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Building a family from scratch

I've been up all night working. I'll be heading to bed soon, but since I couldn't seem to get this off my mind, I thought I would write about it.

Yesterday, I came across a request from another adoptee. She is "technically" an adult, by the laws of our nation. She is looking for someone to adopt her.

God, do I know that feeling. I've had it a million times. I'm 34 and still looking for a mommy. I told this young woman that while I wasn't sure I could fill her need for a parent, I could certainly be a friend. That's a place to start, right? I know that when I was her age, I'd have liked to have had an older woman willing to help me through so many of the challenges I faced. I had all these needs and no way of expressing them. It's interesting that just the other day, I made a post on a discussion forum asking for advice about finding a hair salon. I've realized that compared to other women my age, I'm completely clueless when it comes to stuff like that. I feel like there are all these secrets mothers pass down to their daughters – and someone forgot to pass them on to me. So I'm learning them a bit late. At least in terms of "womanly" stuff like hair, makeup, skin care, etc.

On the other hand, I'm really good with understanding relationships, people, "life" lessons – the things I feel are really important. Maybe that's why I never learned the "girly" stuff – I was too busy concentrating on other things.

I think one of the things I resent most about my adoption is that I was never given a choice. I didn't choose the mother I was born to, I didn't choose the mother who raised me. Perhaps if I ever find my birthmother, I'll feel differently, but even now as I write this I'm thinking, "But if I don't like her either, I'm stuck – she's the only other mother I'll have."

But is that completely true? Can we not build a family from scratch by reaching out to other people who are looking to create a family? Is it too late to create a bond, a relationship? I don't think it is ever too late if everyone is willing.

All night I've been thinking about this young woman and thinking about my own similar feelings. I know what she's missing because I've been missing it too. I'd love to be able to raise my hand and say "Sure, I'll adopt you," because I'd love it if someone did the same for me. But then I have to consider that I could end up doing her more harm than good. I have to think about whether or not I'm capable of giving her what she needs, and I don't know if I am – because if she needs the same thing from a parent that I need from a parent, then I can't promise I can give that. Because I don't know.

What I do know is that I can be a friend. I'm capable of giving that. And maybe, someday, I can give more. Who knows? Maybe someday she won't need more. That's always possible to.

So I responded to her. Told her to drop me an email. And I've been wondering ever since if she'll write. I'd like to help her because I prayed for years that someone would help me.

Maybe we can help each other.

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January 17, 2006 - Posted by | Adoption Void

2 Comments »

  1. There’s a wonderfully written book called “Beneath a Tall Tree” written by Jean Strauss – a reunited adoptee that talks about her search and about the “family of man”. Your post reminded me of it. And yes, we can somewhat create the families that we never had, but wanted with good friends.

    Comment by Cookie | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts/feelings. I plan on linking to your site (as soon as I can figure out how to do the linking thing right??) And, yes, I did read the story of the little light within the sun, and it touched me deeply. To say I wish you the best in your search would be an understatement … even if it doesn’t go the way we would hope, it takes immense courage to embark on it at all, and nobody can take that from you… your courage. Nobody can take yor voice, either … please continue writing.

    Comment by speakingformyself | January 24, 2006 | Reply


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