(first published 2013)
The quotes that really resonate with me:
The counselor there defined grief as “the realization of what you’ve lost.” That was new for me. I’d always equated grief with funerals and tears, the outward act of mourning, but this was a little different.
“People are irreplaceable. That’s why this is hard.“ I’ll support him if he wants to search for his birth family or reconnect with his foster mom. Any relationship he might re-establish with them does not negate his relationship with me. They can’t replace me, just like I can’t replace them.
Back when I was young, I think it was common adoption methodology to deny that there would be any grief involved for the adoptee and to approach it as if adoption was a 100% good for the child (assuming the adoptive parents were not abusive). My parents were good parents in general – they loved (love) me. But this denial of grief, this being told that I should be thankful … does one go to a funeral and tell a grieving child that they should be thankful?? “You should be thankful your mother is dead and not mothering you anymore. She didn’t really want to be mothering you anyway.” But it’s OK for the adoptee, apparently.
I think if my grief had been acknowledged and supported from the beginning it would have gone a long way towards healing this crazy person I’ve become. I just want certain people to realize it’s not all about *them* – that it wasn’t easy for me either.
I’m sorry I’m quiet and not too articulate when I *am* posting – I’ve had a “run in” with someone who should have my best interests at heart, and it fed into all my adoption baggage big time. I’m having trouble making sense of it all, even though it was weeks ago now. Maybe it will be a post for another day. I *really* want to talk about it, and at the same time I don’t want to be so specific that I’m not being kind to the people involved.