Let’s be honest and such.

December 21, 2007 at 11:27 pm 2 comments

I am often misunderstood on the subject of adoption. I expect it really, because I myself am not all that clear or consistent on the issue. Dealing with my own almost certain, cancer-aftermath infertility and the unfairness of it all, I have found myself feeling somewhat desperately selfish and longing for a spot of elitist beneficiary. I prematurely long for my continuation, bloodline, and other such huff and puff that I used to ‘poo poo’ in prospective adoptive parents who already know genetic connections that I have never known. In my opinion, they were always not yet ready… whatever ready might one day entail. It’s all silliness really, as I am in no position to be even entertaining such ideas, none-the-less wasting my time day-dreaming about what follows such feelings.  

Despite the prematurity of my infertile panic, I picked up a book at a local English bookstore today written by a father of a daughter adopted from China, contrary to my own internal promise that I would not start reading such material (only adoptive parent written happy solutions to infertility issues stories) until these feelings “pass.” I didn’t buy the book, but I sat on the floor for 4 hours with my mind glued to each page, my soul enveloped into his story, my body frozen still. After reaching the third half of the book I realized that much time had passed and my lower half was now fast asleep. The writer, a father, his words dancing in my head, I closed the book and began my slow baby-steps towards the shelf in which it was found and then out the door. I walked out and reached home in a dream-like daze. And even now, almost a day later, I am longing to understand him. Longing to feel like him even.

More often than the issue of adoption, I am often misunderstood on the issue of my (adoptive) parents. This is more confusing for me, as I am quite clear and consistent on this issue. Despite what some may think and what some might think I should feel, I love my parents. After my last post, some readers might think “what? is she crazy?” but the fact is that most sons/daughters love their parents despite whatever may be involved. This is different than unconditional love, although I might be accused of and found guilty by a jury of my-selves of such a crime as well. I do appreciate my father’s honesty and openness in how he feels and I respect (although fail to understand) the space he has created between us. It is not that I am unrelentingly forgiving as much as I am understanding. It makes sense to me, what he says about me feeling like an outsider to him… I myself feel this. And many adoptees that I have met and/or read also feel this way. Let me make it clear that my father has never said that he does not love me. I know he does and I do him as well.

My (adoptive) mother has taken a different approach, one similar to the writer, the father, of the book I picked up at the bookstore. She wanted something, felt so deserving of something, that she created it in a place where it might have been unlikely to exist otherwise. She decided that she can and will become a mother to a child from another. She would make this a story of meaningful unification and destiny.  She would erase the outsided-ness and she would parent this child with no difference than she does her daughter she birthed several years earlier. What the social workers and articles and books had said — she would make this her reality. She would love me as her own. It would become her motto and it would rule her actions. She would do it because it is what she needed and what I needed. She was so well intended and this came so simple to her. I truly believe that she was born to be a mother and so this process was second nature to her. This love, I more uneasily understand, but quite clearly felt and most likely will never doubt. It was essential to me as a child and would be a welcomed return if it were to return even now. I long for it now and it angers me that it has been blocked, removed, iced over. I know that for my mother, what we have become is unnatural to her and uncomfortable and what she has become is forced in an effort to push her guilt into non-existence and correct wrongs that she feels responsible for, but most of all, to hide what she considers shortcomings. It’s within her that my hope lay and to which I feel that someday we might return to each other – this life or our next.

This post will probably be followed by reader comments of expressive sadness and disbelief, maybe outrage. I could be told that an injustice has been bestowed upon me. I could not disagree more, but I felt a need to explain a bit and without becoming too revealing of what is a very internal family situation. It was not my intention to project the image of victim or product of a “messed up family.” That is certainly not the case. Its fine if you do not understand as I am not expecting understanding, I simply blog in an effort to express things that I care not to talk of or cannot find the strength to talk of or just things that talking of does not help in weeding through of such.


Entry filed under: 3442, Adoption, Me.

Adoption Serious So this is Christmas…

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sue  |  December 25, 2007 at 10:44 am

    so like will you adopt me? I could really use a parent as wise as you. Cancer sucks and should not be considered an ennobling experience–but I have seen your writing grow in its depth and expressiveness. And I suspect your nobility is in your genes and also passed onto you through your life experience and relationships post adoption.

    Mixed feelings and crazy-seeming love are a part of most family units in various permutations Why are adoptees denied any emotional latitude or complexity, as soon as they say anything that might be perceived/interpreted as negative about facets of their experience?

  • 2. Margie  |  May 15, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    I think there is something about looking reality straight in the eye that heals. It may not ease the pain, but it heals in a way that allows us to find ourselves in circumstances that should bring us t our knees.

    But it takes strength to do this, and you clearly have it, Julia. In truckloads.


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Julia’s Jam

It’s just not that black & white. Not because I am taking a stand against. Just because, the issues I face are somewhere in the grey area and to weed through them, I blog. I blog. ~

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