I thought that writing would be therapeutic. I’m not sure that I was right.
Throughout my life, long before this blog, I have received questions that I’ve thought were..odd. Questions revolving around the strangeness, difficulty, and everyday life of an “adopted kid”.
I’ve never really understood these questions.
Is it strange to be adopted?
Well..how would I know? I’ve never been anything other than adopted. I mean, I’m strange, so maybe?
Isn’t it hard to be adopted?
I don’t think so..I feel like my life is the same amount of hard as other people. How does one measure that exactly?
What’s it like to be adopted?
Uh, well, I wake up every morning. Go to bed every night. How adoption plays into that..I’m not sure. It provides some great material for jokes, I guess. I often remind my parents that they picked me and signed legal paperwork so…anything I do, it’s their fault that they have to deal with it. They often threaten to return me to where they found me from (under a rock). Not as believable now that I’m older. Joke’s on you, Dad!
And then I wonder, after severely judging other people for thinking too hard, am I not thinking about this hard enough? Should I feel strange? Should I feel like my life is difficult? Should I feel different from other non-adopted people? Am I not thinking about this enough? Should I be thinking about this more? What am I missing here? Did I not get the gene for self-reflection? Was that because I was adopted? Do I not ask the right questions…because I was adopted? Do I not feel weird about being adopted…because I was adopted? Does everything in my life lead back to the fact I was adopted?! (Read this in a gradually increasing volume + pitch, until you reach the point of desperation + wanting to rip your hair out. Then, calmly transition to the next paragraph, after pausing to look out the window to your right for 3 seconds.)
Upon further reflection, I have realized that adoption has never been a big deal, because I’ve never made it a big deal. Could I have cried about it? I mean, sure, I guess. I was a dramatic kid, I’m sure I could have twisted it somehow. Could I have had identity issues because of it? I think that I probably do, but my identity issues are minor..because I don’t make those issues my identity. I am not an “adopted kid”, I am a kid that just happened to be adopted (but I won’t be offended if you call me an adopted kid). When you are handed over to your “new” parents at 16 hours old, and grow up always knowing you were adopted, it’s almost like you aren’t even adopted. It’s not a big deal. It’s a fact of life. I’ve never had “issues” because of it. It has literally been a “non-issue”.
Back to my initial statement. I thought that writing would be therapeutic. I thought that diving into my story would help me do some self-reflection, as well as help me process through things. However, it has not been therapeutic. It has been stressful. I worry that I am not revealing pieces of my story quickly enough, which keeps people from being able to understand the entire story. I worry that people don’t really care what I have to say. I worry that I’m not writing about things that people want to read. I worry that people talk about, rather than with. I worry that I misrepresent, completely unintentionally, but hurtfully, nonetheless. I worry that I don’t stick to a schedule. I worry that this creative outlet has turned into a chore, a “to-do” that I struggle to get done.
What it comes down to is that my premise was flawed, or at the very least, incomplete. I wanted to write therapeutically. I wanted this to be curative, to be restorative for me. However, what I have realized is that I don’t need therapy. I don’t need to be cured. I don’t need to be restored. I am perfectly at peace with my adoption story(ies). Sure, there are pieces that still weigh on me. But just because a small piece of a “whole” isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean that the “whole” needs fixing. It is important for me to remember that, while there were certain difficult things within each adoption story, there is nothing that I would change. I truly believe that everything happened the way it was supposed to happen. Why would I need to write therapeutically about something that I have come to terms with, and have peace about?
With that being said, I have no intention of ending this blog. It has been a great outlet for me. I stayed silent about my own adoption journey (my pregnancy/placement of baby) for almost a decade out of fear & self-doubt. Doing so was REALLY difficult for me because I am all about honesty. Living a contradiction like that is not great for one’s soul. Being “out loud & proud” about my journey has helped give me confidence, which has been therapeutic in its own way. I can now publicly be the most honest and open version of myself as socially acceptable (haha!). I would like to continue writing as a creative outlet for myself, and as a way to continue sharing parts of my story that people don’t know, or would be curious to learn more about.
I’m changing my thesis statement to be a more complete & accurate reflection of my objective. This blog is about sharing my stories, sometimes therapeutically, and sometimes simply because I like to talk. Because I really like to talk.
So, hit me with your questions. I’ll hit you with some answers.