You would think I’d have a lot to say today. That emotions would still be spilling out after last weeks adoption. That I’d feel joy. Or I’d feel peace. Or even anger would be welcome at this point. But I don’t feel anything really. Relief? Yes. So over having the state in my home so much ( rules make me claustrophobic).
No one planned for her adoption to take place during the first week of National Adoption Awareness Month. Her case just played out like that. I don’t mean to make her adoption about me, it’s just that I didn’t expect for my brain to walk through my 37 years on this Earth in one day. I didn’t expect my suitcase of baggage to spill open in what I thought would be one of the greatest weeks of my life.
I’ve always wanted to adopt. Not to grow my family. Not to “save” children. Even when we were experiencing infertility and wanted to adopt the one wasn’t a back up option. I wanted to adopt because my parents were excellent adoptive parents. They gave me a safe haven. A harbor I can still run to. Are they perfect? Do they understand everything about how I feel or what I experience as an adoptee? No. Hardly. But they listen and they remain steady and constant.
If a child needs to be adopted. If it’s ethically needed and options have run out, then that’s where I want to be. I do this because they first loved me. And that weight, and the weight of my own trauma, and they weight of her trauma, and the gravity of adoption landed heavily on my shoulders during a time I thought I’d feel joy.
And today I feel like her in this photo on the day we took family photos. This day she was chilly. She was out of her element (no pun intended). She was afraid. She was unsure. She was dis-regulated. Her brain was overwhelmed. So. Her amygdala fires up and froze. She began to shut down.
This is how I feel today. During a time I should be celebrating, I just want someone to regulate me. Her I can pick up. We can comfort and teach and guide our children. But as an adult I’m in charge of myself. And I’m unsure how to process my trauma as an adoptee who has adopted. I believe I’m starting the Part Two of my life book: How to heal while teaching healing.
Photo Credit: Katie Simon Instagram @helloekatiejo