Dear Adoption, Let Me Tell You About the Little Girl Inside of Me / Part 2
(Read Part 1)
Sometimes I cry and I can’t say exactly why
It’s just panic that comes from a deep, primal place – an unknown place of knowing
Fear that rears its head like an ugly dragon I thought I had slain –
I’ve only lulled it to sleep in my sleeplessness
And if fear is merely
Then how do I
The power I once had?
But I know it’s not my job to fix everything
It’s a habit I’ve acquired in order to stave off the panic of my insecurity
The panic of whether I am enough
The panic of always waiting for the other shoe to drop
The panic I feel every time you walk out the door (and I am alone with my thoughts)
Even though I know you aren’t really gone and it’s not your job to fix it –
This deep primal place of unknown knowing that always makes me feel like a lost child
As an adopted person it’s a challenge to find your center without knowing exactly where you’re from no matter how much love and support you have. It’s easy to forget about it for a while but it always comes back to steal a little bit of the sunlight you’ve found. Somehow the little girl is still there until you find a way to let her go. Until you find a way to let yourself grow up because you don’t need her any more than she needs you. I’m working on letting her go one day at a time. One conversation at a time. One recognition at a time of the fear that no longer needs to control me. One deep breath when the panic rises at a time. One look in the mirror that shows me the woman I am not in spite of you adoption, but because of you.
Liz DeBetta holds an MA in English from the City University of NY (College of Staten Island), a BA in Theatre/Speech from Wagner College and is pursuing a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Women’s and Gender Studies at Union Institute & University. She is a Lecturer of English at Utah Valley University, and the writing and performance mentor for Act Risk No More an non-profit theatre group. She is a member of Actor’s Equity and SAG-AFTRA and as an adoptee is interested in writing for healing and social change from a feminist perspective within the field of adoption culture to shed light on the often untold stories of adoptees and birth mothers. Liz is a Contributor to #MeToo: Essays About How and Why This Happened, What It Means and How to Make Sure it Never Happens Again.