Dear Younger Me…the rejected adopted or foster me
I wrote this allegory in 1993, six years before my first book was published by Random House in 1999. (TWENTY THINGS ADOPTED KIDS WISH THEIR ADOPTIVE PARENTS KNEW).
Nancy Verrier, colleague and beloved author of the best-selling book– THE PRIMAL WOUND–read it and commented: “I believe your allegory would be very helpful to other adoptees who have had experiences similar to yours. I hope that you can get it published so that it might inspired others to lift themselves out of the trap that keeps yearning for something unattainable into the freedom of gaining something powerful and fulfilling. Even some adoptees who have had good reunions need to be able to stop feeling like victims, empower themselves, and begin to LIVE.”
Last August, I walked back into space and time through a long, dark corridor to a slightly opened door named Adoption.
In my arms, I held a precious baby girl, wrapped in a soft, pink blanket. She was innocent and pure, and lay sleeping in my arms.
“I’m going to give you to your mommy, little baby,” I whispered, cuddling her close to my body.
When I knocked on the door named Adoption, I noticed a sign” WELCOME TO YOUR FAMILY.
An attractive woman greeted us and asked that we come in and be seated.
I spotted a large winged-back chair and eased into it, baby in arms.
As the woman looked into the infant’s dark brown eyes, her body pulled away. Motionless, she stared into space as if frozen in time.
“What are you doing?” I gasped.
She said nothing, but her face grew hard and cold, and her eyes looked like steel knives.
“Take her–I don’t want her, she said, dropping the crying baby to the floor as she fled to another room.
Weeping uncontrollably, I lifted the traumatized infant into my arms.
“Don’t worry, little one, I will take care of you. I won’t let her hurt you anymore. We will go far away from her and you will be safe.”
The baby’s body, once soft and pliable, was tense and rigid. Her eyes were filled with terror as if to say, “What has happened to me? Won’t somebody help me?”
I carried her back to my own home, to the rocking chair I used to comfort our now-grown daughters.
“I will take care of you,” I whispered, rocking while cradling her in my arms.
“Welcome home, little one. I am so glad you are here. I have been looking for you for you long and finally I’ve found you. You were lost but now you are found. I will be your mommy. I will love taking care of you….for now you are mine.
Here are some ways that those who have been rejected can “Do Rejection Well:”
- Process Your Anger and Pain: This happens with real, live people! Lone rangers don’t find healing. Journal, therapy, support groups. Be active here rather than avoiding the anger and pain. If you do, you’ll get sick. Connect!
- Pronounce Your Relinquishment: This is making your claim for your life in spite of the rejection. Communicate by letter, email, text, or whatever—-“I am done with the rejection. I am a deeply-loved person.”
- Refuse to chronically hope for a miracle.