Friday, July 25, 2008


Thanks to all the supportive comments on the last post.

I was all set to post about how I was feeling better. And part of me does feel better. I'm coming to grips with the fact that this isn't about me. Not really. That this is about him. And that, in the end, I don't need him. I am who I choose to be, and he doesn't determine my fate.

I'm trying to remember all that. But I also recognize that I'm still pretty raw about this whole thing. I've quick to read people wrong and quick to feeling sorry for myself.

I think, maybe, all I've really managed to do is avoid thinking about this situation, rather than actually coming to grips with it. When I get like this, all I want to do is avoid everyone and everything. Which describes most of the last few days.

I don't know how to change that pattern. But people say that the first step is admitting the problem. I don't know if that's true. And I'm not sure where to go next. But I do recognize the problem.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Not the End of the World

Yesterday I finally checked up on the last letter I sent to my first father. Here's what I found:


I keep telling myself, it's not the end of the world. And I know it's not. I mean, part of me knows I don't. Sure, he didn't sign for the letter. I know, intellectually, that it's not personal. I know that this doesn't say anything about me or change who I am. I know all that.

But he could have signed for, and read, the damn letter.

I'm not sure what to do next. But for now, I'm going to try to focus on other things.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I know that not every reunion goes well. I know that there are bad stories as well as good ones. And I know that, in many ways, I've had a good one.

While this does not make me happier about adoption, nor does it alleviate the difficulties caused by my first father's refusal to respond to any of my attempts at communication, it is still a source of joy in my life now.

I was reminded of that again today. So many times I get an e-mail from my first mom that just has a story or even a line that resonates so vividly in me. It is a strange feeling, knowing that there is another person out there who has some of the same kinds of thoughts and reactions that I do.

I know that even bio-kids don't always share that sort of connection with their parents. But I wonder if this is something that people often take for granted? Does it seem more special because it was something denied to me for so long?

Perhaps I should just enjoy it, and not over-think it too much.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Getting Over It

"Everybody has pain. You need to get over it. Move past it. Get on with the business of living your life. Quit dwelling on the past."

How many times do I hear that sentiment expressed to adoptees who express the pain of adoption? Would we tell a victim of a violent crime that? Why is it okay to tell adoptees who are hurting that? Why is hard-heartedness okay when it's directed at adoptees?

I don't understand.

But worse than that, there is a real puzzle for me. Whether or not I can ever really "get over it," moving on with life requires that I deal with the pain. Nothing good comes from burying your feelings and ignoring them. At best, you wind up with a flattened affect, which is not really conducive to leading a full and rich life. In order to deal with it, one needs to actually be allowed to deal with it. That means acknowledging and expressing that pain in order to come to some grips with it.

In order to grieve what has been lost, one must be permitted to actually grieve. Perhaps those who want to continue the illusion that adoption is wonderful would prefer that we grieve in private, so as to not destroy the illusion. But that helps no one. And I, for one, am tired of being silenced just to make others comfortable.

And grieving doesn't mean the pain has stopped or that there is no sorrow left. But successfully grieving simply means that you can focus on other things, that the source of sorrow is not all-consuming. But even after grieving has happened, it doesn't mean there is no pain. It doesn't mean the past isn't still the truth. It just means that you've found a way to make a future in spite of that past. It doesn't make that past okay.

Adoption hurts. If it hasn't hurt you, I'm glad. I don't want more people to be hurt by adoption. But why must you deny that it hurts others?

I don't think I will ever understand that.