Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Adoptee's Fantasy of Return

I grew up in a very loving adoptive family, yet throughout my childhood I fantasized about escaping from it. I would fall asleep at night thinking over my plans to run away. These plans were very vague; I thought little of how I would survive or what I would do after I set off ... but I knew in which direction I would head. It wasn't until many years later, as an adult, that the significance of that direction struck me. I was planning to head toward the hospital in which I was born, the place where the separation from my biological mother occurred. It was a fantasy of return.

I wonder if this is common among adoptees? Does a desire to return our families of origin lurk beneath the surface of our consciousness, rising up periodically in ways beyond our control? I would love to hear from other adoptees on this subject. Have you experienced anything similar?


  1. I wasn't adopted, but I can see how this would be something adoptees may think. Even if your adoptive parents were great, there could've still be a longing to be reunited, or at least meet your biological mother.

    I don't know. haha. I'm just guessing. :)

    Stopping by from vB.

  2. Everything I've ever read on adoption speaks to what you just blogged about. Especially if you grew up not knowing who your birth mother is, you want to find out how you're like her (or birth dad), why she made the choice she did, if she thinks about you (and as a birthmom, I can tell you she thinks about you every single day), and if she still loves you. It's natural. That's why the movement toward open adoption, or at least semi-open, so that adoptees can get those types of questions answered. :-)

  3. I was not adopted, but I made plans to run away on a regular basis. My favorite book was The Boxcar Children: I loved the idea of living in the woods with no adult supervision.

  4. Well, hello there Mab. :-)
    Yes, there's also that -- lots of kids dream about escape ... the fantasy of independence. It's not always about adoption. But sometimes it is.

  5. Thank you for sharing that. I was not adopted so I can't begin to understand how that might feel, but I do remember sometimes wanting to find the planet I must have come from since I didn't always feel like I belonged in the family I was born into. My own space, my own family. I find it intresting that you came from a happy home yet felt something was missing. Did you ever share these feelings with your parents or did you feel as if you could not share those feelings with them? Thanks again.

  6. I thought about running away, but not to the hospital where I was born. I had a plan to live underneath a freeway overpass. It wasn't well thought-out.

    Years later, I found out that my adoptive mother died in the same hospital where I was born. It was called San Francisco General in the 1960's, and had it's named changed at least twice, and finally became California Pacific Medical Center. But I can remember being in the hospital with my sick mother, wondering which spot I was born on (With all the remodels, I am sure the OB dept. wasn't in the same place). I walked around and tried to sense something supernatural, but I didn't.