I am from the company of the adopted, once relinquished but swiftly redeemed and daily resurrected by the care of a father and compassion of a mother.
I want my own children to feel that redemptive energy running through their veins, fortifying their sense of self, the adoptive sacrament sweet on their tongues.
I feel responsible to impart blessing on each of their days so they, too, will taste and see the goodness – not the abandonment.
I wonder sometimes, in the dark hours of the morning when they still belong to the sleeping world, if I am mother enough.
I fear I’m not.
I hope to see them celebrate their story – left for dead but now alight with life, adopted because they matter and they possess gifts to lavish in the world. I hope they’ll not hide their adopted status, hold it like a stigma, but instead come to cherish their own place in the company of the adopted alongside me.
I try to show them the way of the adopted. I try to listen to their own way, too.
I believe we hold this sacrament together, praying for birth moms, celebrating Adoption Days, knowing our belonging to one another is deeper than blood.
I dream of celebrations down through the generations in this family created by grafted goodness.
I am adopted. I am the mother of the adopted. I stand in their company with fresh gifts on offer.
This is what a free write can unleash – the unexpected. I began with a simple I am statement – I am from the company of the adopted. But when the next prompt came, I want… I discovered that what I want now is for my own children to follow the path I’ve worn these forty some years.
I know adoption is not a monolithic experience. I know I cannot will them to embrace it as I have, but how deeply I hope they will grow to see it as celebration and sacrament.
In the course of the free write what I discovered, as if by way of chiasm, was my own fear about mothering them well along this adopted path. What if they shun their adoption, what if they hide it in silence and carry it like a stigma? It would break my heart. Unearthed by pen and prompts was my own realization that they could grow to understand their adoption differently. And how that would hurt, how I’d feel a failure as an adoptive mother.
Free writes are good. They can be great tools not just for writing, for creative notions but also for self discovery. I encourage you to find some good friends and write together, share and cry together. Good things will come. Lessons will be learned.
(Thanks to Claire and Idelette of SheLoves Magazine for the days of prompts as they hosted the Writers Track at Amahoro Africa‘s annual Gathering in Uganda. And thank you to my table of friends and writers who wrote, shared, listened and cried with me as we told our stories.)