At 11 months old I was taken into care, thereafter, I was put into a foster family .They became my parents as I grew up. Just before turning three I started to visit my adopted parents and after turning three I was then adopted and reunited with my two biological brothers. When I was enrolled into kindergarten, my parents seemed to notice I was worried about being abandoned again. My parents then decided, since my mother was a stay at home mom at the time, that they would do home schooling with me and my two older brothers. This was a lot better. By the time I was in grade 2 I transitioned back into mainstream elementary school.
In school, I was always the child singled out and bullied. The stereotypes given to adopted youth and their biological families are horrible. Adopted youth, including myself, are seen as the weird kids that had horrible parents and weren't wanted. No one seems it see the positive within adoption and only are able to focus on the negative. I often heard kids saying to other kids “you’re adopted” as a joke to make fun of people or because they thought adopted youth were unworthy and unwanted. It seemed that no one was able to understand it all. These things and these stereotypes really impact the youth. Seeing that all these people think of adoption as a negative thing, it really can make youth not want to share with people and try to hide their life, themselves, and become withdrawn and/or isolated. Stereotypes are seen a lot when it comes to adoption and the birth families of adopted youth.
The truth is, in a line of youth who are adopted, from care, and those who are not from care, you can’t tell who is and who isn't connected to the child welfare system, or has been adopted into families. So why are we treating adopted youth any different?
I have dealt with a lot of people thinking different things about me because I am an adopted youth. I was bullied and made fun of. I can't stand people who stereotype adoption based on something people say without finding out for themselves. Adoption is a normal thing. Lots of people see it as babies and the truth is there are many older youth in care needing to be adopted too. Many stereotypes can be found when it comes to adoption and I hope our stories through the A4L Youth Lounge will inspire new ways of thinking and understanding.