Assembling Self

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday Reflections

Holiday Reflections

I see this person staring back at me,
and I wonder who it is I see?
Are these her eyes? Is her face the same?
Do I look like him? What are their names?
Pictures like mirrors tell thousands of tales,
but the stories told have always failed.
In lending me the slightest clues,
to endless questions and intangible truths.
For I feel just like an empty shell.
That has no history or past to tell.
I pray I'll find which way to go,
to find the answers to these unknowns.
And finally lead me back to where,
I'll find that face that's in the mirror.

NAAM (National Adoption Awareness Month) was draining and exhausting. I don't regret plunging myself into the issues and emotions that talking and writing about adoption brings.  It comes with the territory in adoption reform, education, and activism. And as difficult as it can be, it is always worth it.  It does tend to give me something productive to do to avoid the Thanksgiving Holiday.

And now, it's December the time of the year when families come together.  But, for many adoptees family means many different things, different feelings and issues, and the difference of missing, lost and relatives unknown.  I am already praying for a quick passing of the next two weeks and to look forward, as I always do to a fresh new year.

I have talked about adoption most of my life and for the last twelve years to everyone and anyone who would listen.  I don't want any other adopted child to be abused and rejected, and the dynamic of it magnified when a biological child enters the family who is loved and adored, and be left to deal with the long term emotional and psychological damage it does. I have been able to educate so many from friends to co-workers to near strangers of the issues of adoption with my story, and the stories of others.  Now, they have new eyes to see the multitude of issues and tragedy adoption can bring to families, and how it can be corrected or avoided to begin with.  No one should have to endure these times of the year outcast, alone, and forgotten by family.

The greatest Christmas gift on my list would be the names and some photographs of my biological family.  Relationships with them would be a bonus, but not expected.  I've lived my life without any “real” family for so long I'm not sure I would know how to act, or react.  Actually having a biological relative I've never been able to meet at the Holiday dinner table, celebrating family connections, and sharing together in food, worship, or traditions is a dream yet unfufilled.  I have to live with the reality that it may never happen.  But, I will never give up hope it will, and for everyone else too.  And, it's a almost a brand new year after all and isn't it about hope?


  1. Oh, we are so on the same page Karen. I left a FB comment yesterday to a FB question,"What is on your Christmas wish list this year?" With some vulnerability I wrote, "a picture of my birth father." There were a number of thumbs up for the many other wishes, but mine stood alone. Sadly, I thought having a thumbs up would somehow validate my feelings. Thinking to myself, I wondered what makes one wish more or less important than another individuals. I have always felt it is because we are just adopted that our dreams just don't matter nearly as much as the next person. Your words resonate in my heart, "For many adoptees family means many different things, different feelings and issues, and the difference of missing, lost and relatives unknown." Thanks for sharing!

  2. JoAnne I thought of you when I was writing this. I know what you hope for most and I pray one day you will get it and soon. The world invalidates us as adoptees every day in every way. We are here to say HELL NO unacceptable, and validate each other. Being adopted means the loss of names and photos, and people we will never know. Thanks for listening. :)

  3. I hope you all find what you are looking for.It is the answer to much but not the solution to all our problems and often creates new ones.
    My journey has been long and this year for the first time I will share Christmas with my sister, a huge event for both of us.
    ps my word verification was 'remake'!

  4. Von very true. "Remake" wow what a coincidence. I think I've been around the reunion block enough to know that finding doesn't solve everything. But for me I don't have much else to lose. I have been rejected by two families adoptive and birth. And, part of that was having to reject and severe the dysfunctional treatment and relationship my adoptive parents only had to offer me. Names and photos and genealogy would be better than the nothing I know have.