Throughout my life I’ve been a reader. Reading allows to escape at times, other time it teaches me what I need to know, hear. It helps when I’m not sure about something, questioning whether feelings have changed, or will change in the future. First I start with the past, then my era, and try to decide what it may be in the future.
Recently, what I’ve questioned is about what people say about an adoptee says they wish they’d never been adopted. I’ve heard the responses, and generally, they tell the adoptee it’s because they just had a bad experience. Others say adoptee’s today won’t feel that way. Most take it as a direct attack on adoption, themselves as adoptive parents. Discussions seldom end well, but there are also deeper thinkers out there who can understand why it was said. I don’t know if I’ve ever said it, but, I know that it is seldom against their adoptive family, but it’s hard to articulate when you are the one in the middle, and people expect you to pick one side, which means you are rejecting the other side. It isn’t that black and white.
So why I am I rambling on about this?
I read this very short one-page story about a man who rode the train, an orphan train rider. Mr. Fred (Engert) Swedenburg. Part of it is his story, his love for his new parents and life, his little brother, facts and bits about other orphan train riders, all woven into his talk about the orphan train riders to a group of sixth graders. A small glimpse into history, and at the end, he answers if he would want to do it again.
If you want his answer, go read it. His answer should be able to transcend time to today when you hear an adoptee say they wish they’d never been adopted, and in the future as well. It isn’t about you, or adoption, it really isn’t, it’s about the loss, and if a sixth grader can understand, so can you.