Adoptee Out Loud... some days this title seems laughable and maybe even a tad bit shameful. The title would make one believe, I was holding nothing back. I was loud and proud! The truth is Instagram and blogging are my safety net and so far I am in control of who I let in.
Remember that scene in A Few Good Men. where Jack Nicholson screams " YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!'
I suppose I feel the same way when it comes to protecting my loved ones. My adoptive family, my biological family, my friends who have adopted children, and my adopted friends who tell their story differently.
So many times on Facebook, I see fellow adoptees who I deeply respect share their points of view on adoption, God and adoption, trauma and adoption, family preservation and I want to chime in because I have a strong opinion. More importantly is the desire to be understood by those who love me, but I hesitate because I don't think they can handle the truth...my truth.
I don't want my adoptive parents to feel as if I don't love them or I am ungrateful. They are human and have faults like the rest of us, but they are my family and I love them deeply. I don't wish adoption on anyone because I know the aftermath, but I also can't imagine my life without my family.
I bite my tongue, in fear of placing anymore shame upon my biological mother or family. She has become an expert on stuffing her pain, and I don't think she is even capable of going there. The last thing I want to do, is to be the one to add more heartache. The truth is this inner turmoil is killing me. I need her to acknowledge my grief, but I'm not sure we will ever get there. My fear is we will always live on the surface.
To those friends "touched" by adoption I fear that you will see me as too dangerous as if my adoption clarity may rub off on you or your child. I'm afraid if I share my story, you will think I'm trying to tell your story.
Two years ago I faced more fears than I ever have in my entire life. I turned forty and in the same year I found and was reunited with my birth family. I had brave and truthful conversations with my adoptive family ( we NEVER talked about adoption before). Our President was outed for saying " grab em by the p@#*y", and it prompted me with a primal instinct to face the adoptive relative who abused me as a child and demand an apology ( and I got one). Thank you Mr. President for helping many find their voice in their outrage of "locker room talk" nonsense. I believe if you are looking for where did #metoo originate, there is your answer. In the same year, a fellow high school classmate private messaged me on Facebook with an apology of a sexual assault at a high school party. He wasn't involved, but he was there and he had lived with guilt that he never stepped in to stop what had happened. I don't know what prompted him some twenty years later to send me that, but he stated I deserved better and it made me weep. All of these years I have carried these attacks inside afraid that no one would believe me, and here I had confessions. I turned forty, and God was like...I'm going to show you that it's time to come out of hiding. Bam!
I think it's so funny that when I share about my adoption story, and people say I am brave, but I guess they are right, huh? As a society " we can't handle the truth." We want pretty stories, wrapped in bows, and told in a fairytale version. Life isn't always pretty, it isn't always neat and tidy. I used to say all of the time, I am such a hot mess...and the truth is I AM! But I now know that my mess is where I have felt closest to God, where I've met other beautiful souls, and one of the greatest teachers. It's where I've learned grace, forgiveness of not only others, but myself, and I'm learning to let go of the weight that was never meant for me to carry.
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