Dear Ms. Feverfew –
Someone sent me this bit of advice. I don’t know what to make of it or why the universe brought it to my door. I’m conflicted, but I understand the wisdom of the “necessary medicine” of which Chernoff speaks. These words sit with me and I cannot shake them off like I have so many other things in my life. What would “necessary medicine” look like in my life, anyway? Is this the hemlock I wrote of recently – is this the medicine adoption requires of me?
Sometimes you have to walk away from people, not because you don’t care, but because they don’t. When someone hurts you time and time again, accept the fact that they don’t care about you. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s necessary medicine. Do NOT strive to impress them any further. Waste not another second of your time trying to prove something to them. Nothing needs to be proven. ~ Angel Chernoff, “10 Little Habits that Steal Your Happiness.”
Stealing happiness. That is what adoption does to so many. I don’t know if it stole happiness from you, only you can answer that question, but as for me and my house, that is what adoption has done. It stole the happiness we could have had together. It steals happiness from Poppy. From Matthew. Luke. My sisters. My sisters-in-law. My mother. From Jeff. From me. Twenty years on, I would have thought the thievery would have lessened, that its effects would have been ameliorated by time and distance. However, this adoption-initiated theft has only increased, compounded, magnified with each missed memory and shared history we all could have had…no, should have had, together.
My introspection leads me to thoughts of your perspective: If I, as I have awakened from the adoption anesthesia, have come to see the act of adoption as one of theft of an identity – yours as an individual, mine as a mother – and my family’s sense of wholeness, what does it look like from your perspective as an adoptee? And what effect does my public acknowledgement of the stolen happiness have on you, if any? Is it fair of me to write of such things? Or should they always remain hidden, unseen, and therefore unacknowledged by any other living soul, a symbolic annihilation of my experience?
One granite-slabbed question presses most heavy: If I had stumbled on a blog like this one 21 years ago, would I have still made the same choices? Would these words have been enough to wake me from the culturally-induced coma I was in at the tender age of twenty years? Or would I still have measured myself against the patriarchy’s yardstick, found myself lacking, and lost you to the gaping maw of the adoption industry anyway?
I have no answers, only ever increasing questions that marinate in the quiet corners of my heart, steeped in mother-love and a heavy dose of curiosity gifted me by nature.