gallery Dear Adoption, I See You Now


Dear Adoption, I See You Now

You have had a lifetime of sneaking about and wreaking havoc. You tore me from my roots, my heritage, my history. A clean sharp slice at my infant self. Did she even get to hold me?

I had loving parents, a stable home, and a good childhood. I don’t think you did much work toward that, so I thank my parents, not you. What could you have done? You could have followed up, educated my parents about the trauma of separation and loss, you could have been more engaged. Instead, you dropped the ball after the transaction.

What can I thank you for? What did you give me? A stomach ache and continual digestive upset, grinding teeth at night like a mouthful of rocks, headaches that lasted months at a time, migraines that pierced my eyes until nothing but sleep would help, a rawness like I had no skin, anxiety that chased me day and night- making it hard to breath, and depression…oh the depression. You gave me frustration, confusion, untethered insecurity, aching uncertainty, and a constant feeling of being ill at ease. And yet, everything seemed fine from the outside. So how was I supposed to make sense of you?

What do I say to you now? Grow up and assume some responsibility for yourself, for your actions, and your impact. You cannot just take and take and take…and expect our undying gratitude.

I have been told I owed it to my good childhood to be happy. I wish it had been that easy. I was told—you never really met her, she died so long ago, how could you still be grieving her death? But I did, and grieving her loss felt like fighting with death itself. You knocked the wind out of me for a second time, and walked away again.  

Who do I blame for her death? Well, she was also an adoptee. We are the ones at the core of the adoption experience. We are the ones killing ourselves because you are not taking the time to explain yourself. You lurk in the corners, whispering…you are fundamentally flawed, you were not wanted, something is wrong, everything is not okay. You damaged one leg of the triad, and then expect it to hold weight.

Dear Adoption, you are complex. You have haunted me for a lifetime, but I see you now. I see your tricks of psychology and neurobiology, with a ripple effect like tidal waves. Your games will no longer work on me.

Do I sound angry? I’m letting it go. Do I sound wounded? I’m learning to heal. Do I sound unforgiving? I’m finding and nurturing forgiveness. I see you now, and you will not stop me from holding kindness and compassion in my heart. I see through you now, so you can no longer whisper in my ear. Two generations of adoptees— this soul crushing heartache and loss won’t continue. In my healing and forgiving heart, your power over me disintegrates to ash.

Donna is a second generation adoptee. She did her first search at 20 years old, and found that her birthmother (also an adoptee) had committed suicide 3 years after she was relinquished. With a deep dive into adoption over the past year, Donna has come to a new understanding about the lifelong journey of being an adoptee. Through that process, she is finding healing and forgiveness. She began a second search for her birthmother’s biological family, and is excited to be learning of her Ecuadorian and Spanish heritage.

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