Here I am at day 9. As weekends, for me, are extremely busy, and, being the emotionally driven person I am, and staying on tract with the prompts doesn’t seem to be working out all that well, keeping in mind my tendency to let my thoughts stray, I thought I would sum up the next few day’s prompts all in one. Following my heart, and letting my thoughts take me where they may, I just couldn’t seem to stop at one. There was too much to say. This is only the first in what became a four-part series. Isn’t life truly interesting?
While thinking about what to write, I once again traveled back to a particular forum, where I have been a participant since my reunion with D, my first father. It was hard in the beginning to read my feelings about finding him, knowing what the future held. I’ve taken many breaks, as I can only read so much before the sick feeling in my stomach starts, and I, once again, feel the ache in my chest. I have reached the two-year point. It has been so interesting to witness my own change in feelings over those two years, as I slowly began to realize the reality of adoption in my life. Looking back, I see things now that I didn’t see back then, and how my emotions ruled. How could they not when the grief I felt was spewing out everywhere? It’s so obvious to me now. At the time, I had no idea what was going on inside, and was just beginning to learn. I still had such a long way to go.
In 2007, two years into reunion with D, my first father, and 18 years of reunion with E, my first mother, I wrote the words below. My heart was breaking, and all those years of grief were beginning to overflow.
“It’s been two years since my reunion with my Bdad. I’ve learned a lot about adoption and seen the good and the bad. One of my cousins, on my Bdad’s side, adopted a child, in part, because of my reunion with my Bdad. It was an option they had not considered until my reunion with my Bdad brought adoption to light for the family.
It was the beginning of my reunion with my Bdad. Everyone was so excited and happy. They, including my Bdad, only saw the joy of our reunion. No one saw the pain, the emotional rollercoaster, the loss my Bdad and I would find ourselves dealing with. The thought of adoption seemed to be the answer to their prayers for a child to call their own. Several family members, not knowing the real pain reunion brings for adoptees, and I never let on the emotions inside me, wanted me to talk to my cousin and his wife so as to encourage them to adopt. . At the time, I just could not do it.
As my own rollercoaster of reunion emotion started, I watched from a far as they began their own roller coaster ride in their wait to adopt. I never told them of the painful side of adoption for us adoptees. All I could see at the time was my own pain. Even though I knew that the child would be truly loved, and given every opportunity that can be given a child all I could think about was the pain that child would someday feel, just like the pain I was feeling. My heart was breaking for that child. Strange as it may seem, their joyful anticipation of adopting a child somehow comforted me as I dealt with my own pain of being adopted.
As our roller coaster rides continued, I could feel their disappointment as time and again there would be no word from the agency; no baby in need of a family. They wanted a child so badly. I wanted the years I had lost with my biological family so badly. They longed for their family. I longed for my family. Isn’t it kind of ironic?
As the roller coaster continued, their phone call finally came. A little girl was ready for adoption. Their excitement and joy was contagious. They went to meet their possible daughter, fell in love with her, and began adoption proceedings.
They were getting to know the daughter they had found, because of adoption, as I was getting to know the father I had lost, because of adoption.”
This is just the beginning of what became a very long post. As I told this story, I poured out my heart and feelings. When I look back over the past five years since I wrote this, I still feel my heart ache. I, also, realize that I am not sure if my reunion with D is what truly motivated them to adopt. As some of my family read this blog, I can only say, it is what I was told and thought at the time. The feelings I expressed were my feelings at the time, and I don’t honestly know what anyone was thinking or feeling.
My reunion, however, I believe, was used to encourage them, as it was pointed out how “great” I had turned out. I am still amazed that it was my first father, who was one of the family members who asked me to talk to the potential adoptive parents, and expound on the joys of adoption, along with one of his sister-in-laws. I was stunned, and hurt. How could the family I had just found think adoption was so wonderful? How could they, after all those years of loss, ask me to do such a thing? Most of all, how could I encourage anyone to adopt a child in the midst of all my grief? I couldn’t do it then, and, now, though I would not discourage anyone from adopting, I would have a difficult time not telling them the truth about adoption. When I hear people encouraging infertile couples to “just adopt”, I want to cry, because though it is a way to form a family, it isn’t “just” that simple.
When I think back now, I wonder how many of my family members really did see the grief I was suffering, and how many of them just chose not to see it? I suppose, it doesn’t really matter. I wonder now if the characters of this story, my family, still see adoption in the same light. I wonder if the years have revealed to them the same reality of adoption that they have revealed to me. Yes, life is interesting.
My post “Isn’t Life Interesting” will be continued, so stay tuned for the rest of the story.