Walking forward doesn’t mean you never look back. It might be a quick glance, or a complete stop to turn around and stare. Whatever you do is okay. You’re still walking forward, you just need to take another look at something on the path behind you. Today, I’m looking over my shoulder.
When an adopted kid gets to meet her birth parent, or parents, it’s kind of like taking a line and making it a circle. It ends a pattern of wondering. Even if your long dreamt dream of the utopic family turns out to be a nightmare, reality is healthier than a never ending fantasy.
Just over twenty years ago, a representative from social services asked my birth mom if she’d meet me. She declined and said in closing, she wanted nothing to do with me. She has yet to change her mind.
Because she is from the UK, I’ve kept a particular piece of that story alive. If I had a bit more information about her, I could claim my right to British citizenship. In spite of trying, what I need remains a safely kept secret.
Taking off the mask of the Tragic Heroine means letting go of not just behaviours, but stories that fuel those behaviours. When I glanced back today, I saw that story of rejection and failed hopes, and realized it was time to let it go. I also realized I needed to say goodbye, once and for all, to my mother.
Being adopted means you have two moms, two dads, and so on. Being adopted means you don’t necessarily say hello to the lot of them, but you do have to say goodbye to all of them, at some point.
My mother may, or may not, have loved me. In the grand scheme, it’s of little consequence. That in my longing for her I passed other offers of love by, is a regret. That I have shone a light on that regret, brings me hope.
My wish tonight is that those whose hearts ache for love lost, be granted the grace to release the longing. Once gone, there will be space inside, space that can be filled with tender kisses, kind words, and the warm embrace of love found.
I love you, mom.