I love a well wrapped gift – the perfect amount of paper, tape well hidden and matching double sided satin ribbon to accessorize. I have a tendency to want things wrapped up nicely literally and figuratively. This one year anniversary of writing this blog seems to come with a desire to keep writing and doesn’t have that nice ending I usually seek. This one year of writing thoughts of adoption and being adopted has been simultaeneously cathartic and agonizing. It has allowed me to empty my head of the thousands of words I had stored up there only to find that the space got quickly replenished. It allowed me to meet more adoptees, learn more stories and confirm for me that we are such an eclectic diaspora of experiences.
Anniversaries remind me that time keeps moving forward. Yet, with time, I still feel unfinished about my feelings about adoption, my identity as an Asian American woman, my job as a mother and as a social worker. Being part of the blog-world has opened up old wounds, questioned my loyalties and challenged my belief in civil discourse among adoptees. I am astounded at the lengths in which we will take in defending a point of view about adoption and the amount of venom adoptees working in the field of adoption still recieve. It has brought out the old defenses I thought I had put to rest once I left placement and my work at an adoption agency. It has affirmed my dedication to continuing in post-adoption and working with the kids (and their parents) as they become another generation of adopted people. It has given me wanderlust in being in Korea to do more of what I do there. It has made me a seeker again.
At the same time, time being the prevailing teacher, I have met people this year I would probably never have had the courage to speak with about my thoughts on adoption. On the surface it seemed we were on polar opposite sides and yet our adoption status has been the unique and most powerful connector. I am humbly grateful. It seems there is a newish revolution coming again of activism in the adoptee community. I look forward to the opportunities blogging has given me to stay connected to those who want to change the way we talk about adoption and be included in parts of that change.
Anniversaries also remind me of what I have missed. This year is marked by a second year without my beloved grandmother, which reminds me that love does not come in a human form but in the memories created with that human. I miss her and her spontaneous way of calling me, “Honey child.” It also marks more time that has passed between my adoptive parents and me. While I continually negotiate in my head as to how I truly feel about that decision, I feel empowered each time I choose the love I seek to create rather than settling for a falsehood in the name of being a good adoptee.
This summer marks over 35 years that I have been in America. And while I feel so very American, my orphanage, my Umma, my brother, my static life in Korea runs constant commentary in my head. On paper, I was adopted long ago. In my heart, I am still adopted now and it is this identity that clearly colors my thoughts, influences the way I hear things and continues to be the frame of reference from which I base much of my decisions about people, friendships, love and trust in others.
Perhaps adoption is not so far in the backseat of my life. I think I am ok with that for now. Not everything can be packaged so neatly in the chasms of our heart.