March 6, 2013

5 Amazing Things About Being An Adoptee!

I’ve blogged about eating disorders and foot shuffling and nail biting and bed wetting and pain and heartache. Some of you are waiting to see if I blog about swallowing razor blades or attempting to jump off the Empire State Building.

Today I’m going to share five amazing things about being an adoptee.

Being an adoptee has given me compassion.

Photo Credit: jamiesbabies, FlickR
Empathy and sympathy? I’ve got more compassion than Paula Deen’s refrigerator has butter sticks . It’s easy for me to cry with people. Not fake tears or something that has to be worked up, but a natural response to human pain.  Sometimes when I read the private messages that come to me after a blog post, I just weep with compassion and then I turn it around and pray with passion. I see that as a positive thing, something I never want to lose ~ being so touched by another’s pain that I feel it and more importantly, do something about it. The good news is, even if we’re 1,000 miles apart, I can do something. Because I can always speak a kind word, and I can pray. I want you to know that I pray for every single person who reads this blog, even if they don't leave a comment or write a message. 

Every. Single. One.

Being an adoptee drove me to create a family.

Photo Credit: Deanna Shrodes

I relentlessly pursued creating exactly what I wanted. I am crazy about the home my husband and I have created together.  And it just keeps getting better.

Being driven to create, as well as keep our family intact, propelled me to stick through the hard times in our marriage, to go to counseling when we needed it, to do whatever it took to keep our marriage and family whole. Nothing besides my relationship with God matters more. 

Adoption influenced me  to appreciate unique aspects of my children and hone in on things others who are not adopted may not even recognize. Sometimes my daughter gets downright upset about how much I stare at her!  I explain to her that I notice her every feature -- particularly the  similarities. Nothing is taken for granted or gets by me when it comes to these three absolutely amazing offspring. My flesh and blood.  

Being an adoptee compelled me to live honestly.

Being adopted and therefore allergic to secrets has given me a passion to live nothing but 100% real. My openness either makes people uncomfortable or sets them at ease. There's usually no in between.  I say words from the pulpit that many might think fit better in a PG-13 movie. I have dinner conversations with my kids about subjects like the good and bad choices I’ve made. I blog about my husband and I having sex and literally lighting a room on fire. I share openly about things like going to therapy.

One of my eight parentals I have so many you’ll never figure out who I’m even talking about. Let's see, there's B-mom, B-stepfather, A-mom, A-dad, A-stepmother, MIL, FIL, and nonexistent B-dad  called me one time and told me I was, "going to ruin my kids by being so open.”

I ask these kids look ruined?

Photo Credit: Deanna Shrodes

I know, I know...looks aren’t everything. Beyond the fact that these offspring are positively gorgeous, we have a 25 year old youth pastor, a 23 year old young adults leader in the church and fraud recovery coordinator at Capital One, and a 17 year old girl who is using her many talents for good and for God.  All three of them are life group teachers in the church who lead people in a walk of faith. Yep, my openness and living without secrets has abso-freakin-lutely RUINED these poor kids. Whatever shall we do about these broken down children who have been destroyed by their mother's honesty? Tsk Tsk.    

Can I just say, it’s so amazing to live free?  

People say, “Everyone has skeletons in their closet…” Really?

I’m a firm believer it’s a lot more fun to have 100 shoes in your closet than even one skeleton. Get the skeletons the heck out of there and save room for the things that really matter.  Get it straight. Shoes and purses, that’s what life's really all about.

If you ask me, I’ll tell you. 
Unless I truly don’t know. 
Then I’ll try to find out.

And I loveeeeeeeeeee life this way.  (It’s a lot easier too. You don’t have to remember what you have and haven’t told people and what you’re trying so hard to hide.)

Being an adoptee helped me develop discernment.

Discernment is a spiritual gift, and there is another type of discernment, often times shaped by our background and experience. I have sharp discernment about people and things and attribute some of that to my adoption. I notice a lot of adoptees seem to be people of extremely deep feeling, with a sixth sense of whether someone can be trusted. In my case it's not that I don't trust anyone at all, but I am extremely selective about who I trust.

 Red flags or a "check in my spirit" are common.  I can be sitting in a meeting where a leader is talking and almost instantly discern whether they are genuine and have a heart that is in the best interest of those they serve.  I can cut through the crap very quickly in most any meeting, find truth, and express it to the group without fear.

Photo Credit: Deanna Shrodes
Friends have always recognized and confirmed this quality in me and many times even when I've chosen to be silent at the table because I just don't want to interject yet again, they'll say, "Can you please share what you're sensing?"

Being an adoptee made it possible for me to be a part of a community of people I wouldn’t have otherwise known.

The adoptee community is absolutely A-May-Zing! 

Photo Credit: Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston
I showed up at Lost Daughters and The Declassified Adoptee back in October 2011 when I was triggered and in a challenging place. I reached out and they were a Godsend. In many ways they saved my life. 

I didn't write about adoption back then. There was a better chance of the Cleveland Browns winning a Superbowl than me writing about adoption. I just reached out, shared what I was feeling and listened to others, because I needed someone who could understand.

I got involved in this community and my life has never been the same. 

Without me being adopted, I would not be a part of the adoptee community and there would be no Adoptee Restoration.

I love all of you more than a fat kid loves chocolate cake. Please don't be offended if you're on the heavy side. I've got 40 pounds to lose, myself.  

Seriously, I love you.
More than all the Cuban sandwiches in Miami.

(Speaking of food, did I mention I have not "emotionally" eaten in 14 days? Yay for me!)