There are often ramifications from the loss(es) suffered by having been adopted, having nothing to do with how the child is raised within his or her family. Feelings of rejection, shame and, issues with control, intimacy and identity can manifest within the adoptee, regardless of whether he or she has been raised within a loving and supportive home, or not. And how someone navigates what it means to have been adopted varies from one person to the next, and through their psychosocial development.
Adoptive parents can learn a lot from listening to other adoptive parents, birth parents, professionals who work in the adoption “field,” and adult adoptees. Of these four, it is most often the voice of the adult adoptee that goes unheard, is ignored or silenced.
Linda Hoye, a friend and colleague of mine, has written her memoir, Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude. I couldn’t put it down. Beautifully and powerfully written, Linda, raised in a loving home, shares her journey of discovery and healing. Convinced that change within the adoption mosaic will spring forth from those who were adopted in the closed system, Linda intends to educate those who do not understand the impact of adoption on the adopted through Two Hearts.
I’ve witnessed the two hearts Linda wears on a necklace. I knew they were part of her story. I just didn’t know her story. Linda eloquently shares her journey with readers. You will be glad you read and listened. And you will develop empathy and understanding for those who have been adopted.
In the powerful, yet simple passage below Linda embraces her child. This was the breakthrough in Linda’s grief work.
“I can no longer deny that adoption impacted the person I’ve become… I turn my head, prepared to call the ghost back, but I’m surprised to see her standing next to me. She is simply standing there, looking up at me with eyes as big as plates, her hair like long wet strings. I squat down and gently take her face in my hands.”
Openness is key. Adoption is seeded in loss and in the past and, still sometimes today, shrouded in secrecy. Grieving and healing over what has been lost takes time, perhaps a lifetime. Healing can’t begin to happen until openness, or a willingness to be open, prevails. Yes, sometimes it is impossible to acquire the facts. However it is the culture of being open, the willingness to explore the mysteries, tackle the uncomfortable, and discover and face the truths that offer forth healing. Adoption impacts everyone.
I recommend Two Hearts to every person who is/has been “touched” by adoption (adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, sibling to or knows someone which has been adopted). Read Two Hearts.
Your Thoughts? Feel free to share them below.