Adoptees are Super Heroes and SHEroes

I am a person who loves Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and all super power, good vs evil type movies.  I grew up watching the ORIGINAL Bat Man series (ka-boom, slam, wap…etc) and I love superhero metaphors in my therapy practice. Superhero Therapy is the BEST! 

Batman circa 1966

In 2017, I found my biological family and my how-I-came-to-be and who-my-people-are story.  It was nothing short of a miracle how it all came to be.  I wrote about it here earlier this year,  for those who do not know my story. Like many adoptee’s stories, it is a doozzie with some twists and turns.

Later in 2017, I found this article by Pam Cordano, LMFT and it really resonated with me.  The Extraordinary Superpowers of Adoptees  I REALLY encourage you to read it ans soak it all up!

In 2018, I met Pam Cordano at the Beyond Adoption: You retreat in Berkeley, CA. I did not realize until later that this was the same person who wrote about Superman. I was sort of flabbergasted when I found out she was the writer of the article I had read and shared with my husband, also an avid Superhero junkie, a few months before. Life if funny that way, isn’t it?

I have always thought of myself as a person who had some different gifts. As a child, my family referred to me as ‘odd’ and ‘quirky.’ Now, as an adult, I think they meant, “you are adopted.”

I would do things like, anticipate other people’s answers, moods, looks, words and adjust accordingly.  I could become invisible, quiet, talkative, shrink, sit, stand, smile, say ‘yes ma’am and no sir’ at the right moments, I could be seen and not heard, and I could be chatty and helpful as needed. These were my childhood super powers. I could ADAPT like the best chameleon child around.

Now as an adult, I have introvert super powers. I am not sure that my introverted personality came from nature or nurture or adoption or where, but I definitely have the traits.

I also now understand that many adoptees have similar introverted traits.  Such as:

Needing to have time to recharge our batteries, at home, or in a quiet place.

Many have difficulty with crowds or a lot of people.

Many prefer a few close friends over a large group of friends

Many would stay in and read vs going to a party.

I could keep adding to the list, but I feel I might get worn out and want to go read a book.

I see my introvertedness as an advantage or a SUPER POWER. I am able to walk into a room and in a matter of seconds, see what kind of mood every person is in, know who I can approach and who to stay away from. I can tell who is going to accept me and who might reject me.

I have the ability to read non-verbal cues and to see when someone is in deep,yet untold, distress. It sometimes is very painful to see such pain in others.  It is part of my superpower that I do not take for granted.

I truly believe that Adoptees are super heros. We have started out with the cards stacked against us and somehow, someway, we have survived and we are speaking up, speaking out and finding ways to thrive.

Yes, I know that many, including myself, struggle everyday with society, social anxiety, worries that you will be accepted and not seen as “odd” or “quirky.”

I love Wonder Woman.

Me in Wonder Woman stance 

She was  formed out of clay by her mother, Hippolyta, and had life bestowed upon her by the Greek gods — making her the only Amazon not conceived by a man. I used to read Wonder Woman comics and as a younger teen, I used to think “this must be how I came to be…just formed by a woman, with no man involved.”  Wonder Woman is strong, independent and able to do amazing things all on her own, and she is who I wanted to grow up to be.

Wonder Woman has the level of bad-assery that I find within adoptees. Even though many of us have endured pain, we still get up every day and do what we need to do to care for ourselves and the people whom we love.  We are the ones NOW using the Lasso of Truth and TELLING our truths during this month of Adoption (ADOPTEE) awareness.  We are the voice that many are finally hearing. We are the wave that will make and enact change. We are the ones in capes and with powers to stand up for ourselves. We are speaking up and we are speaking out!

Adoptees are SUPER amazing and SUPER heroes and SHEroes!

Adoptees are Superheros – we all need a cape!





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Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

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