I’m joining in with a group of writers for Five Minute Friday where we’re given a prompt (this week it’s SEARCH) and write for five minutes about it.
Search. The word speaks me to my adoptee experience, and the fact that I’ve always searched.
Once, I searched, in vain, the faces of people I encountered looking for something that might connect me with my birth family. When the time was right, I initiated a true search and found some answers. Later, I searched again, and found a few more, but I still carry an emptiness. I will always carry an emptiness.
I used to feel guilty for the way I feel. Guilty toward my adoptive parents, because their love wasn’t enough to take it away. Guilt, toward the members of my birth family I was fortunate to meet, because those connections weren’t enough. And guilty toward God, because even His love wasn’t enough to entirely fill the void.
I don’t feel that way any more. God understands my grief, as he understands yours. We’re all carrying a measure of it and it’s nothing to feel guilty about. I enjoy God and glorify him because there’s still so much to be in awe of. Grief is only part— albiet a very real part—of life.
Last night we finally had an opportunity to watch Lion on Netflix. It is the true story of a five-year-old boy named Saroo, who gets lost from his family in India and is adopted by a family in Australia. Twenty-five-years later, in 2012, he finds his way back home to India and to his mother. The reunion scene crushed my heart because of the emotion of the movie, but also because it reminded me, again, that I will never have the opportunity for such a reunion. (I did a bit of research this morning and found that in the real-life reunion between Saroo and his mother there was a language barrier—Saroo spoke only English and his mother only Hindi. Talk about complicated.)
The movie, and my personal story, present the same truth: adoption is both loss and gain. In fact, life is both loss and gain.
It’s messy and it’s complicated and, sometimes, it hurts beyond hurt. We lean in to truth and find that we are carried. We come to know that the whole thing is about Love, and perhaps that is the most complicated thing of all.
So we search. We sit in silence, and listen, and in the stillness comes truth. And the Love doesn’t make the pain go away, but it makes a difference. It makes all the difference.