Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, 2012 Belonging ~ such a broad concept. As an adoptee this word has had several meanings throughout my life. I was adopted in 1964 when I was 5 years old. I am not Asian, but a mixture of Europe’s England and Ireland as well as America’s Cherokee and Ojibwa Native American Tribes. I come from peoples who left their land for a better dream and peoples who lost their lands because of this very dream. I am a mixture of these stories and when told or reflected upon become a personal paradox inside of me. I think perhaps adoption is like this as well. I’ve long been a believer in story; personal story and broader stories that shape individuals, families, towns, states, and countries. As an adoptee I was given a new family story that directed me to give up the old family story. The old family story went underground. I didn’t belong to that family and the emotional scars from that family made me feel that belonging to that story was dangerous. When things go underground however, we grow shadows. Belonging to my adopted family was a wonderful story. Many years later as a woman in her 50s I would realize the flaws in this story and why the authenticity of that story never came to full fruition. I believe, as this blogger’s post shares. that there is a part of each adoptee that understands that they are, to some degree, a square peg shoved into a round hole. The family that adopts also knows and feels this. There breeds guilt, shame, and a lack of knowing how to fix it. The adoptee that has found their birth family often, because of the lost years, never feels a true part of that family as well. It is as if what comprises the security in family and belonging comes from two things that happen together. These two things are: history (connection over time that binds people through shared memories and experiences) and biology (that comprises looks that are similar, DNA that is similar, habits, smells, propensities etc). In my adopted family I have the shared history but not the DNA. In my birth family I have the biology but not the shared experiences that make memories and shared events and knowings that build identity in a consistent manner. In my case I have both the environmental influences from my biological family and my adopted family so I am ultimately a mixture of both. BUT ~ I do not belong to either family. I do not feel that I belong to either family completely. There is always this little undefined missing piece that disallows for complete membership/belonging. I married a widower with three children when I was 22. I am now almost 54. I loved and raised these three children as if they were my own (ha! I am not even sure what that means…and that is a giggle for sure). In the first 20 years of our marriage we could not afford to fund my adopting the children. It would have cost $1,500.00 (this was in the 1980s) and we simply did not have extra money in this large amount to do such a thing. By the time we could afford to sponsor my adopting the children monetarily in the early/mid 1990s…they were already graduating high school. What would the point be then? At any rate….if you know about stepfamilies…well there are unique belonging challenges there for a stepparent as well. So, in reality, real reality, I do not feel like I belong in my marital family. But…mind you…I am not a victim. I don’t have the feeling of belonging to family in the way that many or perhaps most people feel. Not to a mother, a brother, a sister, a daughter, a son, a grandparent, or an aunt. Yet, I am a daughter, a mother, a grandmother, and a sister. So, I’ve come to actively search for the meaning of belonging on a larger scale; from a broader definition of what it is to be human, alive, and perhaps connected to something larger; something larger like the human race or as a spiritual being. So, as has been true for most of my life, I am on a spiritual path to make meaning and sense of the story I tell myself about myself and my world and my experience. I’ve moved from trying to make a sense of belonging from tangible people/family to something intangible God/the Universe/Spirit whatever works in regards to labeling. It is difficult.
I’ve returned to therapy as a result. I am working with a wonderful EMDR therapist and we have delved into those early years…infant years too (0 – 5). It’s made a huge difference. Life is very different after working in this therapeutic modality. I highly recommend it.
After searching for 10 years I found my birth parents. After recreating my abandonment story in my marital family, I have learned to bring this story of loss fully into my consciousness so I don’t have to act it out again. Since I have come to accept the truth of the biological preference truth…I am freer to understand the meaning of this and become free of it without judging myself and allow myself to create boundaries with my adopted family around these things. And now that I am working on these early, early events and emotions that have built who I am and impacted how I tell the story of who I am, what the world is, and how I fit into it…I am discovering that the only one that I truly belong to is myself and to that power, energy, force that is larger than myself. I believe that this is the ultimate truth. I still struggle with it as I am weaving this new and more empowered story that feels based more in the truth than anything to date. I am not a victim…and neither are you. What is your story? What story do you want to direct and inform your life? How are you learning to tell an authentic story that is free of the tethers that drag you down? You are worth this journey of finding your authentic story that allows you to live from a place of joy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The years are like floating dandelion seed stars; they float on the air and disappear without even noticing their absence. I’ve made a decision this year and that decision is to write a book on adoption and my story. There are so many stories out there and each so valuable in their own unique way of weaving and unfolding their adoption experiences.

