Don’t Tell Me I Should Just Be Grateful

This is something that has bothered me for a really long time now. I do not understand why people constantly think this. When I’ve seen people express feelings of sadness, grief, or anger, etc. regarding being adopted, I have subsequently seen others who clearly don’t understand the feelings and therefore almost criticize the hurting adoptee.


OKAY. WHY? No No, I’m serious, Why? If someone could give me an explanation for that that would be great….


Now, let me explain why it is that these comments bother me.


I don’t appreciate it when people assume that because I have negative feelings sometimes about being adopted, that that means I’m not grateful. Yeah I do have emotional issues surrounding those circumstances, but that doesn’t mean I am any less grateful for the amazing family I have now. I know that people can think that me having those feelings could be hurtful to my family, but I know for me in my family, they are totally okay with me expressing my emotions. They don’t make me feel that I should just pretend I’m okay when I’m not. But they also understand that because I’m upset, doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for them. Since when does sadness equal ingratitude? It just really bothers me. It makes me feel like that I and other adoptees alike, are not allowed to have real, raw feelings about our own lives. This is not something that I particularly like to talk about so the fact that I’m feeling oppressed for even remotely expressing or having those feelings is quite honestly insulting. I just truly, truly, don’t understand why people need to comment at all. Like, if you don’t understand, then why do you feel the need to criticize?


Adoptees have very real grief and that is perfectly normal and okay. I love my family more than I could ever express, but I still have I guess, negative feelings in the realm of being adopted. I think it is completely acceptable to have those feelings of sadness, anger, and everything else that comes along with it. I don’t know if other people can relate to this, but for me, this is something that has bothered me for a long time. I feel very passionately about this and I want people to know that feelings don’t mean you are not grateful for the new life you have been given. I’m sure there are some people out there who do not have a great adoptive situation and therefore are actually not grateful. I would never dismiss that. I am only speaking from my own experience.


Please just don’t tell me that I should be grateful. That is probably one of the most hurtful and honestly, ignorant things someone could say. I know that people just genuinely may not understand, but if you don’t, then please don’t say things that are really offensive. This kind of thing is a journey that includes very difficult emotions. Adoptees can feel like it’s difficult to share or have feelings in general, never mind if people are literally calling them ungrateful. So please don’t call me ungrateful for being a real person with real emotions. Thanks.


xo, Lauren


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