Entries in Adoption (4)
I wish that with one touch I could ease your pain, and protect you from its future grasps, but, this would change your intended destination, restrict you from knowing your own power, and deny you the opportunity to find the person you are meant to become.
Rather than just offering you my advice and limiting your adventure, I will share the essence of my experience, and hope that this will lead you to your own answers.
Every situation in your life is neutral in origin, giving you the opportunity to assign its meaning. Walk away from your books, television, journals, and stop seeking counsel from others; they are your escapes. Instead, sit just with yourself, and ask yourself why you wish to seek, what you hope to find, and how you will proceed.
Before you continue, you should find peace with these answers. They will invariably determine the quality of the wisdom that will be revealed to you. Then, let them all go. If you hold them too tightly, you will miss the point of the ride, and the many answers to questions you never even thought to ask.
If you wish to only experience joy, love, and peace, then this is not your path.
But, if in your heart you know that to fully appreciate and comprehend these emotions, you must also explore pain, fear and confusion, then this road will lead you to understand the purpose for all of these in your life.
As these feelings dance around you, let yourself get caught in their magical rhythm. Do not let your head judge these feelings, but instead ask your heart to embrace the intensity and understand the meaning of each. Learn about them all. If you know more about a few, then you know less about the others, and less about yourself.
If you devote yourself entirely to recognizing and distinguishing each emotion, you will see that these are your tools. They will help you remove the layers of restrictions that you have placed upon yourself, and ensure that your wings and life's work will be exposed.
Even with all of this, in the end, the experience of searching and finding your birthmother is unexplainable and unimaginable until you dive naked into its arms, shouting for retribution, gratitude, expansion, and mercy.
If you do decide that this is what you wish to do, just live the questions and you will live your way to the answers.
I stood on the corner of 9th and Ivanhoe, trying to imagine what the neighborhood had looked like the day I was born. Today it was stale and unimpressive, but surely it must have been magnificent then. The original building was now a large condominium complex, so my imagination was the only tool capable of constructing the small home for unwed mothers where I was born. Luckily embellishing and constructing truth without details are familiar concepts to an adopted child.
I had revisited this site twice since my birth, but this time I was not leaving until my questions were answered. I desperately needed to re-create my own self portrait rather than stare at the blank canvas that had been mocking me for years.
As soon as I released my expectations, Act I began with a chilling scream. Though I covered my ears to provide them refuge, the sound still managed to slip inside my body and make my acquaintance. I asked for further understanding and immediatley the cries ceased. In the window before me stood a young dark-haired pregnant woman. Our eyes never met, but I knew this was my birthmother from a time passed. She disappeared quickly, and I was left to imagine what it must have been like to live in a world that had shunned her for giving birth to a member of its own. I do not believe in a G-d, or a society who finds any shame in birth.
Once again the cries returned and I suddenly felt my body begin to ache with knowing. Tears came, and I fell to my knees. After a moment of silence, I heard my own newborn cries, and felt them quickly losing their innocence. We would only have two days together for the next 18 years.
I lay on the ground exhausted. With great speed, images began to hit me on the head as if to prove to my doubts that there was no mistaking the experience I was having.
The woman from the window was pushing a baby stroller towards the park, suddenly three young children identical to the siblings I now know so well were by her side.
A man indistinguishable to her first husband exited his truck and waved to me; the red mustang beside me was a duplicate of the one I had left in California the day before, even down to bumper stickers and Texas license plate. I was at a crossroads, being shown the life that was almost mine and the life I or others had chosen for me.
I walked toward the park, but was surprised when my steps continued past my intended destination, feeling guided to turn left and walk another half block. As I looked before me, I was shocked to be standing before a landmark from my remembered past. Growing up in Denver, I attended two synagogues that shared resources and teaching programs. The building across town had exposed my sweet disposition, while the relic in front of me produced only civil disobedience. As my teachers at Beth Joseph tried to teach me biblical and cultural stories, I would run through the halls at full speed, daring them to catch me. Unaware how to discipline me, and unable to explain my dual personalities, they would banish me from their classrooms and I would end up outside, leaning against the wall that now held me once again.
At that moment, I realized that the past I had been chasing had been trying to reach me for a long time, but I had missed its cues. All along I thought that the past, present and future were unconnected entities that needed to be searched independently, but in fact they are inseparable. The past and future and your thoughts about them are important, but the present is the only gateway that allows you to interact with and modify the other two.
I laughed and felt the wind that I had been relinquished into surround me and restore the lost pieces of my soul. Integration is a powerful lesson for an adopted child; once the process begins, details become more apparent, truth becomes more relative, and truly knowing yourself is inevitable. I don’t understand any person or policy that tries to deny another person this experience.
THE CAMERA PANS DOWN A BUSY STREET CAPTURING HAPPY PEOPLE SITTING WITH FRIENDS AT OUTDOOR CAFES, LAUGHING IN FRONT OF BOUTIQUES AND BOOK STORES...
VOICE OVER- BESS
I feel like a visitor in a foreign land most of the time. I pass by so many people who seem to be so happy, and I envy that they can relax and truly enjoy life, while I constantly get caught up in my own head, over-analyzing EVERYTHING.
THE CAMERA PANS THROUGH A BUSY PARK SHOWING EVERYONE, CHILDREN, PUPPIES, ALL HANGING OUT HAVING A BRILLIANT TIME- PLAYING VOLLEYBALL, LAYING ON BLANKETS, GRILLING, LAUGHING, AND SMILING ALMOST AS IF IN A STAGED PLAY FOR BESS.
VOICE OVER- BESS
Lately I find it hard to really connect with people…no one seems to talk about anything of substance anymore, and if they do, it is to sell you on their Multi Level Marketing Company, or convince you that their dogma doesn’t stink, . . . and lets face it, all dogma stinks.
I know that I just flew 2 hours to get here, but now it does not seem to be that great of an idea. I know everyone loves the holidays, and that you are supposed to look forward to spending with your family, but how many of you have actually MET my family?
WE HEAR A TEXT MESSAGE COMING IN AND SEE BESS’ PHONE REVEAL A MESSAGE FROM CALI
Try to have fun today, honey…
Do it anyway…
VOICE OVER - BESS
At least this time I think I know who the mole is in my family.
BESS EXITS HER CAR AND WALKS TO THE PICNIC TABLE TO SIT WITH ELLA.
Hi honey, HOW ARE YOU?
THE CAMERA PANS AROUND TO REVEAL BESS.
Doing well, HOW ARE YOU?
ELLA SHOOTS HER A LOOK RECOGNIZING THE SARCASM.
Oh fine, honey, boring and uninteresting, but fine just the same….
You know you are slowly driving everyone here crazy, right?
Why is that?
You don’t tell us ANYTHING about your life and you walk around playing the martyr all the time.
What do you want to know?
Anything. How about - How is LA, work, your love life…or how things are with June.
I try to share details, it just seems that no one listens. Their eyes glaze over with disinterest, jealousy or trepidation to even discuss such things.
You mean to discuss your other family?
I guess. It is all connected for me, so it is hard to separate things.
We are your family, Bess, we will always be here for you, I know that it cannot be easy.
I know that you are, Ella, but the others treat me like a traitor.
What do you mean by that?
Did Aunt Rachel tell you about the letter that she sent?
No, what letter?
Oh, it was a fabulously worded letter dripping with wonderful sentiments… most of which were that I am a traitor and how dare I want to have a relationship with my birth family. How it is killing my mother, and how no one in the family understands why I need to bother myself with getting to know THAT FAMILY.