I want to share my process of healing and use words that are spiritual and not heard enough in our regular experience of the world. I don’t want to edit my healing process and yet I don’t want my story to be about the trauma of it all…but about the joy of it, the challenge of it, the overcoming in it, the growth from it, the learning of myself through it. It feels big in that the story has such wiggly edges and it seems hard to move it into one format.

In my writing group where I have begun to share my writing I am full of feeling when I read my writing. Others in the group don’t always understand. I am trying to give them context of the triad experiences and information about reunion etc. They are slow at learning and that is all right. My heart just gets vulnerable in the process when they read what I write and say, “This is what women experience in general.” And I know they don’t understand.

I ask myself if my book is for the layman or is it for “us”? I want to speak to other adoptees who know my language…who know the journey…who know the inner world of this experience. Sometime my writing group member’s words feel as if they were throwing stones at me without even realizing it.

Maybe writing a book will help me see that they aren’t throwing stones…but that they just don’t understand. It doesn’t matter if they understand…what matters is that I understand the journey and the pearls that came along the way…and that I speak to those who are like me and who live inside the same warp and weave in the texture of their lives.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A New Month ~ A New Year

New thoughts on old themes scatter themselves where pine needles dropped after the tree had done its job.
Moments in the evenings around those glowing tree lights ~ twinkling and sparkling ~ invited inner ponderings.
Reflections brought me to my heart with glistening tear wetted cheeks and gratitude ~ for they live hand-in-hand.
Love is so imperfect. Love of self, love of others, receiving love, giving love. These all wear foibled garments.
When I look at family I see up and down and inside and out now.
It used to be that I was only able to see how I had failed; how I had brought my own set of imperfections to the mix.
Or how I used to and still fall prey to seeing all those things that others have taken from me or refuse to give.
My lament so often has been: “Please…just let me love you.”
In this there is a certain expectation that lies just under the surface and that is that I am unlovable and so no love returns.
I’m learning to see love. Love doesn’t always come the way I imagine it will…wrapped in the paper that my imagination would like to have it arrive in.
But love does arrive and so often in the past I haven’t answered the door or recognized that it has come to me from another’s heart.
This is the year ~ in this new month ~ this new year ~ that I am choosing new eyes to see with…to look a little closer…to unclasp the grip of fear of being unloved…
Long enough to see how I am loved.
He placed my full suitcase on the guestroom bed just where I like it so that I can unpack slowly with lots of room. He unzipped the case and spread it wide open for me.
This is love. This is being seen.
She saved all of my letters ~ even the silly ones from camp when I was only 6 ~ and gave them to me in an envelope this year marked: Gwendolyn.
This is being treasured.
She found me in a sea of people and energetically greeted me. Said she had missed me and could we have coffee or get together some time.
This is being appreciated.
He calls out to his mum and points his 2 year old finger out the car window with enthusiasm and says, “Go Grammy’s! Mommy, go Grammy’s!”
This is being wholly loved.
I curl up in my big comfy sofa with my little dog and look around me ~ I whisper to myself of my gratitude for my life and quietly take inventory of all that I have become and all that I have valued and brought into my life that I find of deep worth.
I embrace myself and in this I know that this is indeed a new month ~ a new year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ReShad: A Reunion Through Art

Monday, November 26, 2007

Can You Relate????

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Who do you ask when you want to become your whole self in order to reach your full potential?

Watch the video!

So often it is our hearts that have the answers if we would but lend it an ear.

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