So my adoptive mother and I have had no contact since July 2013.

My natural mother seems to have given up, and we have the kind of cordial relationship you’d expect of distant cousins you only see a couple of times a year.

My adoptive father was killed in a car crash when I was 20, and we didn’t have very much of a relationship after my parents broke up when I was 15.

My natural father is aware of my existence, and that’s about it.

Can I consider myself an orphan?

How very maudlin of me.

Good job I’m pretty independent, aye?

One thought on “Orphan?

  1. I’m sorry to disagree, but, really, the only orphan is a child whose parent or parents have died before that child is an adult. Of course you know that, I know. right now, you feel alone. You feel orphaned. But you are not. You were one year shy of 21, legal adulthood in many places, when your adoptive father died. That counts as a loss of a parent before you are a legal adult. All of the situations you describe are losses, different types of the loss of each parent. I’m not telling you anything you already didn’t know. But, my natural mother died when I was an infant, so I do have an interest in the word and meaning of “orphan”. When our parents are alive, but not involved in our lives, we feel that loss. I hate to tell you that when each of these alive parents who aren’t in your life in any real connective way, with any real emotion and caring, that loss of that parent will hurt all the more. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. The larger population doesn’t see adoption in the losses we feel and experience. If they did, maybe adoption would not exist.

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