My adoption story AKA: "We aint in Kansas anymore Toto"

Hi

My name is Loujean Stauffer AKA Babygirlmona. Mona was the alias my mother used at Volunteers of America while she was there. When I got my non- identifying information everything that was in there was completely different from what my AP were told. I have concluded since then that most of the story my AP told me had been made up by my AM any way as a ruse to get me interested in things she enjoyed.

My non- identifying information was quite informative as it allowed me to see where I acquired most of my traits. I got my brown hair, hazel eyes, and olive complexion from my Mom and my height from my Dad. She was 6’1” tall & slender.

She loved to sew, read true crime novels, and work on intricate puzzles.  All of which have been something I did often. She also claimed to prefer her animals company to humans. When I read that, I almost fell out of my chair, I had lost count on how my times I had said the same.

When I learned that I had an older brother, age 8 and a sister, age 6, I was overjoyed but for some reason, not surprised at all.

 On the other hand, my AP were shocked and surprised by that revelation.  It seems that when I was young, about 3-4 yrs old I told anyone who would listen that I had a big brother and sister but they didn’t live with me. I even used to beg my grandmother to help me find them. Since I was an only xhild she assumed I was just lonely.

My AP, having no knowledge of the truth had punished me for telling lies but their punishments had failed. I continued to repeat it for many years. This knowledge validated my claim. To this day I have no idea how I knew about my siblings as I had been only 3 weeks old when I was placed for adoption.

My AM and I never really bonded over the years. I was anything but her ideal daughter. I was her complete opposite. Where she was a real “girlie girl” I was a “Tom-boy”. She would dress me in frills and lace with my hair in curls only to find me outside rolling in the grass playing marbles or digging to China.

Later as a teenager, she bought me makeup and tried to teach me how to apply it. I saved it for Halloween and went dressed as a Vampire. She spent hundreds of dollars on clothes for me, clothes she had picked out for me. Only for me to insist that, blue jeans and T-shirts were what I would wear.  

My Grandparents had a motorcycle shop and I since I spent my summers there I spent my days around at the shop. They gave me a tiny 50cc Indian dirt bike to play within the empty lot next door to the shop when I was 5. It even had training wheels on it, for about an hour.

Following what I had seen at the motor cross matches attended with my grandfather I had learned, on my own to ride that thing along obstacles I set up for myself. He was impressed and taught me to run the track. MY AM damn near fainted and had a all out “Hissy fit”, visions of the “Hells Angels” running through her mind. My gear and new 120cc dirt bike were history and I started going to Girl Scout Camp during the summers after that.

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False hopes and fears

Hi Loujean,

I liked reading your story and while our experiences are vastly different in many ways, I noticed some parallels as well, especially when it comes to being very different from ones adoptive parents.

A couple of days before my first birthday, I was placed with an aunt and uncle of mine, and officially adopted three years later. So I was adopted within in my own family, as it is being called. Of course no one can really be adopted within his or her own family, at most a child can be adopted within half of its family. The half of my original family I was adopted in, was my biological father's family. He is my adoptive mother's brother.

As much as adoption within the family is seen by many as better than adoption by complete strangers, it has its own weird dynamics. A father suddenly becomes an uncle, an aunt becomes a mother, and siblings become cousins. At the same time one pair of grand parents remained grand parents, while another pair of grant parents became strangers.

When I was really young and just learned about my adoption, these things didn't matter much, but as I got older, I realized how fucked up the adoption agreement was. My adoptive father's family didn't feel like family, while my adoptive mother's family did. I realized I shared similar traits with some of my cousins on my adoptive mother's side of the family, while my adoptive father's side of the family felt like complete strangers. So in that sense there was already a rift in what was and what wasn't family.

My biological father didn't like to see my adoptive parents parade me as their little trophy boy. and cut all communication for nearly fifteen years. So family get-togethers were always strained, since at least one party was not there. My biological mother never was considered part of the family after my adoption, or should I say after my biological father remarried. I don't know for sure which event actually ousted her, but the fact remains she never was part of the family as long as I can remember.

