gallery Dear Adoption, Is it Not Time You Took a Vacation?

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Dear Adoption, Is it Not Time You Took a Vacation?

You have been very busy day in and day out for the last 53 years with me. You need to step aside now and then. It would do you good.

As a small child, I felt you standing there, my shadow, yet I did not see you fully. My vision was still quite undeveloped. Rather, I clung to a silky eared bunny to help me to sleep at night. That bunny had a small pink bear who took over during the day. Adoption, I know you probably laughed at 3 year old me keeping those small objects of attachment by the front door every day. My greatest fear was a fire would break out and I wanted to be able to grab my “Puff and Teddy” on the way out. I could not possibly live without them.  I remember their smell and feel better than I remember my adoptive mother, with her thin painted lips, tight girdle and black helmet hair. She rarely touched me, and when she did, it was not out of love.

Children are to be seen and not heard.”

Your presence was quite apparent, Adoption, when I started spending my recesses sitting alone leaning against the brick building. Was it 4th or 5th grade? Maybe it was 3rd… You always seem to suck the memory from me, Adoption. Whatever the grade, I remember the feeling; not fitting in with everyone else. Like I had no right to interject myself into their fun. They might talk behind my back anyway. Kind of like how my parents did. Hushed voices that silence the moment I appeared in the door.

You followed me to junior high school, and then sat back and laughed when I really started acting out. Acting out meaning “talking back” or having my own ideas. Adoption, you never stood up for me.

Do you remember when you called me “trash”, Adoption?  I certainly do. You patted my adoptive mother on the back while she had me cornered in the kitchen. You did not even try to pick me up when I slid to the floor hyperventilating.

Adoption, you always introduced me to the worst people. Told me I could save them, change them, assuring that I would always be needed. You encouraged me to run from anyone healthy. “Far too boring and they’ll never give you enough attention”, you would say in your smoky, low voice. Of course, I listened. When I ended up broken and terrified, you had bailed, Adoption. Off somewhere sitting at a dark bar, tossing back tequila and laughing at my folly.

What I will always hold against you the most, Adoption, is your lies about reunion. Telling me that you would take your leave when my reunion happened. Promising me that our time together was done and you would be leaving with no plans of returning.  Instead, you adorned your invisibility cloak and stood there for every single moment, hovering over me. There were moments that I thought I had caught your scent, but then dismissed it as my imagination. Then one day, you started giving me a peek, of your foot, then a few months later a leg, then eventually you started exposing yourself much more aggressively. A few years ago, you threw off that cloak and completely spit in my face.  Chiding me that I was entirely too sensitive, take things too personally and that I have a major chip on my shoulder. You told me you were there because of me. That I deserved you.

When I withdrew to protect myself from you, Adoption, you called me a fake; insisting that I am uncaring and I am being selfish for not worshiping you. Your guilt trip is transparent now, you son of a bitch. I see you for what you are.

I will still have to live with you until I take my last breathe, because I know you are truly unable to leave. Trying to hide you is completely ineffective and ultimately destructive. Therefore, I will have to find a way to cohabitate with your stench. I cannot change you, the only power I have is over my own reactions and myself. We will never be friends, but there must be some way to navigate this last third of my life with you.

The most bizarre thing of all? I keep hoping I am wrong about you, Adoption….. and I keep thinking you are all my fault.

Holly / Relinquished to Adoption since 1963

10 comments

  1. Dear Holly,

    As I read your pain, the same knife that s evidently makes your heart bleed cut into my heart in sympathy and empathy, recognizing probably all that you must have endured and perhaps a tad more within my own life. In a certain sense it is dèjá vu (which is French for seen again), except I *never had a bunny or a bear and my adoptive parents both savaged me-as had my own parents before them.

    *[I was however given a China’s head doll by a social worker which I promptly named Mary having no concrete reason for having done so and having been more than sternly rebuked -and worse-for using a ‘Popish’ name. Many years later, I discovered that the doll was named for an aunt who I remembered in the fragments I carry to this day in my head… and that I formed an attachment to the name David because her son, my cousin, had been given that name.]

    Sadly I see again, and again that- in reality- nothing has really changed for the abandoned adoptee-not in 1948 or in 1963 or in 2017. Triste.

    While I cannot tell you that your feelings will disappear-because it is my experience that they will not, I can suggest ways to ameliorate your pain so that you can live side- by -side with your past without destroying your present and your future.

    You have a right to your anger, but don’t let it destroy you. Look beyond your past … search for you identity and for those who are your genetic family.

