October 1, 2009

After the Honeymoon

A rose in the rain
                                   © Photographer: Linqong | Agency: Dreamstime.com

"What's in a name?
That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet..."
When I first started blogging back in '07, I made sure to use an email addy and name that would not show up on a search engine connected with my real name.

I was still worried about pleasing people and fearful of offending people.
I needed "approval", and sadly, I guess, still do.

As I've written out my feelings honestly, I've grown, and realized something.

To the people who care, it won't matter.
Somehow I think this blog now comes up in a search engine when my name is googled. I've tried to get it to disappear, but short of deleting the whole blog site, I don't know how to change it.
I've finally come to the point of not caring who reads this.
Yet caring immensely.

I have tried so hard to be positive about my entire "reunion" experience. Because it meant so much to me.
Unfortunately, I missed the whole "honeymoon" part; completely "numbed out and smiling", trying to be whatever everyone wanted me to be.
I missed those crucial years when my first family wanted to get to know me.
I couldn't open up enough to be real, or to really get to know them, either.
I just attended family functions and tried so hard to soak it all in.

I was slowly waking up to the real me, that could only be completed with truth of my origins and family connections. 

Finally having the courage to walk through the grief in my heart (I tear up just thinking about how dark those feelings are), I came out as a real person.

On my paternal side, my first grandparents really worked at including and knowing me. 
After my son was born my first father and I grew a lot closer.
 We spent more time together, and my son grew to love his "Papa" very much. It warmed my heart more than words can describe to see this, and feel it.
After 20 plus years, I have had the blessing of gaining insight into the family dynamics that are behind many of these issues. 
The truth really does set you free, but sometimes hurts.
After the "Welcome" parties 20 years ago, and the newness wears off,
 it seems as if the hypothesis of adoption holds true

When adoptees face our realness, our pain, our dual identities,
it scares people off.
We get the "deer in the headlights" look from people if we dare mention we are adopted, or searching, or God-forbid, would like to own our own birth records.
 Because of the secrecy and myth of "confidentiality" and "sealed records", all of society sees adoption as a secret, a hush-hush way of supplying "want to be parents" who can pay, with paper "orphans" (illegitimates) whose slates are wiped clean with "amended" names.

Reunions are set to fail, because everyone feels shame.
Adoptees, for wanting to search.
Birth families realizing they lost their own flesh and blood.
It causes shame just to look into our eyes, hear our voices, see our smiles, and realize they mask pain, like their own.
It is easier to block it out. Pretend we still don't exist,
just like the business of adoption promotes.
"Get on with our lives".

We were born in a difficult time,
and asked to fulfill another role and identity to be accepted within society.
If we try to "go back" and capture who we are; lost connections, it is a risk.
It hurts to our core. After the honeymoon.

I drove around last night with my cell phone in hand.
It was the first day in several that I felt well enough to leave the house, after fighting through the flu. It's hard to explain, but I had a "new lease" on life somehow, after being so sick and feel better again.
Tears were running down my face because I just wanted to talk. 
To family. 

Maybe I just needed this 20 year journey to realize who I am.
I've had the laughter and the shared times that somewhat healed my relinquished heart and taught me who I was in my family.
On both sides. Mother & Father.
That is so much more than most adoptees can fathom.
For that I am so thankful.
When I look in the mirror, I can see both my grandmothers. Easily.
Even my great-grandmother. I can hear their voices in mine.
I can feel my First mother's passion as I write.
I can even understand my own ambivalent ways and accept myself and my first  father because I see how much we are alike. It brings comfort.
But it also brings sadness. Because I miss him.
I miss my aunt and uncles and cousins.
I miss my sweet-faced brothers and their funny wit.

I miss my grandparents and the huge family gatherings I took for granted the first years of my reunion.
Those times sitting around their kitchen table filled with family and stories and missing pieces.
I didn't think I belonged there for the longest time. But as I look back, I belonged from day one. They tried so hard to show me that.
But I didn't know who I was, so I couldn't understand or feel the primal identity or connection with those of my own.

A rose belongs on the vine. Even though crushed, it's still a rose.
Thank you, God, for my reunion.
Like a flower opening ever so slowly, I can finally recognize my own scent.
As I sit here I can smell the clean scent of light rain falling outside my window, and hear distant rolling thunder as it passes over.
Lord, thank you for your cleansing mercy, making everything new.
Even crushed flowers can bloom again.

Thank you for the voice of my son calling me to come play.
For my faithful husband who loves me. For giving us this life and this journey, and helping me grow. Even in the midst of loss and loneliness, help me not to miss or take for granted the friendships and love all around me.
Help me to open my heart. Even when it hurts. So that I can feel to the full. Your Love.

*post script ~ Writing this post was cathartic, even though difficult. 
 I found myself reaching out again this evening. 
 My aunt, my (first) mother's sister, whom I grew closest to in the early part of my reunion, was home tonight. 
 We had a wonderfully familiar "catch up" conversation, reminding me of the warm feeling of family (again). Also spoke with my Mom (adoptive) who is sounding more and more like her self, optimistic and finally "at home" in her new senior housing. What a relief, after many months of struggle for her health. I'm so overwhelmed by God's mercy and grace. He's helping me learn to trust. And for that I'm most grateful.

1 comment:

a Tonggu Momma said...

As cheesy as this is... (((hugs)))