My friend referred to has been in an isolated situation within her marriage. For years, she had nobody to talk to. She always reminds me that I am the one person she can talk to (for which I feel honored). We met by chance when she thought my dog (a white Maltese) was her lost dog (a white Shitzu) one day at a children's playground. Our kids are like siblings at this point and we see each other every day.
But back to Dr. Laura's story . . . .
When Dr. Laura was in practice as a marriage and family counselor, she counseled a woman who had past drug issues and not a very supportive family. Dr. Laura found this client to be highly intelligent and throughout the counseling, mirrored this and other positive attributes she saw back to the woman.
This woman, not only went through drug treatment successfully, she went on to receive several college degrees. Why? Because Dr. Laura saw something in her that nobody else had cared enough to see. Dr. Laura believed in this woman which in turn helped the woman believe in herself.
This may sound like a hokey story for the average person who has many supportive friends and family. But there are people in your circle right now who confide in nobody. There are people who feel alone in their pain.
How does this translate to adoption? I had one person for years who supported me throughout my search for my roots -- my husband. He was my rock and for that, I will truly be forever grateful. Later, my search angel, Greg, mentioned that he was helping me in my search to "pay it forward". Thinking back to how he put his neck on the line for me (a complete stranger) brings tears to my eyes.
If I accomplish nothing else, I want this blog to be a safe place for adoptees to come and know that even if nobody else in their lives are supportive of their need to know who they are, I am. If nobody else in your life understands the frustration of having no records, information or clue about your identity, I do understand, because I've lived it.
If every single person in your life is saying "just get over it -- let sleeping dogs lie" -- know that I will never say that and will be cheering you on when you accomplish each and every milestone in this life-long journey of adoption.
Many adoptees feel stifled, afraid and alone. Many only feel safe in speaking to one confidant or none at all. Many only speak freely in the private Facebook adoption groups. I listen and converse with adoptees every day. Many of them are very well-adjusted, from loving adoptive families, are well-spoken professionals who have everything in their lives together, but this one piece (adoption).
There is shame involved in being adopted, but it is more of a hidden shame than what adoptive parents feel about infertility and birth parents feel about being unmarried and pregnant. It's an un-named shame which some will call the "fog" and others will deny because we didn't "do anything" to earn it. But it's there, along with the fear and the denial.
As a society, we have a long way to go to allow honest dialogue from adoptees without the bashing, assumptions, myths and glamorization that come along with adoption.
It only takes one supportive person to help another believe in themselves and push forward.
Be that person.