It’s never been a secret, really. I didn’t hide it. I have always been open and willing to talk about it. Not necessarily something I advertised, but something I’ve come to deeply appreciate and value about my personal life story. Yet, somehow in this moment, it feels inexplicably overwhelming. I worry about making other people uncomfortable by the revelation. I battle with old feelings of uncertainty resurfacing. I recoil at the thought of feeling exposed, raw and vulnerable. In other articles I’ve written, and in the very mission statement of my blog, the message is clear: Empowered Times—Liberate the inner evolution! I strive to encourage everyone to stand boldly in who they are, to embrace their flaws and shortcomings, to honor their scars, and to move fearlessly down the unexplored paths of self-awareness and self-discovery.
And here I stand at a crossroads. On one hand, I am paralyzed by uncertainty and doubt. On the other hand, I am propelled and fueled by a vision which has evolved over the years. I believe, as Michelle Madrid-Branch so eloquently and succinctly frames it, “Adoption Means Love.” We must continue to find new ways to open up conversations about adoption. We must break down the stigma and overcome the taboo associated with adoption. We must encourage people impacted by adoption to share their voice and their experience with others. We must create more connection, more transparency, and more opportunity for dialogue. We must provide more validation and support during the challenges presented through the adoption process. We must empower one another to whole-heartedly integrate our unique experiences into a profound understanding of who we are, where we come from, and where our future endeavors will take us.
With all this said, I will choose to step on to the path of uncertainty and doubt and embrace the risk involved along the way. I will choose to share my voice. This is the voice not often heard in the adoption story. The voice in the shadows. The voice that historically disappeared for nine suspicious months, only to reappear muted and stifled. The voice that often still only whispers its truth behind closed doors or on safe platforms. However, I believe that in concealing this voice, we also arrest the potential for understanding and healing.
Many years ago, “Grace’s” mother asked me to write this story… our story from my perspective. She said she had bought every book she could find on adoption, but none of them offered anything about the birth mother. How could she fully explain to her three-year old daughter how much her birth mother loved her if there was no such character written into any of the storybooks? Children begin to understand life through play and story-telling, but how can they make sense of adoption if things are only vaguely presented to them? Storybooks which do include the birth mother, often do so in a mythical and mysterious way. Not to dismiss the importance of some of the most popular stories on adoption, as they most certainly convey how much the baby was hoped for, prayed for and celebrated after the adoption. However, an important segment is overlooked… how much the baby was loved, longed for, and nurtured prior to the adoption. This is the story I am going to tell.