adoption, adoption stories, adoptive families, birthparents, Family history, Internet adoption community, rocky roads, stumbling blocks
You may walk a rocky road.
My road may twist and bend.
We’ll share all our stories when we get together,
Together tomorrow again. -From Tom Chapin’s “Together Tomorrow”
Traveling the Internet for the past year, I discovered an online community of adoptees dealing with perplexing questions similar to my own. “Why was I given up? How can I fit together the puzzle pieces of my past?”
Thanks to online magazines such as Adoption Today, perceptive blogs about adoption, and excellent sites such as Don’t We Look Alike and Adoptee Restoration, I am, at last, staring down issues that have plagued me for a lifetime. What a world of difference this confrontation has made!
And yet as Deanna Shrodes of Adoptee Restoration said, “You wake up and you’re still adopted.”
Setbacks can occur any time, at the slightest provocation. For example, when I watched a program on public television about finding ones family tree, my outsider status syndrome immediately kicked in. How fortunate, I thought, to even possess a genealogy that you could call your own. Growing up as an adoptee, I longed for a so-called “family tree.” I’d been to Italy with my birthfather Giovanni Cecchini. After our reunion, we travelled to Abruzzi, where he was born. I met my non-English-speaking cousins, aunts and uncles. Following the journey to Italy, my birthfather’s second wife (not my birthmother) helped me secure a detailed listing of paternal relatives. And yet, I had a written copy of my adoptive family’s genealogy. How could they both be true? Did one cancel out the other?
When I was young, I made up a myth about why I was adopted.The underlying theme was “Oh, poor me.” That was a way of reacting to everything, seemingly as fixed as the stars in the Big Dipper or the belt of the constellation Orion. However, I was not a fixed star and I could shape a new truth.
Walking that rocky road can help one develop resilience. Online networking has the ability to turn emotional boulders into the beginning of wisdom. The harder the adoptee road, the more strength it takes to move forward. Even boulder fields can lead to emergence. As we approach November, National Adoption Month, how will you turn obstacles into opportunities?