I think my adoptive parents never really figured out who I was. When I was placed with them, I was seen as their little rescue project, and that prevented them from really trying to figure out who I really was. I guess they thought a child can be molded in any shape or form they wanted to, and I was too scared to be done away again to show my true colours.

Even as a child I had a huge intellectual curiosity. In many way I was one of those annoying little boys that cannot stop asking "why". While my adoptive mother has the intellectual curiosity of a fruit-fly, and my adoptive father had in a very simple minded way figured out how the world operates, leaving no room for further questions or consideration.

For my adoptive parents, whom had lived their teen-age years during the Second World War, there was nothing more important than safety, and their desire for safety required that I stayed a toddler till kingdom come. I guess they loved the time I was in need of their "rescue", making them feel good about themselves. This is probably more true for my adoptive mother than for my adoptive father, but he had other reasons to be satisfied. With me as a dependent rescue object he had to make less of an effort to please the Mrs. So both had a lot to gain by first of all denying whom I really was, but also that I was in fact growing up.

I knew it hurt them enormously to see me grow up, and afraid to be done away again, I played along and pretended to still be the innocent little boy they once adopted. So in the end I lived a lie all through my childhood.

In a sense it's weird how adoption so often leads to lies and false pretence, even when, as in my case, there are few secrets or lies about the past. There was no non-identifying information that didn't match my adoptive parents stories. There were no secrets about who my original parents were, still there was plenty of room to turn my adoption into a complete charade. False hopes and fears are enough of a breeding ground for that.

Yup, can relate

I can relate to both Niels' and Babygirlmona's stories.

I do not have any proof, but I strongly suspect I was adopted into my amother's family, which has a long history of what we Black people call "borrowed children", and of course straight up bastards getting classic bastard treatment -- which I would also get when they suspected I like girls, confiscated my diaries, heaped on some massive gaybashing, kicked me out of the house, changed the locks, and implemented estrangement for 18 years.

I NEVER believed anything in the non-identifying info my AP's told me about my bio parents, or grandparents (though some of it's actually culturally specific enough to be believable -- gotta be Blk to understand what I mean, I think.) Reading both yours and Babygirl's story makes me glad I didn't.

Tomboy-vs-dainty-feminine crap certainly applies; though, oddly, I was given a few non-traditional-for-girls toys like electronics kits and microscopes; adad, a science teacher (later to become ordained minister) would bring home all sorts of weird little science things like litmus paper, rock collections, etc. But that all ended when puberty started. My guess was, then and now, those were the things he wished he'd had as a kid, but I did enjoy them.

But yeah, the stupid frilly dresses and especially the imposed straight-girl makeup kit/curling iron/blowdryer YOU MUST MAKE YOURSELF ATTRACTIVE TO MALES b.s., backed up with threats of violence for noncompliance VEE HAFF OUR VAYS...yeah, I can relate to that.

Joke's on them: never really had problems with men and still don't. But that's never the issue with raging homophobes, is it.

No, authoritarian, insecure, violent APs do not like it one bit when one becomes an adult. Who then will be left for them to heap all their hangups on??

And when I want to (or have to for a job, or doing business as my father's caretaker [I know...he's very ill and back in my life now; long, LONG story]), I can really do up the straight-girl drag show quite well. Because that's all it is. One big show, based on a set of socially- and governmentally-enforced lies about who one is, and what an "identity" as a legitimate citizen really is.

Early memories and how things hit

My AP's refused to believe I remember my early days in my new room in their house.  In fact, they refused to believe many of my memories.  Go figure.  <eyes rolling>

I also remember that fateful day I first read my non-id info, back when I was in my early 30's.  I learned I was very much a mommy's little girl.  Information that like sure is like a bitter sweet kick in the gut.

 

 

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