I'll let another Good Buddy share about that!
I didn't know anyone that was adopted when I was growing up, but Matthew's perception of adoption was definitely affected what he grew up knowing about it. His mother, was adopted as an infant, and sadly she just didn't have the best of parents...well mostly her mom. Her father passed away when she was 8 or 9, and all the stories I have heard her tell involve her mother. She never remembers being introduced to anyone by just her name. It was always, "this is Darlene, she's adopted." She said when she was 10 she remembers trying to ask her mother where she born, where she came from, and he mother said she knew nothing and for her never to bring it up again. She was always treated differently by extended family. She said she never really felt like anyone thought of her as their family. She said her whole life she just felt like she fell out of the sky. That she had no beginning and was just a "nothing." I'm just getting all teary eyed typing this. Breaks my heart.
Needless to say, Matthew's perception of adoption was not good. He feared our family would not treat our child or children as family, and that our child would suffer as his mom did. Also I think he feared, although I can't remember now if he actually verbalized this that he would not be able to love an adopted child the same as one that was biological. I told him to look at our families and give me one reason why he thought they would not accept our child, and he couldn't come up with anything except for what he knew about his mom. And I knew the only reason he was doubting himself about the love he would have was because his mom never felt loved by her parents. I was ready for adoption way before him because anytime adoption was mentioned his thoughts and feelings were negative because of what he knew about his mom and how it affected her. Adoption = Bad for him. A few years passed, and one day when he came home from helping for the third summer in a row at youth camp, he said he was ready and for us to get started right away. That was July 05 and we went to orientation in September! God really worked on his heart I have no doubt. I have never seen someone fall in love as fast as watching him see Avery for the first time.
Ok, so I am rambling here. Matthew's mom did look for her birthfamily about 7 or 8 years ago, and she found out alot. Her parents had known her birthmother. She had lived with them for awhile while she was pregnant. Darlene's grandparents (adoptive) had arranged the whole thing...her birthmother was their maid (which is way she thinks she was always looked down upon and never accepted). She doesn't think her parents ever wanted children, but her grandparents wanted them to have children so this was arranged. The entire family knew everything...aunts, uncles, cousins, and although it was well publicized that she was adopted, everything about her birthfamily was the big family secret. One of the biggest examples of how not to raise your children I can think of.
Like Elizabeth said, it was like she was "damaged goods" because she was not biologically related to them, but to the maid.
Recently also I had a friend of mine tell me about a little girl who is having lots of behavorial issues. She was adopted and she was asking me if I thought it could be because of that. I told her when I taught, I had plenty of children with behavorial problems and they were not adopted!!! So yes, I think that perception is alive and well sadly.