This photo of two mittens can be illustrative of two areas of life that run parallel and that hurt. What can one do to find comfort? Sherrie shares what she learned from a teen in a wheelchair that was life changing.

The Double-Whammy of One Adoptee

There’s  a nine-year old double-whammy inside me that I’ve kept secret.

By double-whammy, I think of boxing terms, of a hard-hitting, one-two upper cuts. Both hits with the same intensity but landing on different places of the body. Perhaps, one hard hit under the chin and the other in the gut.

Double-Whammy Brings New Limitations

At the beginning of my double-whammy, there was extreme eye sensitivity. I couldn’t even watch TV without wearing clunky dark glasses that we old people wear after eye surgery.

One Saturday morning when I entered a sunlit playground with our young grandsons, it felt like someone dosed in my eyes with poison.

Explaining why I couldn’t play in a way they could understand, I quickly went to the shade of surrounding oak trees.

Promptly, my fav people came for a pity party–me, myself, and I.

Double-Whammy Is Out of My Control

There was a young man sitting in a wheel-chair behind me that I felt like punching. He was incredibly annoying, like fingers over the blackboard. Rocking back and forth, he kept singing, “God good, God good.”


How could he say such a thing when he not only was confined to a wheel chair but also had delayed learning issues?

Finally, I turned around, trying to be nice over my inner growl. “Young man, are you singing ‘God good?’”

He nodded affirmatively, smiling, rocking, and singing.

His uncle, waking up from a nap, spoke up. “Isaac knows that God is good. In fact, he has memorized 20 Psalms. Isaac, tell us what your summer is going to be like.”

“Ride horses…go to camp!”

The roar inside me faded, for from this young man, I learned a deep truth that has fortified me during my double-whammy years.

Double-Whammy Offers Choices

The lesson?

Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t have.

After months of searching Dr. Google for answers, I was sure that I’d nailed the diagnosis.

After visiting a rheumatologist after a few months, she said,  “You have Lupus (SLE). The anti-DNA blood test confirms it.”

Boom…boom, boom.

Upper cut to all of me.


Double-Whammies Shares Similarities

You’re probably wondering what the other wham is that corresponds with the Lupus wham?

With all due respect to God and everyone, it is being adopted.

It would take years for me to see living with Lupus and living life as an adopted person have many similarities..thus, the double-whammy.

Here are a few similarities:

  • Adoption hurts….Lupus hurts
  • Others don’t know you’re adopted (no mark on you!)…Others don’t know I live with a chronic illness
  • As an adoptee, I look fine. As a Lupus patient, I look fine.
  • As an adoptee, when I voice hurts and losses, others often judge me as an angry adoptee. As a Lupus patient, if I voice when I’m not feeling well, I can be judged as a hypochondriac.
  • The subject of adoption is rarely talked about. Lupus, even though life threatening, is still in the beginning of in-depth research.
  • Adoptees often are misunderstood….so are Lupus patients.

So, there you have it!

My double-whammy in a nutshell.

Neither of the whams would be my choice, but I am convinced that they have been allowed in my life for my good…and like Isaac, I choose to think about what I can do, not what I can’t.












2 responses to “The Double-Whammy of One Adoptee”

  1. Georgia's Pampering Avatar

    I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. They check me every few years for it, since the delightful combination of hypothyroidism and Fibromyalgia create a blend of symptoms that are very similar. If you haven’t heard of it yet, chronic invisible disease survivors call ourselves “Spoonies”. If you’d like more info I’m happy to provide links and I’ve even linked it on some of my posts. The Spoon Theory helps a lot of the “outside people” (friends, long distance relatives, etc), understand your limitations and needs a little better usually. It was the one thing that helped my husband actually understand why I had trouble doing my usual routine and had changed so much. Of course, it also led to a package of spoons in my Christmas stocking as a cute little tongue-in-cheek gift. 🙂 My sincerest wishes for as healthy of an illness journey as possible and for others to learn to understand it better.

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