March 1, 2013

The Wonder Years

For adoptees, all the years are the wonder years. Unless they've been given access to all the information about themselves.  

Did you ever think of what a strange world adoptee-land can be, where a human being does not readily have knowledge of their own personal history? I can't think of many things much more bizarre than that, not to mention, potentially dangerous when it comes to medical history.

I am hard pressed to think of any adoptee I personally know who has told me that knowing their full history, even in what some would term "worse case scenarios" was worse than not knowing. 

Photo Credit: Luz Adriana Villa A, FlickR

A counselor once advised me that secrets are some of the most destructive things in the world. I know that full well.  It's often been said, "You're only as sick as your secrets." 

Unfortunately for adoptees, it's not us keeping the secrets. I say unfortunately because if it were us who kept them, we could just easily change that, and fix what's broken. I try as much as possible to live a life devoid of secrets, as far as it depends on me, because I realize how unhealthy they are. 

Living in what adoptees call "the ghost kingdom" is one of, if not the most frustrating part of living life adopted. If I had to describe what it's like to live in the ghost kingdom, I would liken it to a land of locked doors and gaping blank spaces. You try and try to open the doors or fill in the spaces, and keep coming up blocked and empty.  You do your best to navigate the secret passageways and if you're lucky you find others along the path. You link together as you move forward in the dark, providing strength and hope for one another on the journey.

I wrote about the wondering part of adoption in one of my recent posts, Affected by Adoption: Body, Soul & Spirit, at Lost Daughters:

My body includes my distinctive nose and feet. I never saw a relative who looked anything like me until I laid eyes on my newborn son in 1989.  Dustin was the first. I never realized how many ways his birth would affect me. I had always longed to connect with my original family but his birth accelerated the desire, sending me on an emotional free fall that lasted until the day I knocked on my birth mother’s door.  
Photo Credit: Deanna Shrodes

My body was different from everyone in the family that raised me. As a kid we would occasionally go to baseball games in Baltimore City (it was Memorial stadium back then). While everyone around me watched the game, I would gaze into the sea of faces that surrounded me. When someone passed by who possessed certain physical traits, I would wonder if they were among my first family. 

It was illogical that members of my birth family would be there. They didn't live nearby. But you wonder about a lot of illogical things when you are adopted. Because you just don't know.

And when you don't know, your mind wanders, grasping for anything to hold onto.

Whether in my hometown or vacationing far away, I studied faces a lot. Always wondering if they might happen to be there. Of course I never approached anyone, although sometimes I wanted to.

I stayed quiet about this. Always quiet.

There are great mysteries of the world such as…

Photo Credit: LitasWorld

How was Stonehenge built?
What really happens in the Bermuda Triangle?
Who knocked off the nose of the Spinx?

We may never know these things. 

Other things could so easily be known, but they remain mysteries. One thing that makes the unknown for adoptees so sad is that it’s needless. 

Utterly needless.

Adoptee mysteries could very easily be solved. 
Sometimes...far too many times, they are not. 

And the adoptee remains in wonder world.

As an adoptee who still lives partially in wonder world, I am so grateful there is a God in heaven and an amazing adoptee community.   

I love and appreciate you all, more than words can say.