October 14, 2011

Restoring the Foundations

© Photographer: Raycan | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Psalm 11:3
"If the foundations are destroyed, what can a person do?"

Isaiah 58:12
"Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach
The Restorer of paths to rest in."

Function: verb

: to destroy the unity or integrity of : to break or separate
: to lose unity or integrity by or as if by breaking

Last night I had a dream...I was talking to a local lawmaker. He was "picking my brain" about issues, taking notes, and we were both talking freely about our personal lives, issues, and feelings ~ it was a wonderful two-way conversation. I felt connected, valued, and encouraged.

As we were beginning to leave, he asked if I happened to be related to another of his constituents and named her name...in total surprise, I said "yes", and "how did you know?". She was my cousin by birth...almost exactly my age, and whom I have known for several years due to my reunion with my family. He said he just had an intuition, and wanted to ask. Well, I was so amazed and in shock that he made that connection, that I felt compelled to explain my story. You see, up to this time in our conversation (dream) I hadn't even shared with him the most vital aspect of my being ~ my double-identity, shaped by birth, relinquishment, and adoption.

I began to share that "yes" she was my cousin, and that I have only known her for less than half my life, because I was adopted as an infant and found my family as an adult. It was at this point in my dream that everything changed. Instead of feeling safe and valued as a person, the demeanor of this lawmaker immediately dimmed, as well as the atmosphere in the room. His face contorted into a look of apathy, and he suddenly became hurried and very eager to leave. Like he was blowing me off and somehow judging me for being adopted and searching. Like my value & worth somehow "dis-integrated" before our very eyes. I woke up feeling very discouraged.

Then I realized...the dream was just a picture of how I feel (as probably many others) in real life, in every aspect and relationship of my existence. Almost like I am two people ~ or in hiding. I can share my "adoption experience" with only a trusted few who really understand. The others give me that "deer caught in headlights" look, start sweating, and make really stupid, invalidating statements.

It's almost like when I share my TRUE SELF ~ the one who came out of hiding ~ who no longer is "frozen" in the "good adopted" self-identity ~ the one who isn't afraid to feel, grieve, question, & "be" ~ that I kind of "dis-integrate" in the eyes of society. The same society who shunned my Mother when she was pregnant with me, who took me from her, and who CHANGED my very identity, so that I could fill a role in another family ("adoption builds families"), so that I could be acceptable.

Adoption "law" changed my entire identity with a piece of paper (falsified birth certificate) which gave me a new name, another lineage, new relationships, new connections. It sure tried, but it couldn't ERASE my original identity, existence, loss, lineage, connections, and self. It tried to eradicate, dis-integrate, and nullify my very being. It tore down my very foundation.

That is why it took YEARS to "unthaw" ~ through a journey of slow "dawning" and realization ~ beginning with "curiosity" & "longing", and gradual acknowledgement of the unspoken and stuffed emotions hidden inside my heart. Those emotions that adoption "professionals" like to call simple "curiosity" and leave it at that. But that is just the SURFACE of an adoptee's true self and experience.

It seems society and adoption law wants to keep us in a safe box of simple curiosity. When really we are much more complicated. We are desperately trying to find permission to be "real" ~ in a world created for us by a system based on supply & demand, relationships created by man-made law, and implied silence.

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