10 May 2015

My anger protects my pain.

I dread today. That sounds selfish and unkind … especially to those this day is made for …

… those with intact families,
… those who have not lost children,
… those who have not lost mothers,
… those who profit from the expression of love through material items.

I sound bitter and angry. I am.

I have repeated this many times … my anger protects my pain.

As I watched my social media flood with photographs of those who look just like their mothers, it pained me for they have their mother’s eyes, her nose, her lips, her skin-coloring and her hands. They have a physical reference.

Here is where I hate myself. I hate that I feel this way. Here is the person adoption proponents and agencies hold up to say, “See? Look how ungrateful she is. She was loved to such a degree. She was saved from the throes of poverty and woe in Korea as a child of a single mother.”

And yet, what they chose to ignore is that on any other day, I relish the joy of seeing people smile in the comfort of Mom, but on Mother’s Day, I envy it. I want it.

I had it … once … twice and now. I had six months with my mother, seven with my foster mother and Mom’s entire shared lifetime. But those moments of motherhood are now fleeting memories, relegated to the frozen moments in time that film could capture or the moment that only my cellular tissue could memorize.

Luckily for me today, my first read of the day was a post from a new friend, April Dinwoodie of The Donaldson Adoption Institute. I met her at the American Adoption Conference, and we became fast friends. The image below shows Angela Tucker, Kat Nielsen, Dinwoodie and me breakfast fresh!

I could quote Dinwoodie’s entire post, but that wouldn’t do her words justice. You must take the time and read it all. She brought me back … to sanity. She reminded me of focus and purpose.

A little anger doesn’t harm if the intention behind it is well-meaning, right? My purpose is to help the children of adoption sort out their feelings. My purpose is to bring validation to those feelings because it’s okay to own your feelings. They are your feelings, your narrative, your life.

It’s okay to consult qualified professionals (social workers, therapists, psychologists) and allow them to help you sort it out. It’s okay to long for something you just cannot put your finger on.

I longed for the beauty of seeing myself reflected in someone. Today, I have that. My own family is my start from scratch, now that my adoptive parents are deceased. My children are my joy. We share DNA and the longing to be loved. We share the sorrow of loss and the shortcomings of adoption.

My day ended with this beautiful recital piece by my daughter. As she played and a few others too (including a few adoptees), I let the tears fall. Music has always moved me, and these young musicians brought me peace on a day that had also brought me pain.

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