it seems that everywhere I go, there are conversations, songs, movies, images that trigger me out of nowhere. Some of the triggers, even someone with zero relation to adoption could identify why it might cause a sensitive moment, and other times I myself am surprised by the overwhelming rush of emotions.
Last night I was watching Anne with an E on Netflix. I grew up reading Anne of Green Gables, and watched the 1980's television mini-series with my adoptive mother. I loved everything about the character Anne. She was full of imagination, full of bravery and wasn't afraid to voice her opinion. The way she found beauty in people, searching for kindred spirits drew me to fall in love with Anne.
When Netflix announced a new Anne of Green Gables, I wasn't sure if anyone could take the place of the 80's actress, Megan Follows, but my love for the series allowed me to give the new version a chance. Let's just say I may have watched the entire first season within a few short days. I once again fell for the red headed, dramatic girl, with a wounded soul and the kindred spirit I needed growing up.
Last night while watching season 2, there is a scene where Anne has travelled with her bestfriend, Diana Barry, to another city to attend a party thrown by the wealthy aunt of Diana. When she returns home she is excited to share all of the details with Marilla and Matthew, the brother and sister who adopted her. As she sits at the foot of the bed ready to spill it all with Marilla, this is where I surprisingly had a wave of emotions wash over me. Before Anne can get one word out about all of the glorious details of the extravagant party, Marilla simply says, "oh Anne, I've missed you." It was Anne's honest response that made me weep. In three words, she rocked me to the core. She replied " you missed me"? It sounds silly doesn't it? That such a basic response could leave me choking on my tears. Her facial expressions, her tone of voice, said it all. She wasn't certain she was worth being missed. Had she ever known anyone to truly miss her presence?
There's so much about Anne, that hits my own understanding about myself. I adore how she perseveres through life's ups and down, and always looks for the beauty even in the midst of pain. She makes others feel confident in her admiration of them, and at the same time can feel clouded with the thoughts she holds for herself. Orphaned early in life, bounced around from foster homes, vulnerable and abused at a young age, and over looked because of her sex and physical features, Anne says " It was a very lonely place, I am sure I never could have lived there if I hadn't an imagination." Oh my goodness, Anne! Me too! I too had imaginary friends and a wild, and vivid imagination. I thought Madonna was my mother, after all.
" You missed me?" Beautiful, daring, Anne with an E....you get me. You understand craving connection. You understand that longing to be loved, cherished, and not forgotten. You didn't just want kindred spirits, YOU NEEDED THEM. Me too! Me too!
It's been a while, since I've put my thoughts into written words. My children are all home for summer break, and it's harder to find some peace and quiet and to just be still with my thoughts. Last night I went to bed feeling upset and defeated by a community of people who just don't get it.
An adoption author had post on Facebook a warning to not go see Three Identical Strangers, a documentary following the story of identical triplets, separated at birth, all adopted, and put through a private study on the impact of socioeconomic upbringing. It wasn't until they were adults that they discovered they had siblings....that they were one of three triplets . So this adoption author warns her followers not to go see this film, because it's too dark. I noticed that one of my dear friends, a former neighbor and adoptive mama, had replied to her post thanking her for helping protect adopted children and being careful not to lead them into dark places. I added to my friends post, that while I agree the story is not age appropriate for children, this film with reference to adoption trauma can absolutely be a story to teach us. Well known adoption author lady says " it is a story based on a sensational news story and involves adoptee suicide. Way too suggestive, Also, adoptive parents will not find hope there." I respectfully disagree that it is a "sensational story" this is real life. It really happened. We aren't speaking of fake news here when his story is shared, or we talk about the statistics being 4x greater for suicide risk in adoptees compared to non adopted people. This isn't opening ourselves to the darkside, like if we just close our eyes and ears it's not real. To me this mentality is like saying we should never look at or learn from cancer research, because it's too dark. This isn't opening ourselves to darkness, but perhaps not being afraid of looking at hard truths.
Here's the thing that really bothered me. It wasn't this lady or even the longtime adoption authors words that got to me. When you put yourself out there, there will always be those who question your motives and understanding. I'm used to people trying to put me in my place, for simply sharing my truths. What hurt me the most is suddenly my friend was silent. Where was she when my values were being questioned? Where was she when insults were being slung? We spent some time texting one another and she stated that my "opinions" mean a lot to her. Here we go again with " my opinions." There is actual data, statistics, spoken lived experiences of being separated from your first family, does irreversible damage and trauma, but they say it's just my opinion. I told my husband, that's like you saying that when your father passed away it hurt like hell, and someone telling you "that's just your opinion." No, it really hurts like hell...he knows, because he's lived it and continues to live with that loss.
Will the truth set me free? Here's what I know. I am no longer afraid of facing the fire in fear of being burned. I'm more willing to jump into the flames saving not only myself, but those around me. How do we find the light, without first stumbling through the darkness? there's much to be learned in the darkness.