Nothing good can come from secrecy and deception. I was adopted over fifty years ago and the closed adoption deception that was common in those days affects me still. Those untouched by adoption may wonder how an experience that happened so long ago, when I was an infant, still affects me today. Sometimes I have wondered that myself.
Nancy Verrier , author of The Primal Wound says some things in her Position Statement that address those questions.
She says that “It is important to recognize that the adoptee was present when the substitution of mothers took place. The experience was real. That he does not consciously remember the event should not detract us from this truth.” Recently, I learned that “baby Linda” was in the court room when my birth mother relinquished her rights to me; I was present both physically and emotionally.
Verrier speaks about “a loss of the Self“, “a sense that part of oneself has disappeared, a feeling of incompleteness, a lack of wholeness“, and “a physical sense of bodily incompleteness” that an adopted child may sense. I experienced all of those in one degree or another over the years.
The key, I believe, to the adoptee moving past these feelings is throwing open the windows of secrecy and allowing the light of truth to fill every nook and cranny. Verrier agrees and says that “One of the greatest hindrances to healing is denial.” It’s common sense in most areas of life, that truth heals, but for some reason secrecy has shrouded the subject of adoption for too long. We who have lost our heritage, our past, our Self, stand silent no longer. We deserve the same basic rights that everyone else has: an original birth certificate, access to our medical records, and the opportunity to know and honor our heritage.
An angry-adoptee I am not. What I am, is a woman who has been blessed to have experienced the healing that truth can bring who wants to do what I can to keep those windows open for myself and for others.