Of Mine and Men

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.)

Mine.

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.



Mother’s Day Card

I sit here facing a computer screen with a blinking cursor. The words behind it hold the cumbersome weight of the anger and disappointment. The blank space in front hold the emptiness of unmet expectations, the “what-ifs,” and the void that I will always have because of relinquishment. 

There will be no letter this year. 
No acknowledgement.
No, “Thanks for giving me life.” 

Why?

Because I do not owe her anything. 

The choice made by other people to change the trajectory of my life left me feeling as if I had a debt to pay.  
And I’ve carried the weight of that debt my entire life. 


Carrying the weight of unnecessary debt looks like fear, anger, dissociation, regression, stagnation, impulsivity, servitude, co-dependency, numbness… there are so many more… 

My instinctual loyalty and spiritual soul ties are constantly weighing the question, “Do I owe her a  relationship… a thank you…  for giving me life?”

Our society, especially Christian society, has melded the concept of capitalism into every facet of our lives. Capitalism says, “If I give you something out of my toil, you owe me. If I sacrifice for you, you owe me.”

This seeps into how we raise and view family relationships. (If you don’t agree, I’ll send you the research.)  

But the truth is I don’t owe anything. 

I don’t owe a thank you. 
I don’t owe a card. 
I don’t owe a relationship. 

I don’t owe her love. 
 
To be in relationship with her comes with expectations, rules, excuses, projection, character-smearing, gaslighting, deniel, lies, and the placing of our story on a pedestal. 

Do I recognize her own trauma? Yes. 
Do I recognize her own brokenness? Yes. 
Does my heart break for our relationship? Yes. 
Do I have compassion? Yes. 
Do I have empathy? Yes. 
Do I pray for her? Yes.

But I do not owe anything. 
It is not my job to fix her through my own degradation. 

I can hold God’s love for her in one hand and boundaries for myself in the other. 

There will be no letter this year. 

Because if I am going to break the cycle of generational trauma, both psychologically and physically, I have to let go of the concept of being in debtor’s prison.

I must heal myself. 

Medice, cure te ipsum.

Episode Four: The Littles

You are going to want to listen to this one! In this episode I interview my kiddos for you kids to listen to what it is like to have a parent who is adopted, about their own experiences as a foster siblings, how they felt adopting a sibling, and their advice to other kids whose families are fostering, adopting, or thinking of doing either. There are some hilarious stories, a lot of laughter, a massive amount of background shuffling noise, and I had to edit a full TEN MINUTES worth of “ums” or “thinking space” out. This episode is VERY kid friendly and we tried to make it geared towards your own kids. However, I recommend you listen before you let them listen because…well… you know your kids the best!

Episode 3: Me, Myself, and My Mental Health Story PART TWO

In this week’s episode I will be continuing my mental health story as I encounter marriage, parenting and my discovery of trauma.
*This episode may be triggering, difficult to listen to, and is definitely not for little ears.

Full Circle

An adoptee who adopts does not a perfect present wrapped up in a bow make. 
A marketing picture for your pamphlet we are not. 
Our joy and laughter is not because, but in spite of. 

An adoptee who adopts is not adopting because of how magical and healing adoption is. 

An adoptee who adopts recognizes the darkness of adoption and knows that there needs to be good people to step in and parent in that darkness. 
And we adoptees know that darkness on friendly terms. 

An adoptee who adopts is willingly walking from a fire to an inferno. 

An adoptee who adopts is not walking full circle. 

Are there aspects that are full circle? Yes. Does it make the story full circle? No. 

Because just like every other adoption; healing cannot come from adoption. Adoption creates a situation where healing will continually need to take place. 
Just because there are healing revelations for me having now adopted does not mean the adoption was the answer. It may have been a catalyst. 
 But trauma still remains. 

Trauma still lives here. 

And now there isn’t just one adoption trauma story in our lives…

There is two. 

1 + 1 does not equal zero. It equals two. Adopting did not cancel out my trauma nor hers. There is no “null and void” with trauma. No quid pro Quo…

 Unlike many I did not go into adoption blindly or in a fog or for a magically made family. 

I went in full tilt. Knowing the best and the worst parts. 

Yet every day I am still surprised at how far and deep and how wide the impacts of trauma are on not just her and I, but on the other family members, our life choices, our daily schedules… 

So, before you call adoptees adopting light in this world, know we are hearing you from deep down in caves of darkness trying to funnel in the light any way we can. 



 




%d bloggers like this: