Adoption Days

I gave a lot of thought to the wonderful comments I received from my last post. I have great days but then of course there are those “adoption days” when the weight of the matter is too much to bear and I have to find a release. Thank GOD for blogging. I was (as always) very touched by the responses. I am so fortunate to be able to get a well rounded perspective from the adoptive plane. There are first moms who help to remind me how deeply the loss can affect their actions which helps me not to take this personally. Then there are adoptees who really get how intensely it hurts to be rejected a second time. Validation is so important! The adoptive parents come and offer honest and sincere sympathy for something they probably fear their own children could potentially face someday. That has to be a frightening thought, yet they still come and read and learn and offer their support. Wow, huh? What an amazing gift. No single therapist could possibly offer so much.

On those adoption days I tend to get weighed down by what I don’t have, then it passes and the next day is better. The weight is lifted enough so I can breathe again and life goes on. I can look at my beautiful family and feel deep appreciation for what I do have and not allow it to be clouded by what I don’t have. I suppose the real goal here is to put things in perspective as well as possible. I can’t make sense of the senseless but I think there has to be an acceptance for the way things are and for the understanding that I may not be able to DO anything about it.

Or can I?

I learned something during this last adoption day and that is that I do not like the term Letting Go.

Just let it go.
You should let it go.
I need to let it go.

All grossly inadequate and frankly I think it’s somewhat inappropriate. If I were able to let it go I would be living in that imaginary bubble that my mother has created for herself. It is not in my character to live that lie. No, letting go is not an option.

I do however believe that there is a place where this can all reside. A healthy place where things like sadness and regret are not all consuming. I don’t think it would be fair to myself to expect I could possibly let it all go though. Letting go indicates to me it no longer exists and to ask that of myself is unfair. Honestly, I couldn’t let my first mother go nor could I ever let my mom go regardless of their inadequacies. I can set healthy boundaries with both of them though. THAT I can do.

So that’s what I will work on. Setting healthy boundaries. I plan to write E a long letter. I don’t know if I will send it but it must be written. I deserve a voice. That is a gift I will give myself. The boundary will come into play by not having any expectations about how the letter will be received if I do decide to send it. That can’t matter because if it does I WILL be disappointed. No, I have to write the letter for ME and let the act of pen to paper be the only expectation. I can control the effect writing the letter will have on me. I can have the expectation that writing my feelings down will be cathartic and healing. I can expect that the tightness I feel in my throat will open up. I can expect it will bring me some peace. I can expect these things because I am in control of the intent AND the residual effect of following through with the action. If the only expectations are those I place on myself I cannot be disappointed. If I am I only have myself to blame.

So, I will not LET IT GO. I will not live a lie. I may have my mothers DNA but we don’t share this character trait and I think that is a blessing, not a curse. It may take me some time to figure out how to put all of this into perspective. That means there are more “adoption days” on the horizon. but I don’t fear that NEARLY as much as I fear living a lie. I would never want to be where E is. I would never want to walk this earth in constant fear that what I have “let go” could come crashing back into my consciousness at any moment. No, I would rather work on making this like an old friend that I think of every now and then with fondness. I suspect thinking about this will always make me sad to some degree. How could it not? But I will not ever purposely place myself in a position where I have regrets about my actions. If I let it go I would have regret. Letting go is giving up. Letting it go is exchanging sadness for becoming numb.
If I live my life without experiencing sadness every now and then  how would I know what it feels like to be happy? The loss of my mother DOES make me sad. Why in the world would I want to pretend otherwise?

I am going to play with my daughter now.



Filed under Adoptee Family, Natural Family

19 responses to “Adoption Days

  1. suz

    do i need to even say that I completely agree?

    oh, and i think the letter to E is a wonderful idea. I started a separate locked private blog to my daughter where I write the things i cannot tell her ( now or ever). i get angry, i get selfish, i yell at her, tell her how she hurts me, blah blah blah. its remarkably helpful.

    recently she did something that really upset me. i could not assume it was about it. it might not have been but it might have been. rather than rant to her i just wrote in this private blog and wow! it really helped.


  2. Mia, I’ve tried to comment several times, but each time it sounded patronizing and I don’t mean to. What I mean to say, quite simply, is that I am awed by your insight and your perspective, on your desire to find the place for pain, to set limits on it, but not to deny it.

  3. Suz the private blog is a great idea. Although I think it stinks that you just can’t talk through things with your daughter (and I with E). Like one would in a normal relationship. How much easier all of this would be huh?

    Well Abebech I certainly have the desire. Nobody can accuse me of not trying! lol I just hope that I’m making progress. Some days I really think I am and others- not so much.

  4. Oh, (((Mia)))

    When will people understand just how truly hurtful and insulting it is to say “Let it go”, or it’s equally dismissive counterparts of “Get over it” or “Move on, already!” that asks us to deny our truths, and ourselves?

    Thinking of you.

  5. Hi Mia-
    I am so sorry that E can not or will not be the person you need her to be. It sounds to me like all you are really looking for is some validation. Validation and acceptance is a normal thing to expect from the person who brought you into this world. It seems cruel that E is unwilling to give that to you. It’s stupid of her really.
    I have a similar situation going on in my own life although not with my first mother. It’s like beating my head against the wall . We just can’t give each other what we need. I’ve come to the realization that I will never change this person. It’s just not there to give. Have I “let go”? No. Not at all. I’m just learning to accept things for what they are now.
    It is what it is, you know?
    And nothing, NOTHING is permanent.
    No, it’s not letting go but there is some acceptance. I am accepting that there are some things that right now, I can’t change.
    And I am hoping that some day in the future, things will be better.
    And I am trying to find my way and get what I need from other relationships in my life. Things that person is unwilling for whatever reason to give me.
    You seem like an extremely intelligent, likeable, even loveable person. It is not your fault that E is unwilling to break out of her “bubble” and see that.
    That’s her fault.
    I hope you find some peace in all of this.
    Thanks for ketting me ramble and rant. 🙂

  6. “Letting it go is exchanging sadness for becoming numb.”

