Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Adoption: It's Like Trying to Rhyme With "Orange"

PLEASE NOTE: I have friends who never chose adoption for their children; women who had the choice made for them or who were threatened, tricked and manipulated into signing papers. When I talk in this post about "walking away," I'm not talking about you, and I'm sincerely sorry if my choice of words causes you pain. This post is not to criticize choices made. It is for me to find my way through another phase of my development as a parent, as an adoptive parent, as my kids' Mama. I am an adoptive parent, and that is the only perspective on adoption I can ever have. This blog is my place to share my reality. Sally

No matter how I talk with my children about adoption I can't change the fundamental truth that they were de-selected. We can call it "She was too young" or "She wasn't able to take care of you" or "She wanted a better life for you" - all of which may be true - but it doesn't change the fact that she made a choice to not remain in their lives. They were, on some very intimate and primal level, "given away."

And though I've never had even a fleeting fantasy that my children would be unaffected by adoption, lately I find my heart breaking.

What am I going to do when my daughter, one of the most loving, free-spirited, joyous, genuinely kind people I've ever known realizes that She decided not to be her mother?

And what am I going to say to my son, truly the essence of sweetness and light and goodness, when he asks why She decided not to be his mother?

I don't imagine that any adoptive parent has the answer, because it's not anything we can answer. It's not about us. It's about the women who share breath and blood with our children and later walk out of their lives.

This post makes me feel sick.

The weight of loving my children through this realization makes me feel sick.

The idea that they may think themselves "unlovable" even for a split second makes me feel sick. And weep.

I hate that some adoptees do think themselves "unlovable." (My kids never have. Will they ever?)

I hate that some first mothers tell their adult adopted children "Lose my number. I don't want a relationship with you." (My kids' haven't. Will they ever?)

Mostly I hate that no matter how close our family is and no matter how much I love them and no matter how completely I celebrate them for being exactly who they are, I can't protect them from their truth.

It's like trying to rhyme with "orange."

Click here to purchase Sally's , What I Want My Adopted Child to Know: An Adoptive Parent's Perspective, in softcover, hardcover, or e-book formats.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
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