I watched a video today of this girl in China who believed her new adoptive parents were coming to take her home. She had TB and it ends up that she can’t go home with them. The video is the future adoptive mother taping the goodbye. All screams of “put the camera down” aside… I want to talk about this moment in the little girls life and what it feels like to go through that.
I think its the core of my adoptee-ness. I have been there so many times. At her age she is probably so scared to hold onto someone, to love them, to open up to them and in the video it seems like she has established some amount of trust in the man, her future adoptive father.
Then it happens, 3/4 of the way into the video she “gets” it. They’re leaving and she’s not going with them. The screams, the pleads for them to not leave without her. The cries, pulling for them to stay, pushing those trying to keep her away….oh how I have been there.
The rage will follow, hatred, detachment and finally…the life saving numbness that will stay with her forever. By the time she’s my age she’ll be able to turn it on and off if she’s aware of it like I am. Use it as a body guard, shield, warrior of self. Detach, numb, forget, protect and move on. Survival mechanisms are beautiful things.
My adoptive mother hated it about me. I would never open up, my wall is there, and will remain forever. I don’t let people in past a certain point for the same reason this little chinese girl screamed in this video. Cause once you do, you become a slave to their presence, it then becomes a game to always make sure they’re there for you, not going to leave you, still love you, that they’re not mad at you, and never ever going to abandon you.
Those without separation issues just don’t get it. How could you, you have never lost a part of your being like this. Once you lose it, it doesn’t come back. Its not curable by love, by the return of someone to care for you, by a stuffed animal, food, material things, it can’t be fixed. All you have is yourself and those who have walked in your shoes.
One of your blog posts was shared in a birth mother support group I am a part of on Facebook today. I just finished reading all your “Posts I want you to Read.” I hate adoption as well. I’m 32 and 12 years into it and just now dealing with the anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I haven’t seen my son in 10 years. The AP moved states when he was two. They give me a few pictures a year and an update via email. I begged them last year for a video so I could hear his voice but my request was denied. They tell me he doesn’t want to talk about his adoption and is “fine with it.” This concerns me because I worry they are not making it a safe topic to discuss and navigate through. I recently read most mothers of adoption loss experience delayed grief of about 10-15 years which has been the case for me. I’ve been to counselor after counselor who couldn’t help me until I was told adoption was based on trauma last year. This took me a year to process and began my grief process. Now that I’ve identified PTSD I’m finally experiencing healing. I have a context for all my symptoms and a treatment plan that makes sense. I dissociated for so long that its painful looking back at the destruction it has caused. I was fortunate enough to find a man who has worked through trauma of his own and is my very best friend and now husband of 4 years. Now that we are trying to conceive I’ve had so much about the adoption resurface. I long for my son with a cry in my soul so intense I can’t put it into words. I know he will go developing his individuality soon as he just turned 12 the day before Mother’s Day and I wish I could do more to help him during this time. It’s the worst kind of pain, being separated from a child. At least for me and the almost 600 strong in my support group. At the questions that don’t have answers are the worst. Is he happy? Are all his needs being met? Is he safe? Is he loved? Does he know I love him? What is he doing right now? Does he hate me? Does he long for me like I long for him? Mothers who have had children kidnapped explain these types of questions as being unbearable. Its far worse than death because there is no closure. Yet we are told to “get over it.” Can you imagine telling this to a mother who is grieving the separation of a kidnapped child? Well mothers of adoption loss are told this all the time and whats more we are told to be “grateful for it.” It’s the only trauma in the world where the victims are told to be grateful for it. I can relate to having grief denied and if I have one more person tells me that I should be happy about it I think I will scream. Like it’s easy to move on from the most primal relationship known to mankind like that is an easy thing to do. End rant. I’m in the midst of my own grieving process and It helps to read and educate myself about adoption and how it impacts adoptees so I don’t feel so helpless. I hope to be someone who understands all the possible outcomes for my son so I can be sensitive to him should he want a reunion with me someday.