Search and Recovery
Submitted by Kerry on Thu, 2007-07-05 17:14.
The shared experience of All or Nothing Thinking
All children have parents; some have abusive ones, others have loving ones, and all adoptees have at least one missing parent set aside to haunt in unremembered memory. If a child is told he's adopted, he will wonder what brought him to a new set of parents. If a child is not told he is adopted, I'm sure the child will have ways of knowing a lie is being told and a secret is being kept. Children watch their parents very carefully; we have to... that's how we learn. Nothing can be done to change who our parents are; adoption just adds more confusion to that absolute fact.
Search and Reunion is a huge business that gets tied to a major milestone in the life of the curious and brave lost family-member. Reunion in my mind implies a sense of closure and completion, yet how can it be so when it comes to Original Family Members?
How can two strangers, with little shared life-experience or memory, bond and relate as Family? Just like a woman can not be "a little pregnant", a child can't belong to any one person or name, and it be all or nothing. The only way I can see two strangers meeting and relating as one is in a romantic or friendship context. Love is a growing process, and it needs to be fed, like a mother feeds her newborn. Only in adoption is a child given a second mother to replace what was already God-Ordained. The Adoptee does not have two families; the adoptee is one part of two separate worlds where faces and names are redefined by the legal agents and agencies who have deemed it so.
I tried looking for my natural family. I tried for years. Each step got me closer to more lies and more half-truths; I could no longer bear the strain it all had on my heart, so it broke... and with it I fell. It was a collapse I am slowly able to remember, as my repair has been fueled by my will to survive the loss of yet another dream. I realized I was alone, without the mom and dad promised to me. I mourned the loss of my childhood and my dream of having parents who would never leave me. I told myself to move on, and I did. Through profound loss, I learned there are no more parts of me I am willing to relinquish to a life filled with lies. With that, I taught myself how to read and write as a grown-up would, and I find myself liking this world, very much.
It's not fair how and what gets done to some children, but it is what it becomes. For some, the closure is felt when we allow ourselves to let go of the past, parents included. I have been asked by other adoptees doing the Speaking Circuit, "Why won't you meet your biologic family?" Why? Because I have no need for a mom or dad anymore. I have lived without for so long now, I am used to my solitary walk in family-circles. I have my own family now. I am a mom, and I'm at peace with not having anyone but my children be related to me. The truth is, in terms of both families, (natural and adoptive), there is little for me to discuss other than "I was lost, and no one found me, so I had to find myself".
Some children are born into supportive families, others are not. For the privately sold relinquished child, a life-time of parental support and unconditional love is a tough job for any stranger to give a child, knowing: this child will grow and want to leave me some day.
Yes. Each child is born to leave his/her parents. Each parent expects each child to grow, fall in love, and maybe marry one day. But for the adopted child, somehow that gets lost, delayed and re-wired in really weird ways. I honestly believe Adoption does not become an issue until the child grows old enough to leave the nest. That's when I see Mom-Issues and love becoming more complex and secretive because sex enters the mind of a mother's child. The bond is breaking, the loss is felt by the mom and she knows, "I'm being replaced by someone else who is able to give my child something I can't and won't". In terms of love, mothers are always losing what was once closest to them and their hearts. As a mom, I understand this, because I gave birth, and experienced the loss in my belly. No one else in my family felt my loss, as they saw it as a gain (in the form of a baby). This makes me wonder, how many adoptive mothers in the Closed Era ever experienced pregnancy and child-birth before adopting? How many new-mothers were prepared for nature's call to leave momma's nest?
Adult-Adoptees from the Closed Era of Adoption are living testimonies how adoption affects more than a child's legal name, as search and reunion therapies are cropping all over the place in the form of public speakers and newly published books. Oddly enough, these public themes keep a focus on the parent-child relationship. I cannot help but think, are more adults buying into this out-pour of attention, or are they more concerned about finding a new love from a new and different family, with the hope that "I too, will be normal"? Each person wants to be loved, but considering the years spent in childhood, versus adulthood, don't people want to grow and not be dependent on Mom and Dad-figures? Don't people want to have their own lives, and not worry, "What will my mom think? Will she approve of this?"
The Adoption Industry created broken families, and profits from it's lame attempts to repair damaged lives. Just how deeply these wounds go for an individual depends on how severe the final placement of said child was. For the child adopted and abused in that new adoptive family, there is no Home to run to and hope for recovery. That child quickly becomes an adult and learns, "All I have is my mind and body". Adoption advocates can take the body, they can brainwash the minds, but they cannot repair broken hearts and darkened souls. Only a stranger with similar experience can fill the voids where love and kindness was meant to grow. Only in shared experience can an adult relate to another person, only in shared want and need can love start and grow into it's own life-form.