Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What People Say

I feel that I have said quite enough recently, and even before, about the negative things that people say regarding adoption. I have pondered my own place and what I expected and what I wanted, and how nothing came to pass the way I thought it would in my wildest dreams. I expended immense amounts of energy, physical and psychological, trying to fit, either into one box or another, or into places I thought I should fit. I wanted things so tremendously much that I had to give up. And in giving them up (dreams/expectations), I have found peace.

I was reading around the Adoption Interview Project today; interviews have been posted. Some of the match ups have made me raise eyebrows, for certain, but it's been enlightening and interesting.

In particular, Megan, over at Earth Stains, said something in her interview that resonated with me profoundly.

“Personally, adoption gives me a serene sense of beyondness. There is no destiny except what I choose.” 

I had struggled for decades with feeling alone, unique, different: not fitting in. I wanted to belong, so badly, somewhere, somehow. I thought I could belong, would belong one way, then another, then another. It turns out that the serene sense of beyondness I have now is not as frightening as I had always thought it would be. The margins are peaceful. They're mine. I like being here. The less I struggle, the more comfortable I feel. The less I depend on others, the less I ask, the more self-reliant I am, the more I love myself and take myself seriously, the better. And who says they're margins, anyway? It all depends on your point of reference. From where I am, it's a center of exciting things.

There are people in this world I love immensely; always have, always will. I am sure I will meet others whom I will love unconditionally. But adoption has made me different; I am very different from many people, on many counts. I am my own island, and I rather like it. I love it when my friends visit me on my island, especially the friends who understand and lead parallel lives of relative freakiness, beyondness, if you will. I like the path and the friends I have chosen, and even if the circle of people who understands and accepts it is small, I am at peace that with that, as well.

I have found that sometimes what I want isn't necessarily what is best for me, or what I get. And what I find is even better, if I can let go of my expectations.

In terms of the interviews, I also found I am's insistence on parental honesty spot on.

He said:

The only way to raise a child yourself or place a child with others, is to do it with integrity and honesty. Living with the kind of integrity that doesn’t permit any falsehood is a lot tougher than it sounds. In my experience it is the only way to face your child without regret.

This call for difficult, necessary honesty helped make a difference for me on a day when I shook with anger to read about another mother and father who decided to place their fourth baby and keep that baby a secret (initially) from their own older children and also from their extended family (that secret is ongoing). It made me ill to think of the continuing culture of lies, and another adoptee denied down the road, another sacrificed individual. That kind of parenting is not "heroic," not one bit. I wish that poor young adoptee Godspeed, and I am so glad that I am not she.


Megan said...

Hey, thanks for the mention. I enjoyed this post very much. It really is up to us, isn't it? "I am my own island and I rather like it."

Robin said...

"I shook with anger to read about another mother and father who decided to place their fourth baby and keep that baby a secret (initially) from their own older children and also from their extended family (that secret is ongoing)."

Not only are the secrets and lies wrong but if a couple is aware that they do not want to raise any more children or if an individual does not want children, then he or she should have a vasectomy or tubal ligation. It is cruel to lie about the child's existence but it is also cruel to create a child when the parents know the child will be unwanted. All I can assume about people like this is that they are callous and selfish. They cannot assume that the child will get a good life or will be unscathed from being given up for adoption.