noun: appreciation; plural noun: appreciationsappreciation_can_make_a_day_even_change_a_life_copy-resized-600

the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.
“I smiled in appreciation”
synonyms:    valuing, treasuring, admiration, respect, regard, esteem, high opinion
“her appreciation of literature”
gratitude for something.
“they would be the first to show their appreciation”
synonyms:    gratitude, thanks, gratefulness, thankfulness, recognition, sense of obligation
“he showed his appreciation”
antonyms:    ingratitude
a piece of writing in which the qualities of a person or the person’s work are discussed and assessed.
synonyms:    review, critique, criticism, critical analysis, assessment, evaluation, judgment, rating
“a critical appreciation of the professor’s work”
sensitive understanding of the aesthetic value of something.
“courses in music appreciation”
a full understanding of a situation.
“they have an appreciation of the needs of users”
synonyms:    acknowledgment, recognition, realization, knowledge, awareness, consciousness, understanding, comprehension
“an appreciation of the difficulties involved”

 Adoption recovery has led me to appreciation. Appreciation: It’s often considered a synonym for “gratitude,” but to my mind, it implies a more detailed type of noticing. Gratitude, perhaps, is more of a blanket term and appreciation implies assessment, recognition, perception of worth.
It brings with it Mindfulness.
Recently, I suffered from the flare-up of an old injury from my marathoning days. The injury involved the return of Morton’s neuromas in the bottom of my foot, The condition caused a pain so acute that the foot doctor told me I could not hike until it got better. Two cortisone shots and three weeks later, I still am not allowed to do anything that involves high impact. Walking on the flatlands is allowed but no climbing. This pronouncement came as a blow.

During my period of “deprivation,” however, I also received a gift of time. Not being able to hike created a vacuum that led to working on a long-postponed novel! I appreciate the fact that instead of being a setback, my injury turned out to be a way forward. This recent experience dramatizes the fact that it’s not what happens to us but what we make of what happens.
My newly-in-progress novel The Hand of Ganesha focuses on the quest of an Indian-American woman, an adoptee, who travels to Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, in search for her birthparents. Being adopted gives me the theme about which I’ll be writing for here on out. I am glad events have unfolded as they have: Call it adaptability, call it adoption recovery, call it appreciation.


Join Elaine every other Monday for reflections on adoption and life.