September 28, 2008

Just Another Day at the Park...

Girl on playground thinking
© Photographer: Elenathewise | Agency:
So last night my family met three other fam's at the local park for a get-together ~ just for some fun, food, and fellowship. It was so nice to sit under the huge trees, feel the cool breeze, stuff our face's and just TALK. As a Mom, that is a treasured commodity! Our kids had a great time running around, and playing on the playground equipment ~ it sure isn't what it used to be! My son is a slide connoisseur ~ at three years old, he can definitely state his preferences on slides ~ curly, fast, double, tunnel, or bumpy! It is so fun to get another chance at being a kid, when you have your own.

As we were all sitting there watching our kids run and play, it dawned on me, that out of the six kids in attendance, MINE was the only one who WASN'T adopted ~ wow. Yet, he is the son of an adoptee...holy cow ~ adoption is everywhere.

Us Moms were talking alot about the kids, and of course, adoption was a big topic, because of all the little adoptees running around. Two of them were from China, two were private domestic adoptees (now bro & sis in their adopted fam), and one was an only child, whose adoption started out "open" but has since closed, and unknowingly to his adoptive parents at the time of his adoption, they also now have a special-needs child, as their son has autism. Whoa. Of course, I have a preemie, and I'm also an adoptee in reunion ~ so needless to say ~ all of us are pretty much in stress-mode. Here we were sitting there comparing "therapies" and "diets" and attachment conferences ~ what a night! lol

The Mom of the two Chinese adoptees (age 4 & 7), talked about how her daughters have actually "decided" who in the family will die first. They think their Dad will die, then their Mom, and then it will be their turn eventually. She says the oldest girl is obsessed with "death" thoughts, and seems to bring it up when they are the least bit "lost" in traffic, or away from home on a trip, or just out of the blue.

It reminded me so much of myself as a child ~ I remember being fearful that when my adoptive parents died, that I would be all alone. I would also lay in my bed at night and wonder and hope that I would not die in the night, but, in fact, wake up the next morning. What thoughts for a child!?!? Only as an adult can I even BARELY understand where they came from ~ not knowing my past, brought fear about my future.

This same Mom said she recently heard an adult adoptee on a "message board" online (she would FREAK if she read some of my posts ~ lol), that said he wanted to do his "search" completely himself ~ without the help of his adoptive parents. That it was something he felt he needed for himself, for his autonomy, and that the "process" of searching was the key to finding his own identity, feelings, etc. I agreed with her wholeheartedly. But THEN she conveniently stated that it made her re-think her own girl's searches, and that maybe she should just leave it for them, when they are older ~ even though it would probably be "impossible" for them to find any information in China by the time they become adults.

I could almost hear her breathe a sigh of relief, thinking that there would be no information or leads by that time, and she would be "home free" from dealing with anything like reunion. She, of course, believes that EVERY adoptee from China was abandoned and has no chance in HE_ _ of finding their origins. Wrong...
I could tell she was really grappling with this whole issue...just like her children, and every other person on this earth affected by adoption.

I happened to be at a local Catholic Charities meeting about adoption recently and saw a woman speak who had adopted a son from Russia. She had done her own search for his birth family, and had somehow actually found them ~ very poor family in a remote part of Russia. She had an impressive slide-show of how she found them, making contact, and continuing contact with them ~ all for the sake of her son. She found that the Mother was very sad about losing her son to adoption, and was elated to know he was ok and thriving in the U.S. She wept as she spoke about the emotional journey she was making for her son ~ without him even knowing yet ~ because he is still so young. So did I.

Anyway, I told this Mom last night about this woman and her search for her son's birth family ~ she said she would call Catholic Charities and get the name of the woman, because she is not convinced that she should wait till her daughter's are grown before she somehow captures information about their history. If she would call the agency, they could probably tell her much more than she realizes. If only they would.

Just another evening in the life of an adoption-effected wonder I'm tired.

(Click on the title of this post (above) to hear an interesting radio segment about sealed records, adoption search & reunion.)

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