    Mia, I honestly hadn’t thought of this perspective when it comes to the term of “letting it go,” although I would never presume to tell someone to do that, I just tell myself that from time to time.

    During our first adoption process, I tried time and time again to “let go” of my need to control the situation and allow things to happen the way they were meant to happen. I thought “letting go” would put me in a place of peacefulness. No matter how hard I tried, I was never able to reach that place for any great stretch of time. I just had to take things day by day and LIVE those experiences and accept the feelings that went along with them.

    As for your idea of writing a letter to E, even a letter that might never be sent, I think it’s a great one! I filled pages and pages in my journal during our adoption process and the act of writing my thoughts down was a helpful purging process. I’ve been journaling for over 20 years now and I love it! Sometimes my journal entries consist of letters that will never be sent.

    I hope your writing helps you…not to “let it go” but to work your way directly through your feelings and carry on in a healthy fashion!


    “The boundary will come into play by not having any expectations about how the letter will be received if I do decide to send it. ”

    Sometimes I write letters (by hand) and burn them. For me it’s like sending smoke signals, sending my message out. I can let go for a moment, because I am giving myself a voice. And watch for internal changes.

  8. Your idea of writing a letter, whether its sent or not, is a good one.

    I so wish you didn’t have to hurt this way, but you’re right. Better to hurt than to be numb, to try to lock away the feelings. It is what it is and what it is sucks. No point in trying to sugarcoat it. Mom isn’t interested in being Mom for whatever reason(s), but those have everything to do with her and nothing to do with you. She sure doesn’t know what she’s missing.

    *hugs* to you, Mia.

  9. (((((((((((((Mia))))))))))))))))
    I’ve been struggling with so much of these same feelings.
    You give me lots to think about.
    Thanks for being here – and sharing.
    Big hugs gorgeous girl. C. xxx

  10. Mia, You are so wise. It’s unreasonable to think that you should just let something as important as your firstmom, go. Putting those feelings/thoughts into a safe place where you still honor and acknowledge them without letting them run your life, is such a great idea. I know that I have good days and overwhelming days and that feeling ebb and flow. I let my firstmom go for over three years and you’re right, I felt numb. It was awful. Now that I’m more mature, I realize that finding ways to live with her imperfections and realizing that they aren’t personal towards me, is much more rewarding than writing her off. I’m so proud of you! Big hugs, Rebecca

  11. Mia, I have a different perspective of letting go, which I had to really think hard on after reading your post. I understand fully what you say, and admire that you can have the right sort of expectations, that is, expectations of yourself, not others.
    But about the letting go. I’ve had a difficult relationship with my birth father, where after many years, I’ve finally realised I needed to let go. Why? Because I was putting in all the hard work, getting less and less of a response, and being hurt by this. My friends actually told me not to let go, which annoyed me, because they had no idea of the pain I was going through. It took me a long time to get there, but now that I am there, I’m much more at peace. Rejection hurts so much, and I can’t afford to keep setting myself up for it. I worked through all of this with my counsellor over many sessions. To keep trying with my birth father would only be destructive for my self-esteem. And part of letting go has been to acknowledge that it’s not that my birth father isn’t interested in me, it’s because he has his own issues with adoption and his role in it, which he can’t cope with. Since I’ve let go, I’ve had no real contact with him – he doesn’t try to contact me at all. Yes, it is sad – especially after being rejected by my birth mother – and I still feel sad and angry at times, but it’s reality.
    That’s just how it is for me. Don’t think I’m telling you what to do. You are the only one who can decide how to be and what to do, no one else.

  12. Pingback: When it’s time to let go in adoption - Beyond The Red Door

  13. Mia I’ve been thinking a lot about this post today, and I really don’t know how anyone can expect us to “get over it”.

    I mean if our parents died in a car crash, would we ever “get over it”?

    Wouldn’t we always be sad that they died in a car crash???

    To people who say we need to “get over it”, I say they need to shove it.


  14. Mia…no one can ever truly “let it go” because where ever you go, you take it with you. Even people who lose limbs have phantom pains. You can lose the parts, but the mind says it is still there and the feelings, especially the pain is real.

    I wish our minds were like “dream catchers” where we only remembered the positive experiences in our life. But alas, our brains are “memory catchers” storing both the good and the bad. Bad memories produce trauma and it is said that one must relive a trauma a thousand times in order to work through it….to integrate it…make sense enough of it if that is even possible and then maybe come to the point of just saying: this is an impossible situation with no solution. How much of live is like that?

    Hope you enjoyed playing with your daughters. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day Mia!


    Does it help to just accept your powerlessness in this? Or is that as annoying as people saying let go?

    I sometimes do that with very painful things that i have no control over, I accept my powerlessness, I don’t know if it helps or not.

    Just hope it’s not annoying…..

  16. you are right about the pretending, not only does it suck it is a waste of time

  17. I spent years letting it go. Problem is, it always comes back.

    I do the un-sent letter thing too. I’ve got volumes of them to people I’ve hurt and people who’ve hurt me.

  18. Looking4Mom

    I have been on a long journey searching for my birth mom. I am beginning to think maybe she doesnt want to be found.

  19. GettingPastTheHurt

    I have been searching for my birth family for a few weeks now. I did find out that my birth parents are deceased so I am trying to locate any siblings or other relatives I may have. I have found a few of them through a site called People Finders. I thought I would share this site with you. It is been very valuable in my search.

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