December 11, 2013

What I Could Have Said to This Adoptive Parent...And Didn't. (Until Now.)

 “One of the main reasons we adopted our son from Korea was so we don't ever have to worry about the reunion stuff…”

Photo Credit: Okasafa, Flickr

This was said to me earlier this year by an acquaintance I hadn’t connected with since college.  A mutual friend had forwarded one of my blog posts to her and she wrote a note and sent it to me in response. The topic of my post was navigating the challenges of reunion. Her reaction to what I wrote was that she was grateful she would never have to deal with her son reuniting with his original family because she and her husband adopted from Korea.
Did I say how unsettled I was about this comment at the time? No. 

I figured it was pointless. 

Most people with this kind of rationale don’t wake up until something happens where they have no other option.

I could have told her about a transracial internationally adopted 20-something  who is a member of Adoptee Restoration Tampa Bay.*  

I could have told her that this adoptee has adoptive parents who thought the same thing – that odds of reunion were slim because they had adopted her from Africa.

I could have told her what a shock it was to the adoptive parents when their daughter saved all her money during the summer to go back to Africa...with her boyfriend accompanying her.

I could have told her that once they arrived, the adoptee and her boyfriend knocked on doors from morning to night in the village where she was born, searching for her original mother.

I could have told her they plan to do the same thing, over and over again until they have success, saying they will NEVER give up.

I could have told her about another friend, adopted from Korea, who has found her original mother and father and has visited them there.

I could have told her that she longs for Korea, daily.  

I could have told her that my friend scrapes money together to pay for interpreters on a monthly basis, doing whatever it takes to connect with her family in Korea.

I could have told her how bewildering this is for my friend's adoptive parents, who never imagined these things happening.

I could have told her that this story is repeated countless times.

No, not every time. 
But  many times.
Her son is in elementary school.

Right now he is very quiet. According to her, he hasn’t shared his feelings about adoption one way or another. He evidently has no problems, because, "he never says anything." Oh boy... 

I could have shared that in a few years, her little boy may develop into a courageous young adult.

I could have shared that the young man may announce he’s going on a special vacation…somewhere far, far away. Yes, far away from Pennsylvania.   

I could have shared all this and more, but I didn’t.

She may find out soon enough.

You blink, and kids grow up, you know.  

They grow up and search things out for themselves. 

It's possible that she may be faced with a new reality.

It's a reality that adult adoptees have tremendous difficulty getting through to some (emphasis on some, meaning -- not all) adoptive parents who think they know more about adoption than those who actually are adopted.  

Sometimes, it's best to let nature take it's course.

Experience is a fantastic educator.

 *Some identifying details changed to protect confidentiality of support group member