Male Adoptee Perspectives on Being Adopted

     
    My name is Jereme L. Ford and I am adopted 
    Birthplace: Orlando, FL
    Occupation: Author-Lecturer
    Reunion: No
    Hobbies: writing, speaking, and teaching, and watching Netflix
    Relationship: Waist deep and looking to go deeper

    Why don’t men talk about being adopted?
    They don’t? That’s news to me, probably because I haven’t knowingly met too many. My best guess would be because it is a very touchy and soft subject, which men, generally speaking, do not do well with because it requires allowing themselves to be vulnerable.
    Is it ‘unmanly’ to talk about being adopted because it is an emotional issue?
    I wouldn’t say unmanly; I like the word scary better. We’re talking about being a male experiencing rejection for the first time, and from the woman whom he was supposed to develop his first male-female relationship. Even if it were for real reason, that could be a very difficult thing to deal with much less talk about.
    Do you think adoption affects women differently than men?
    It’s possible. But I think for both it just brings up a lot of questions. Mine was simply, why?
    How has being adopted affected your life?
    In many ways, some I may have not even found yet. The fear of rejection has to be the biggest thus far. I’ve thought of several good reasons why it may have happened, and none can take away the rejection and pain I felt when I learned of my adoption. That kind of stuff sticks with you, but it’s important that we don’t allow it to define who we are.
    Is it fair to say that more women care about searching for their birth family than men? If yes, why?
    I don’t think so; at the root of it all, we just want to know who we are. Interestingly enough my sister, who was adopted as well, couldn’t care less about meeting them. I think we men may be better at pushing it to the back of our minds but its still there. Unfortunately, that tends to come out in destructive ways sometimes.
    Have you been reunited with your birth family?

    No. The closest I’ve gotten is medical history. It was cool gaining a little information about them. It made them seem real. Heck, I even look just like my adoptive dad!

    Has being adopted made you think about men or men becoming fathers differently?
    I don’t know yet, but I look forward to seeing how it will affect my fathering style. For the most part, think it will just be even more motivation just being there. I never want my children to feel that kind ofrejection, not even for a second.
    How do you cope with being adopted (i.e. religion, spiritual, mental health)?
    To be honest, I just don’t think about it. Would I love to meet my biological family? Absolutely! But at times I think of the children that were ripped away from their parents, such as in slavery or Haiti. There is always someone who had it worse, and at least I can be thankful that I was given to a great home.
    If you could sum up your life as an adoptee in one sentence or one word, what would you say?
    I have a funny shape head, and I would awfully appreciate knowing where exactly I got it.If you could leave adoptive parents with a parenting tip, what would you say? Tell them as early as you can. Nothing hurts more than an abrupt change in reality, especially when your reality wasn’t what you thought it was for years and years. Also, be sensitive to your child’s need to know their roots. I imagine this can be tough, but you won’t be replaced. We just want to know who we are.
    My name is Rock WILK and I am adopted 
    Birthplace: New York City
    Occupation: actor and playwright 
    Reunion: No
    Hobbies: running and writing trains
    Relationship status: never easy
    www.rockwilk.com

