“April is the cruelest month.” T. S. Eliot
“April, the Angel of Months.” -Vita Sackville-West
April is full of surprises: one day sunny and mild, the next day snowy.
Here in northern New Mexico, April is luminously beautiful. Fruit trees blossom, our deciduous trees turn that electrifying shade known to painters as “sap green.” Darkness diminishes as our own special Season of Light increases in strength.
Like many in the adoption world, I’ve learned to “flip the script.” On the one hand, I will never know what it is like to have blood-related family. My biological parents were a fact essential to my being in the world. In the final analysis, however, they were distant figures who I ostensibly got to know, but actually merely encountered. On the other hand, I was fortunate to end up with wonderful adoptive parents.
It’s been said that every problem is also an opportunity. April has proved this to me. When I recently pulled a back muscle during a yoga class, the pain was excruciating. I went to Urgent Care, then to my regular medical doctor…nothing helped. It was hard to walk. All I could think about was how much my back and leg hurt. This led to a most fortunate discovery: a community acupuncture clinic. After five consecutive treatments, the pain had nearly vanished. What’s more, the clinic’s doctor (of Oriental Medicine) prescribed various supplements and minerals. The alternative measures, in addition to relief from the injury, cured leg cramps and dietary imbalances. I was given a regimen of back-strengthening exercises. What might have been a disaster turned out to be a blessing.
Easter brought the best gift of all. My granddaughter, age 12, chose to visit me during her spring break. She is not a granddaughter I get to see very often, as her mother and father, my son, are divorced.
During the week this lively pre-teen spent with me, we went to see “Cinderella,” lunched at favorite restaurants, read together, toured the local botanical garden, visited art galleries and museums. The paints and drawing supplies I’d put in her room were put to good use. I gave her my favorite Walter Farley Black Stallion books. She had such a good time, she wants to come back this summer for another visit.
Since the publication of The Goodbye Baby, I’ve heard from hundreds in the online adoption community—adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, men and women who are still searching for reunions with their original parents. This response has deepened my understanding of why people are seldom happy that they were adopted. Even though adoption may have been “for the best,” it leaves one with the feeling of a shaky foundation. Despite all that, it is possible to create happiness.
Is April cruel or is it, as Sackville-West maintains, the angel of months? I’ll let you decide. In the meantime, the angels are there. Even for adoptees!