I love antiques. I love antique stores. My enneagram 4 gets hit from all sides. The reveling in the past… the imagining story… the emoting… the observing craftsmanship… UUGGGHH. You all. I don’t like to share my personal business but going to antique store is only about one step down from having sex for me. And I mean… if it was noon… and I had the option of that or an antique store…. You bet your bottom dollar I’d be coming home with a giant musty traveling trunk I was going to repurpose for a bookshelf.
Anyway. I digress. I love to walk through antique shops or markets and run my hands over intriguing objects and just imagine the lives lived who used those objects. Sometimes I will pick something up and just hold it. I will let my hands run over the rust metal, or the soft fabric, the grainy wood, or the cold porcelain and I will simply just. be in awe of the craftsmanship. Craftsmanship is extremely underrated this day in age in the post-industrial age. I love to take a moment and just honor the craftsman who toiled to create such a beautiful object.
I have a two-year-old. (Thank you to every parent who just held their breath and deeply sighed in solidarity.) “YOU DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!” is her favorite statement right now. “No” is also another popular word. I got a decibel tracker on my smartwatch so I can see how loud she gets when she screams (We’ve hit 145 people). And then there is sharing. Girl can’t share for the life of her. Just like Ariana… she sees it… she wants it… and she screams until she gets it. Once she has it one word trumps all other words: “MMMIIIIIIIINNNNNNEEEE!!!!” (145 decibels y’all.)
Adoptive parents? How do you hold your adopted children?
Which mine is it?
The one where you hold them … look at them… stand in awe of them and take a moment to pause and honor the craftsman who created and gave life to your child? Truly deeply in your heart do you know that this child is not biological yours and that someone else gave time and investment to craft this beautiful creature you get to cradle and, in my case, now that she is two… argue with?
Or do you grab your child to your chest and scream, “MMMMIIIIIINNNEEE!!!!!!”
Only you can answer this question. Only you can truly sit with yourself and sense which “mine” you have in
Only you can answer this question. Only you can truly sit with yourself and sense which “mine” you have in your heart.
It’s hard. I know. Many of us adoptive parents scream the possessive “mine” because of our own hurts, unprocessed trauma, jealousy, anger that we couldn’t conceive, anger at the biological parents or family for hurting our child, our own childhood trauma, or simply because we have a black part of our hearts that doesn’t like that adoption is how we now have this child. We feel guilt for money spent, or unethical practices, or we just want to ignore that adoption is complex and means hard work. We want to shut our eyes and just keep it simple and easy.
I’ve never shared this photo. I spent 2.3 years not being able to share photos. I used to be upset by that, but now I honor it was a way of protecting her story. But this photo is my story. I took these photos now knowing her future. It was not my place to have newborn photos taken. But I wanted to document this time. I wanted her to know, whether she went home or stayed home, that she was held in awe and with honor. To this day, EVERY time I look at her, I see the craftmanship. Every time I pick her up and run my hands through her hair or across her soft skin, I am in awe of the craftsman who created this beautiful creature.
And if you are the parent who feels the latter “MINE;” if you have sat with yourself and heard that sharp tone hiding down in your depths, I BEG of you, for your child’s sake, for their biology that is a part of them, for you to address that ASAP. Get therapy. Journal. Educate yourself. Schedule a consultation with an adult adoptee or a birth Mother. Have the hard-internal conversations.
If you are a hopeful adoptive parent and are already feeling this… step away. You should not be adopting if this is your heart. Do the work. Check your heart. Plump line your ideals. Because YOU WILL cause damage to the child you adopt if this work isn’t done. You WILL cause damage if you cannot honor the craftsman.