A serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident. An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis. An event or situation that causes great distress and disruption.
By Trace Hentz (adoption survivor)
After many years, in many quiet moments, I recognize that adoption has affected me very deeply.
In my case, the day my mother left me, how she never came back, my world changed. All I knew as this newborn baby was my own mother was not holding me, nursing me, talking to me. I was devastated by that. Broken. Part of my brain shut down. That pain was too much.
That very early experience needed to be processed as stress and trauma much later as an adult. No one explained this to me, not even a doctor. As an adult I understand that a church/adoption agency places an infant with new parents and society says this is good and permanent. Good? Good for who?
Years pass and I accept this happened to me and my early trauma scars me.
This monumental loss of my mother cracks me open and I am left to survive it, or not. No one explains that I need to grieve this. I figure it out. After years pass, I finally understand. This experience affected me in complex ways. This pain has layers and layers and layers.
But for others to tell me adoption was good for me? What? Or how I need to accept this is "adoption." Accept it? Are they kidding? My scars are invisible but they are there. I know they are there.
How Catholic Charities took possession of me, handled me, first placing me in an orphanage then foster home, with no regard for my physical health, or my trauma-ridden emotional body, this speaks to the inhumanity of child trafficking and the traumatic consequences of adoption for the infant. This speaks to the inhumanity of the deadly colonization of Indigenous people whose children were taken from them, calling us stolen generations. This speaks to a society that only sees what it wants to see.
Once adopted, you’re erased, an outsider, a stranger to your own nation, lands and people. I prefer to think of my younger self as brainwashed.
The bonding I had made with those mystery foster parents was also broken. How Catholic Charities and other churches and adoption agencies did this to millions of babies has consequences. This leaves millions of adoptees in the state of trauma, a stranger being raised by strangers, and a stranger to your first family.
Adoption is a cruel and inhumane way to treat an infant. A very sick society would do this. And removing me from my own mother affected me in ways that are now measured and defined as post-traumatic stress disorder, or reactive attachment disorder, or severe narcissistic injury...and this explains how I was unable to bond with my adoptive parents.