I found my mother on November 22, 2001. A week before that I had found my aunt, cousin, and Father, along with his wife and my 3 1/2 siblings. Nobody on my father’s side of the family except his sister knew about me. I was the secret and I literally came knocking at his door. It never occurred to me that he wouldn’t have told them about me, in the midst of all the secrecy surrounding my adoption I had created this coping mechanism dream like “hope” that he’d fought for me and had been looking for me all these years, in fact I would play at the end of my driveway and stare at all the cars going by when I was little hoping one day it would be him.
I hated women growing up and even more scary is the fact that I felt they all hated me even more. Teachers, my amother, any female authority figure paid the price for my mother leaving me. Surrounding myself with male friends I was the ultimate tomboy. Although I had many chasing me, I always chose the losers who never treated me right. The ones I could play mother too and try hopelessly and fail at “fixing.”
The summer of 2002, I was on my adoptive families annual camping trip. anywhere from 20-50 of my cousins, aunts, uncles etc. go up to this lake every summer and camp, rent cabins, hike, backpack, fish and read 203459820459 books for around 2-3 weeks. We feast, we drink, we spend everyday outside, and every evening around the campfire telling stories, reflecting on our year and usually drink far too much and regret saying a few things the next morning.
I was VERY raw after reunion. Please understand, I found the perfect woman when I found my mother. She is flawless. My mother to this day, is the closest women to perfect I have ever known. She regrets ever surrendering me, it ruined her life, and she blames herself entirely for it. My mother is beautiful in every way, her faith, her strength, her sacrifices, her whole presence motivates me to be better and do more for others…my mother is like mother nature and that woman from the Bible proverbs 31:10-31…that is HER. o.o Only she’s more than that…she listens to me, she cares so much about me, she is so like me…finding her sent me into a spiral of emotional diarrhea, it was out of control. Here I thought reunion would fix all of these feelings and yet it only made them more intense.
So here we are…margarita night at my families camping trip, I’ve just turned 22, and returned from Hawaii where I spent the 22nd birthday literally on the beach of Hawaii having a sunrise breakfast with my natural mother. Eating our favorite foods and appreciating every ray of sun that crept over the ocean and mountains. I was in this…state of such vomit. I don’t know what else to call it but vomit. Because one minute I was so happy and the next with the flip of a switch I would be sobbing for everything I lost with her, and the next I was furious at adoption, yet not grasping the exact “whys” of hating the industry but knowing downright I hated it and everything that went along with it and the next I’d be okay again. I was very vulnerable, very raw.
Going into reunion I didn’t have any steps to it. I didn’t know much about how it would affect me, I didn’t have a big support group, and wasn’t too into adoption world online then. I had no idea how it would affect me emotionally and what feelings it would bring to my surface.
Like every year, my family invited numerous friends up to join us for our festivities in the wilderness. The adoptive family is really amazing, they have this incredible way of wanting to always touch people’s lives by bringing them into the mountains, so that they too can learn and appreciate the serenity that happens up there. Its one of the greatest gifts they have given me. Teaching me to let go and just listen to the wind in the aspens its something I hear now when I meditate at home. It is my safe place, when I go inside myself, I picture myself in the wilderness at that lake, and I find peace.
Where was I…oh yes the campfire. Here we are around the campfire, my afather has gone to bed, all of the “parent” generation Is sleeping and here I am at a campfire with oodles of cousins and their friends all around their 30’s and I’m in my early 20’s and we’ve all been drinking quite a bit. My cousin and I start talking about it, just the two of us, and before I know it i’m sobbing at the campfire. Before long everyone starts to notice and they all get quiet and begin to listen in on our conversation. I am the only adopted one at this fire. They are all outsiders, haven’t adopted, aren’t adopted, and to my knowledge never surrendered.
So they all start chiming in somewhere around “I FUCKING HATE ADOPTION, I HATE EVERY PART OF IT!!!!” I’m sure you can imagine their reactions. My cousins friend chimes in ( turns out they were looking to adopt, her husband who sat next to her at the fire is infertile.) Why would anyone hate adoption? Now I’m just going to point this out, if anyone reading this, happens to stumble across an adoptee newly into reunion feeling anger towards adoption just let them have their anger. It’s not an insult to you. It’s not a threat to you. It might be directed to you but ONLY because you happen to be in the way of the industry lol. LET US OWN OUR ANGER. I promise you, promise you promise you, it will settle one day. We won’t be running around with butcher knives and killing anyone who has adopted. Let the anger be ours. We have a right to it. We have been hurt.
