Today I offer you a not uncommon adoptee challenge –
For so many of us, birthdays suck. And I’m realizing it doesn’t get easier with age. So many complicated emotions. For me this is the day I was born and the day I was separated from my birth mom. I‘m not resentful for the choice she made, she’s a wonderful human.
I think it has to do with expectations that birthdays are supposed to be happy. I never want to be the center of attention but if someone overlooks me, or my feelings, I get super sad. It feels like a rejection thing. I might prefer celebrating my adoption day… but that would be difficult to explain.. to people who could never comprehend.
I’m sick of crying every single birthday (and having to hide it) and faking it for the rest of the day. I’m (hopefully) going to have at least 50 more of these and I don’t want to look back hating every single one and dreading the next. Therapy is great (I’ve had awesome therapists for over 7 years) but certain topics like these don’t feel solvable in therapy. I wish I could talk to others that understand from life experience.
An inspirational message from Agape that I listened to yesterday focused on Expectations and how to make peace with them. You can watch the July 3rd 9am Service HERE (fast forward to the 37 minute point, if you want to only listen to her message).
Every Monday morning, I watch Sunday’s Agape service as recorded and shared on their website. The messages from the Rev Michael Bernard Beckwith are empowering and positive. Today’s message left me wanting to share something more positive about adoption than I usually do. Don’t misunderstand. I’m am still more than less against most adoptions. A woman who regularly reads this blog, sometimes shares my essays on her blog. Our perspectives are not identical but I noticed that she had one today with the title – Why adoption can be a blessing. So I went there and found among several offerings this video and watched it.
As this video makes clear, sometimes adoption is the best answer and sometimes the coincidences (which spiritually I believe in strongly as signs) make an adoption simply feel “right” and in harmony. So in keeping with my desire today, I share this video with you, to spread a little joy about a topic that I normally do not feel all warm and fuzzy regarding.
Listening to my favorite weekly inspirational broadcast of the Agape service lead by the Rev Dr Michael Bernard Beckwith, he shared the story of a troubled young man who had been adopted. He had been a difficult child and acted out until . . .
One day, he shifted the narrative of his life from being given away to being given an opportunity. Just that slight shift in perspective made all the difference.
Many adoptees struggle with the sense they were abandoned and rejected. They respond to those feelings generally in one of two ways – by becoming people pleasers or by becoming defiant. An adoptee cannot change the reality that they were adopted.
I was contemplating after some long discussions about the situation of my nephew. Not everyone can see things from my spiritual perspective. However, I came to the realization for him, that he was definitely NOT a mistake. Yes, my sister did something foolish and she compounded her error by not accepting responsibility and facing the truth. I can forgive her because I do know what an awkward situation the whole thing was.
However, it is my belief that my nephew CHOSE to come into this world knowing full well the unique circumstances he was entering through. Certainly, my hearts knows there has been some damage done – to him, to his natural father who was denied an opportunity to have a say in the outcome – but he is a quality young man. My heart believes he will be just fine.
There may be many journeys for him ahead in realizing his full potential but the journey I have taken in the last 24 hours, shifted the narrative for me – regarding my sister and regarding my nephew. I gave generously of my time to that discussion but I am the one who benefited by the effort.
The definition of opportunity is a set of circumstances that make it possible to do something.