    Why don’t men talk about being adopted?
    To be honest, I didn’t know this was the case, and I speak freely, and so, I’m not sure how to answer that question.
    Is it unmanly to talk about being adopted because it is an emotional issue?
    Hmm, well, for me, this is kind of ridiculous and feels like a stereotype that is so far from my reality that, again, it’s impossible for me to speak on it.
    .
    Do you think adoption affects women differently than men?
    Well, this is another hard one to answer because I could never be a woman, and so, if there are gender-related issues to the differences, I would be in the dark with that.  I would think everybody has their own personal experience to deal with, and I feel like those issues are probably determined by what happened after you were separated from your birth parents.  Were you fostered?  Were you adopted?  What were the people like who raised you?  I think each experience is completely unique unto itself.
    How has being adopted affected your life?
    I think it has affected me profoundly.  First of all, it somehow put me together with the parents who raised me. They were these amazing people who gave me a beautiful and safe life. I was very fortunate, they were pure love from start to finish [they are both deceased]. I had been fostered three times before I was finally adopted, and so, my life could have been very different.  On the other hand, I had some MAJOR questions of identity for my entire life. I was not very comfortable for my adoptive family; I was distant. I never felt a real part of anything. I isolated myself a lot. I definitely thought about the fact that I was “different” a lot.  This has been a life long struggle for me, but I turned it all into beautiful art, and wrote a play, which was a 6 year cathartic journey that wound up running Off Broadway last year for over three months. The result of that work actually put me in a much better place. The play was called BROKE WIDE OPEN, and it began as my search for my biological mother,  but it wound up being a search for ME, and for whatever HOME meant for me.  I found that.  And so, it was really so much more than just a play, it was a process that saved my life, gave me the sense of self I was looking for, and so, I say all of that to say we all need to walk our own paths to finding out who we are and where we fit in. I think everyone has to find their own journey.  I’m grateful I found mine in my art.
    Is it fair to say that more women care about searching for their birth family than men? If yes, why?
    Again, I can’t answer that; I have no idea.
    Have you been reunited with your birth family?  If yes, how is your relationship?
    I have not been reunited.  I searched a few times, I’m on all the registries, but nada. Zero.
    Has being adopted made you think about men or men becoming fathers differently?
    Not really. When I think of men and fathers and all that goes with that, I just think about it across the board, meaning men in general, whether you are an adoptee or not. If you find yourself either being a father or wanting to be a father, make it a choice and be present, and always do what’s best for the child. I just look at fatherhood like that.  But I’m not a father, so what do I know?
    How do you cope with being adopted (i.e. religion, spiritual, mental health)?
    I think even though it was somewhat confusing for me, I also kinda wore it on my sleeve as a badge of honor. To be honest,  I was unique and not like the rest of the world. Like nobody could really understand me unless they came from similar circumstances, and so, I’m positive that formed me in some kind of way emotionally and spiritually.  I think it made me more of the kind of person who is willing to “search” both literally and figuratively. It perhaps made me more open to things, to the possibilities of things that I didn’t really know and had to find out about. Also, I think it made me learn how to be “OK” with NOT sometimes knowing because there are some big things about my life that I will probably never know, and so, I have had to learn to be “good” with that. I am grateful to say that I am.
    If you could sum up your life as an adoptee in one sentence or one word, what would you say?
    I’m grateful for who I am and where I came from, because that’s all I have.

    If you could leave adoptive parents with a parenting tip, what would you say?

    If you adopt a baby, treat that baby as if he or she shares your blood.  As time passes…. communicate, listen, be honest, be open, be love, be love, and be more love! 

    My name is Rob Hoyle, formally Robert Daniel Aikman and I am adopted
    Birthplace: Amity, N.Y 
    Reunion: Yes
    Occupation: retail and music producer 
    Hobbies: riding motorcycles 
    Relationship: Married; father of 3 children. 



    Why don’t men talk about being adopted?
    I can’t speak for other guys, but I have always been open about my adoption.
    Is it unmanly to talk about being adopted because it is an emotional issue?
    I don’t think it’s unmanly to discuss the issue. In fact, it has helped me deal throughout the years talking about my situation.
    Do you think adoption affects women differently than men?
    I think adoption affects people differently regardless of sex. I feel like it depends on the individual and the personality of him or her. Adoption has played a huge factor in how I’ve developed since childhood. I have always been curious, always wanting to know my biological roots. I knew since a very young age that I was adopted.
    I don’t think women care more than men. We may sometimes carry it a little differently, but I don’t think women care more than men. As stated before I have always been curious and searching for my biological family.
    Have you been reunited with your birth family?
    Yes, finally on April 20, 2012 my wife and I found my biological family! The experience has been very fulfilling. It hasn’t been all roses by any means, but it still feels good to have this huge new family. Overall, my relationships are beyond all expectations I could ever have had. The bad, I realize you have to be prepared for every and any emotions that may arise, as you will be disappointed at times. Don’t set the bar too high I guess is what I’m saying? My father wants nothing to do with me and me and my mother began a bond and it quickly crumbled. That was very disappointing. I have better positive vibes then bad though. I have so many cousins, aunts great aunt and uncles who are all glad that I found the family. That helps balance things out a bit where that void is concerning my parent’s. I have developed a relationship with my brother on my father’s side and a sister as well. So its a work in progress but again more good then bad.
    Has being adopted made you think about men or men becoming fathers differently?
    Being adopted has made me a better Dad, I think.  My wife and I have three beautiful kids. I will do anything for them, and that’s real!
    How do you cope with being adopted (i.e. religion, spiritual, mental health)?
    I deal with adoption best by talking about it. It’s that simple for me. It’s the best medicine in my opinion. You just have to spread it out through different people. You don’t want to bore the same person to death with your issues.
    If you could sum up your life as an adoptee in one sentence or one word, what would you say?
    Being adopted is like a roller coaster of emotions but can build good character in one.


    If you could leave adoptive parents with a parenting tip, what would you say?
    Love your kids like you always wanted to be loved by your parents.
    Thank you, Jereme, Rock, and Rob so much for supporting The Not So Secret Life of An Adoptee and participating in this interview. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us. I am confident that your journeys will help adoptees, birth mothers, and adoptive parents. Keep being a voice for the adoptees. You have power. 


    One love. Peace. 

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