Stepping on Toes or Falling Through Cracks? Which is Worse?


The usual me is fairly compliant, agreeable and willing to please.  I hate conflict and confrontation.  If you say something either nosey, snarky, uppity or hurtful to me, I tend to ignore the remark to your face, (or your computer screen), because the only drama I want in my life is Grey’s Anatomy and re-runs of House or LOST. I will not fight or call you out. I don’t care who is right or wrong.  I don’t deal.

Truth is, I’m a wuss.

Sometimes I even avoid making comments because I fear that you will think what I said was clueless, pointless or rude.  In social media, I tend to hit the “like” button but say very little.  No one argues with a “like” button much.

My need to please/stay out of trouble is coupled with a fear of rejection, and if I want to be all Child-Development-Theorist about it, I’d say it’s because of my perpetual adoptee status.  Even though I resolved many of my “I-hate-being-adopted” issues back in 1987, the fact remains, that I’m an adopted person.  That’s been a part of who I am since 1961 and cannot be reversed, no matter what I do.  I searched for and found the birth family.  It was extremely successful.  (Not all adoptees have my good fortune, but I’m thankful every day of my life that I did.)  I wrote a whole friggin’ book about how awkward it was being an adopted kid until the only pride I could derive from adoption was my success in searching/finding birth-family.

To connect with other adoptees, (and hopefully promote my book among “my people”), I joined a few Facebook adoptee groups.  Oh my!  I never realized what a crass, inappropriate little bi+@h image I projected!

Well, one sad person indicated so.

I thought I was expressing joy and positivity for overcoming many of my feelings of inadequacy that “adoptism” can spur.  Apparently, while speaking casually to this on-line group, I introduced myself and described myself as having”gotten over” a lot of issues that used to hold me back.

Oh my goodness, the rage that caused in the group’s moderator!

“Don’t u evr tell us “get over it!’ She lashed back.

Whooooa!      WTF?      Huh?

Apparently this little group of sad, pissy people wanted to stay mad, resentful and cop an attitude toward anyone who expressed neutrality or, G-d forbid, new-found joy because their situation was better.  It was the intent of this bunch to stay miserable and hateful toward the always evil, corrupt, self-serving industry of child-trafficking, which from their point of view, which was EVERY adoption agency, lawyer or social worker on the planet.

“So you don’t want to hear any success stories?” I tried to politely respond.

“Its never a sucess!!!!! You need to shut your ass up!”


I should have known better.  The ignorant, mean chick couldn’t spell or punctuate.

I found a YouTube link to a scene in “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, where on the Island of Misfit Toys they are all sitting around a campfire weeping because they don’t fit in.  I posted the link and commented, “Even among misfits, we are misfits if we have other opinions.”

She deleted me from the group.

I can rationalize all I want: Those are moronic people who wouldn’t want to read my book anyway.  My book doesn’t deserve them. They wallow in self-pity and are toxic.  It’s their loss, etc.

One fact remains.  Unintentionally, I hurt someone’s feelings.  I feel bad about that. My own worst fear:  I made someone mad, and they rejected me.  Weirder still because I seemed to trigger someone by showing positivity. Even if they were an ass, I upset someone and didn’t mean to.

Another fact remains.  I responded to that little drama-mama with a picture and a comment.  (I could have been a hell-of-a-lot nastier, but I went the cutesy route instead of cussing at least, plus I was trying to stand up for myself). I usually back away to my own island, but I’d taken one last stand for once.

At the same time, I know that what I did and what she did was no big deal in the grand scheme of Internet drama.  Crazier things have happened, and I really didn’t break her back.  Bad-spelling, Mean-Girl was probably already broken, and now she’s making a lifestyle out of acting this way to others because she sees differing opinions as a sign of personal rejection. I know I cannot teach a lesson or change her. She is who she is.

More than making money off a book sale, more than getting 1,000 likes for my author page, that day I only wanted to find some like-minded and similar-experienced people with the common element of being adopted who could discuss ideas sanely and honestly, both good and bad.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

My only regret was that I didn’t withdraw from the group before she cut me. They were jerks, but it still was a nasty bite to be rejected by people.


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  • Becky  On April 22, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I admire the way you responded, Paige. In the groups where adoptees and/or birth parents appear to have a major chip on their shoulders, That is their right, but I choose not to engage. I remove myself without ever commenting or won’t comment if I know my point of view will result in an attack. I feel strongly about my point of view, I respect that others feel differently, and I try to respect those points of view. I don’t have the time for groups that won’t even hear another point of view.

    I believe that we will never really learn and grow if we don’t listen to points of view other than our own. It’s hard for me to understand how adoptees feel comfortable making other adoptees feel out of place and rejected:)

  • BeeMom  On July 22, 2014 at 6:16 am

    I think, for me, it is important to separate my feelings about all the wrong in my life adoption has caused with the experience of being a birthmother. I have sometimes been dubbed as “angry” or “bitter” but usually only by people who feel the need to tell me my negative feelings are wrong. Respect for all feelings and view points is the key in any kind of constructive conversation. I know many birthmothers who are exactly as you describe. They are truly angry and bitter and cannot accept anyone finding any joy at all in their adoption experience. A mother sharing her happiness at having a visit is enough to trigger the firestorm you talked about in your experience. Adoption does have a very useful vital role for many children. And some people cannot accept that. I think my biggest reform efforts are to place the emphasis on finding homes for children or babies who need them instead of finding babies for people who want them. Adoptees are the most important voices of all and are, sadly, often the ones that fall upon deaf ears. When adoption starts to focus solely on the needs of adoptees and potential adoptees then ethical practices will follow. I look forward to reading your book. I am always fascinated by the adoptee perspective. As the birthmother to an almost 14 year old girl I feel as if it is my duty to try to understand all possible situations and feelings she may go through because of her status as an adoptee. Thank you for sharing!

  • Mary Ellen Gambutti  On November 8, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I just found your blog and this post, Paige, and I totally get it. This has happened to me–probably with the same group–maybe the same unbalanced woman. I was also booted. I’ve been down the adoptive rage road, but mostly I’ve I’ve been a quiet rebel and justice seeker. We’re certainly not all alike.

  • Paige Adams Strickland  On November 8, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Yep. Prob was “that group”. LOL

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