    If your adoption was closed with documentation sealed, check with the Dept of Vital Statistics or the county’s court to determine if you can petition the court to allow you access to your own birth certificate/to your adoptee file, which at the very least should contain a birth name and a parent’s name (or even names).

    Have your DNA analyzed. Although matches are very unlikely to toss to the surface parent-child links or siblings you share your parents with (mum + dad), may well show you cousins who may be able to shed some light on who might be your mother/father. Only about 2% are fortunate to find a direct link without an intermediary like a 2nd cousin 1x removed or a half sibling who may pop up to the surface.

    If you already have even bits and pieces of your original identity, begin a family tree … even just a surname may bring clues to you.

    Although I gave Christianity the boot many years ago, your words reminded me of this New Testament verse which I share with you now:

    1 Corinthians 13:11 King James Version

    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man [insert ‘woman’], I put away childish things.

    We all have that wounded child in us and will do so until we take our final breaths. The thing si that we also have a much wiser and experienced adult whom we should learn to trust and to guide us to more pleasant times. As children we were indeed victims, but as adults our victimization is by our own choice, and only our choice.

    Best wishes. Just remember that you are not alone in your feelings …. Good luck!

    Like

    • I have found my biological family and have done an extended family tree that spans back to the 1500’s as well as DNA testing. I am not an angry or bitter person by nature, but rather have repressed these feelings for many years in order to be “acceptable”. Many of us hold this anger in when it’s indicated that we are taking a victim stance. That particular narrative has been used to silence me on many of occasions. I am glad for this form that I can express my emotions and know that I am not a victim but have every right to feel my feelings.
      Best,
      Holly

      Like

    • I have found my biological family and have done an extended family tree that spans back to the 1500’s as well as DNA testing. I am not an angry or bitter person by nature, but rather have repressed these feelings for many years in order to be “acceptable”. Many of us hold this anger in when it’s indicated that we are taking a victim stance. That particular narrative has been used to silence me on many of occasions. I am glad for this form that I can express my emotions and know that I am not a victim but have every right to feel my feelings.
      Best,
      Holly

      Like

    • I have found my biological family and have done an extended family tree that spans back to the 1500’s as well as DNA testing. I am not an angry or bitter person by nature, but rather have repressed these feelings for many years in order to be “acceptable”. Many of us hold this anger in when it’s indicated that we are taking a victim stance. That particular narrative has been used to silence me on many of occasions. I am glad for this forum that I can express my emotions and know that I am not a victim but have every right to feel my feelings.
      Best,
      Holly

      Like

  2. What an amazing piece of writing. Honest and True. I loved it. Oh, and your bunny. And your bunny’s teddy. You brought me back to my early childhood. Thank you for writing this! XOX

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Holly, thank you for writing this. I can only imagine what it took to look adoption in the face and stand up to it. As I read, I felt like I could see you declaring your strength through every obstacle you had to endure. You are amazing and resilient. I hope you continue to write your story.

    Like

  4. From one woman’s womb to another woman’s heart. That’s what adoption is supposed to be – in a perfect world. I will never understand why people with hearts made of ice choose to adopt.

    I am so sorry you have had to go through all of this pain. You are not being to sensitive and you have every right to feel each feeling that pops up. I agree with one of the other writers, just don’t let those emotions control you. You are beautiful and not defective! The defective ones are the ones who chose to adopt a beautiful little girl when they had no love to share with her. While I was not adopted, I did end up living with my stepmother and my father for a few years. Hate doesn’t even begin to describe how that woman felt about me. My dad was only home on the weekends and spent all of his time with her and her children. While I’m not trying to put myself in your shoes, I do understand your pain a little bit.

    I know this will sound off the wall crazy but here goes. Have you ever thought about trying to make that mean old “adoption” your friend and doing something (together) positive that might make you feel better? If you can find a way to embrace her, she may not have the power to hurt you time and again. I just found you today so I haven’t had time to read your whole blog but I am going to. Your words are very powerful. You may have already tried.

    This may not be your cup of tea at all and there is NOTHING wrong with you if not but have you ever considered being a mentor to one or more young women who are battling that same demon. You may have something to share with them which might ease their journey. Or, you may still have much healing to do and that’s okay.

    I’m not trying to make something simple out of your past by any means. I only know that I had to start looking for the positive in every situation or I would have gone bananas. Our hurts come from different experiences but they left us with some of the same scars. I hope you experience much healing and very soon.

    Love and hugs,
    Leah

    Like

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