally and inherently anxious. Strange things are bound to happen, no matter what you do. Still, try to make life enjoyable. Seek virtue and freedom. Display empathy. Ask God to grant you serenity, inner peace, and grace. Make relationships valuable and strive for happiness. Avoid destabilizing paradoxes that run contrary to your conscious expectations.

Judith Land

About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
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