I’m heading up to Canada tomorrow to attend an adoption workshop sponsored by the Forget Me Not Family Society. The workshop will be presented by Joe Soll, author of Adoption Healing…a path to recovery.
I read Adoption Healing over the summer. Soll, an adoptee himself, describes the trauma an adopted infant, child, adolescent and adult may face. He talks about how many of us feel defective and unlovable, and the eventual fracturing of the personality that can occur when we are not allowed to grieve the very-real loss of our birth mother and the pain becomes more than can handle.
At one time if you had asked me if I felt grief over the loss of my birth mother I would have said no. But over the course of the past few years in the process of writing my memoir I’ve learned differently. I’ve come to realize that I carried a very deep, unacknowledged grief for much of my life. I learned that during the darkest time of my life when I despaired even of life, the grief I was going through was for more than the circumstance in which I found myself at the time.
The story of this grief is woven throughout my memoir. Unintentionally. Because at the time I started writing the book I still didn’t recognize the grief for what it was or where it came from. Today, having come to the other side it’s clear to me how that suppressed grief affected me in physical and emotional ways. It’s only by throwing off the shroud of secrecy and shame that many of us grew up under, and allowing us to mourn our losses, will we be able to put that fractured personality back together again.
I’m looking forward to the weekend; I’m looking forward to seeing other members of the organization I belong to; I’m looking forward to learning more about the adoption experience from Joe Soll. I expect parts of the weekend may be difficult for me, I may shed some tears. But I also expect to be encouraged and built up, better equipped to move forward and share the message about the importance of openness in adoption with others.