If I could turn the clock back 25 years…and meet myself as a child adoptee, what I would have told myself to help me overcome all of these fears and aftermath of being adopted.
First and foremost I would have told myself that the pain from adoption wasn’t love. To never let pain define love from everyone telling me that adoption is beautiful, that my mother made such a “loving” decision to give me away, never associate pain with love. That no matter what if it hurts it isn’t love. Love is beautiful, and as a child I didn’t understand that, in fact I didn’t understand it until I had children of my own. Love is pure, it is unconditional, it doesn’t give you away, it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t weaken you or leave you feeling empty. I never would have let the industry or adults in my life tell me adoption was beautiful. It hurt me. It still hurts me. There is nothing beautiful about losing your heritage, rights, family, identity and beyond. Adoption is pain.
I would then tell myself that its okay to hate adoption. Adoption is an industry. I can hate adoption, and love all 4 of my parents. Adoption didn’t give me love for my parents, they gave me love and would have with or without adoption being in our lives. That any hate for adoption does not by any means reflect on my relationship with any of my parents. Hate for adoption is a resistance of the industry.
I would tell myself that all of my parents love me. That my mother who surrendered me, loved me, but letting me go wasn’t a reflection of her love. I have every right to be hurt from her letting me go. I can hold onto that hurt for as long as I want, its mine to let go of when I feel fit to do so. Don’t however, let her abandonment reflect on your relationships with other people throughout my lifetime. That I know its going to be so hard to trust, after your own mother said goodbye, but living a lifetime without trust, is so much harder than living a lifetime with it. People are going to let me down for the rest of my life, but not nearly as much as I’m scared of. Despite the state of chaos the human race is in, there are so many beautiful people in the world, who are worthy of trust, and who won’t let go. If you continue to hate the world, and live without trust, you’ll create a barrier between yourself and society that eventually will exclude you all together. Once your feet are on the other side of that barrier in “no trust land” it’s SO HARD to come back. You constantly walk in a state of paranoia of who’s lying, who’s deceiving you next, how can you manipulate the situation to get what you need while protecting your heart in the process….its tiring, draining, exhausting. I’m 32… and just learning this.
I’d tell myself about the world, money, politics, laws, industries and how adoption became one. I’d tell myself about selling children, stealing them from their mothers and fathers, baby scoop era, evil adoption brokers, baby rings, foster care corruption, infertility and open up the doors to the bigger picture of what my mother and infant self got caught up in. Then tho…I’d have to tell myself that my mother wasn’t one of them. She chose it. She chose my parents, with promises that were not kept, and her choice wasn’t exactly informed, never the less…I wasn’t stolen like I wanted to believe for so many years. My father didn’t fight for me, like i talked myself into believing, in fact he didn’t even admit I was his until I found him at 21. That I was the accident from a summer fling and my mother truly did want more for me then at the time she felt she could offer. Not a day would ever go by however that she didn’t miss me, want me and pray for me.
I would tell myself that one day I would have 3 beautiful daughters. I wouldn’t abandon them, like I was scared I would. I wouldn’t ever let them down the way I was let down. It will be hard, it will be the greatest challenge of my life, but I will raise them, teach them values, trust, love and compassion, and I will break the cycle of abandonment and rejection. I’d prepare myself for pregnancy and the pure terror I lived in thinking some crazed PAP or agency worker was going to kill me and take my unborn child from my abdomen. I’d assure myself that it won’t happen and hopefully prevent the months of nightmares that woke me in sweat and screams from fear of losing my children by abduction.
I’d tell myself to remember however, that when I do have children…sometimes I need to set them down. That I will exhaust myself trying to hold them and keep them from crying at all times. That its okay to go outside with them, and into public areas. It’s okay to let strangers look upon them, and appreciate them, and that holding them, keeping them on your body at all times of the day will keep them from learning to crawl, explore, socialize and eventually become independent on their own. Well…lolll I take that back…my oldest got so tired of me carrying her everywhere she forced her own Independence on me, of which I translated into rejection at the time and took personal, but it wasn’t personal, it was her growing. It was her forming her own Independence something we all want our children to do and should appreciate and value when they do it. Its healthy.
I’d then tell myself about relationships and how much I deserve. I am not the mistake I lived a lifetime feeling like. I do not have to apologize for everything that happens and isn’t my fault. I cannot apologize for my existence. It is nothing that needs an apology for. I was meant to be here, and have a right to be here, I have a right to be equal and treated with respect, compassion and love. Being a mistake…and a victim of the adoption industry doesn’t mean I need to keep men in my life who treat me with the same disrespect. I do not have a curse on me that makes me unworthy of real love. But in order to be loved…I HAVE TO LOVE MYSELF. Loving myself would be the greatest gift I could ever give to me as well as my family and especially my children. That when I can look into the mirror and honestly be happy with who and what I see in the reflection … then I’d have done okay.
If I could have met myself way back when, and told myself all of this…I think I would have spared myself a lifetime of pain. I think, i might have been a little stronger, had more stable relationships, lived in less fear, and walked with more strength as I ‘grew up.’ I think it could have saved a lot of heart ache, who knows…maybe this will help another adoptee one day.
Oh and…as my blog re-grows… I”ll most likely be adding more things here so this is subject to change whenever I want it to 😛