I met Theresa in Philly yesterday. It was wonderful and yet bittersweet and emotional. It was also very healing in some yet to be defined way.
The bond between fellow adoptees is difficult to express but we both agreed at one point that without one another it would not be so easy to take the journey of the adopted Self (to coin BJL) . There are some things that only someone who has walked the path can deeply understand. For instance; the intense feeling of connection and yet non-connection one can have simply by staring at an intimate stranger’s name on a wall of stone. Theresa felt it at the cemetery and I felt it during my trip to Ellis Island. I remember feeling very alone staring at the names of my ancestors on that wall. I struggled to invoke the presence of personal history and own it as so many others can do with ease. I walked out front and stood staring at the infinite ocean that had brought “my” people to those very shores, people I have no real claim to from either side of the genetic and environmental fence and I cried buckets of tears for what was lost to me. Only a fellow adoptee could understand that kind of emotion. I know at that moment the arms of an understanding soul wrapped around me would have been of great comfort. We all wish to be understood.
Sometimes your go-to-guy has to be someone who gets it. That may be difficult for the usual go-to-person in our lives to understand but when someone loves you properly they can put your needs above their own. I’m really lucky in that regard.
It was incredible to meet Theresa in person. Meeting fellow adoptees always ends up feeling somewhat similar to that perfect reunion we sometimes allow ourselves to fantasize about. Meeting fellow adoptees is like Antwone Fisher and pancakes. Something only another adoptee could really, truly, deeply understand.
The connection we feel with our natural mothers cannot be replicated regardless of how strong the connection is with our adoptive mothers. Contrary to popular belief it is not diminished by a rejection either. There is an unparalleled connection we feel and regardless of how uncomfortable that makes everyone it’s not going anywhere. That connection can’t be ignored, denied, hidden OR rejected. Even those who try within themselves to deny it… fail. It comes out in a million unhealthy and unrelated ways when ignored. No amount of fear can make it disappear. It is what it is and until we accept that this connection exists adoptees will continue to be forced into playing a very emotionally dangerous game of make believe.
Adoptees have an unparalleled connection like that with one another. It is one that cannot be replicated by those in our lives that are not adopted regardless of how hard they may try. Anyone who tries creates a whole new level of meaning to the phrase “you just wouldn’t understand”. Life can be a real challenge without the proper kind of go-to-guy.
So yea, meeting T was awesome. Yesterday I got to eat a great big fluffy stack of pancakes and it was food for my soul.