So this chick…questions why in the hell I would be against adoption. And I start telling her about the industry and child trafficking and I’m getting looks like they think I’m some Goddamn alien who has just fallen out of the sky and needs to be restrained into a straight jacket. I’m mad that she questioned me. How DARE SHE. I ask her WHY WOULD I BE FOR ADOPTION? and I believe I called her an idiot somewhere in there… we go at it…and in the midst of it all I realize I don’t have concrete statistics and facts to back up my feelings. That I haven’t done enough research but I knew in my heart things were wrong, but that wasn’t good enough for this bitch I wanted to throw in the fire for eavesdropping onto my emotional release and then questioning it.
I’ll never forget how silent it got when she shouted back to me that I was the most ungrateful child she had ever met. My mother gave me up, that was the end of it, my relationship ended with her there. The fact that I’d even searched was an insult to my adoptive parents, and the fact that I sat at a fire speaking of how much I hated adoption should have gotten me disowned. I was supposed to be happy and grateful, and we do know the alternative…I could have been aborted. How dare I feel like something was missing.
It was like everything stopped. Her words echoed and everyone seemed to slow down as their heads all turned to me to see what I was going to do. At this point in my life, they knew I was violent, and I was, I’m not proud of it, but its a truth of my past. Bar fights were common for me, bloody knuckles were frequent but it was never my blood, always the girls I was on top of. I watched my cousin’s hand immediately take the margarita glass out of my reach and move the beer bottles just as I was looking to pick one up to throw at the loud mouth.
My cousin went to her friend, and suggested she stop and let me vent and maybe just go to bed. Before she could leave, I stood up and screamed a loud FUCK YOU BITCH. I didn’t go any further tho. I sat down and sobbed. I think that was my turning point. That moment right there is when I had had enough. That moment Is when I knew I would never let another person suppress my feelings, and I would go home back to my city when this trip was over and I would find every statistic, every fact and every other adoptee in the universe that felt like me so that next time some twat wanted to challenge my beliefs dammit I’d give them a challenge.
We don’t always have the answers to why things hurt us. Here I sit 10 years later, a mother to 3, a much different lifestyle and I’m starting to feel like… we don’t always need those answers either. If it hurts us, it can’t be good and that should be enough for people to see that changes need to happen. That should be enough for people to want to find the changes, and find the answers and make the future better and to help prevent generations of pain upon our people. When an adoptee is hurting… shame on ANYONE for trying to suppress that pain. How dare they! When someone is hurting you don’t shush them, even if you don’t understand why, you sit with them, listen, and let them release it so that they can continue to grow and heal. THAT is what people should be doing to adoptees. There WOULDN’T be this many speaking out about pain, if pain didn’t exist from it.
Now I realize those who do it, like the bitch at my campfire, might be ignorant on the subject, might have their own connection ( wanting to adopt because they can’t have babies of their own ),but selfishly I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say I don’t care about their problems. Am I silencing them? Am I doing exactly to them what I’m saying not to do to adoptees? Sort of. However, I didn’t volunteer to enter this industry. I was put here against my will and supposedly this whole “act of god” we’ll call adoption was done for my benefit. ME. Not the couple wanting a baby, not the pregnant woman or idiotic father who didn’t even admit I was his until we met at a restaurant 21 years later. It was done for me and every other adoptee out there as well. So if we’re jumping up and down saying THIS IS HURTING ME. Listen the hell up. Quit trying to tell US how to feel.
Feelings are a process, healing is what changes them. Healing takes time. Every emotional impact in our life has emotional stages of healing, WHY WOULDN’T ADOPTION? ESPECIALLY to the adoptee? You’ve got to be a class A idiot if you think adoptees shouldn’t be expressing any pain from adoption, let alone anger and depression. To the adoptee who is sitting there saying “I don’t feel any negative effects of it”…just wait. One day it will come. I promise you. I don’t want you to hurt, but honestly its inevitable. Sometimes I wonder if those screaming “I’m not hurt” are really hurting the most…
Well those are my thoughts of the day….