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Please don’t tell me I was lucky to be adopted


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9e9e9472-6f48-11e4-ad12-3734c461eab6_story.htmlWashington Post:

Shaaren Pine

January 9 2015


I’ve never been good at embracing my story, but lately I’ve found help in the most unlikely of places: my 7-year-old daughter, Ara. A few months ago a good friend relayed a conversation she had just overheard between Ara and the friend’s 6-year-old son.

“I heard you were talking to Graham about adoption?” I asked Ara later.

“Yeah,” she said.

“What did you say?” I asked.

“I just said that I’m kind of like an adoptee, but instead of being taken away from my brown mom, I was taken away from my brown grandma.”


In my almost 40 years, I’ve only recently been able to talk about adoption honestly and openly. And it is incredibly difficult.


At 4 months old, I was flown from my orphanage in India to my adoptive parents in Groton, Mass. I would never say I didn’t have a good childhood — I did. My life was enviable in too many ways to mention. But what’s also true is that adoption is a traumatic, lifelong experience that is rarely recognized as one. Unfortunately, there is no way to convince a non-adoptee that adoption is hard and that its effects continue into adulthood unless that person is willing to hear it. And in my experience, few have been.




I know that not every adoptee has had the same experiences that I have had, but I also know that my story isn’t unique. Adoptees are about 2.5 times as likely to attempt suicide than non-adoptees, according to a 2001 study of adopted adults published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. A 2000 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry concluded that adoptees are twice as likely as non-adoptees to have received counseling. And prevalence of substance abuse was 43 percent higher among adoptees than non-adoptees, according to a 2012 study published in the journal PLOS One.


Adoptees are often so busy trying to prove that we’re fine, that it’s too late when we realize we’re not. At some point, I stopped running a knife across my wrist, but for many years, that was my solution to denying — and being denied — my truth.







I stopped trying to prove I was fine around 10...because I was fine. I had a woman who loved me enough to give me up, and two people who loved me enough to fight to become my parents.


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Oh, cry me a river.

There are numerous reasons why a girl cuts herself but none of them are healthy . To blame it on the pain of being brown skinned in a white world is convenient but ridiculous. Therapy might have been nice


Oh and I won't tell her she is lucky to be adopted - because she is not. She is blessed.

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One of the comments wondered if she had ever gone to India and visited some orphanages there. That might be a good thing for her to do.

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