This Is What No One Ever Tells You About Being Adopted

baby in bassinet
Michal Bar Haim / Unsplash

I was born knowing loss. I was adopted when I was two days old.

No one ever really thinks about it, but when an infant or child is separated from his or her birth mother, it is undeniably a traumatic event.

I spent my childhood wondering what she looked like.

Did she have green eyes like me?

I wondered if she ever thought about me.

I didn’t know where I came from.

I felt like an outsider looking in and keeping it to myself, because no one could relate.

At times I was overcome with a grief so suffocating, so burdensome, so wild that I did not know what to do with myself.

The wounds from being separated, left, relinquished, abandoned by the very ones who were supposed to hold onto me no matter what were just so deep and irrevocable and consuming that they crushed me at times.

I really tried to dig deep within myself and feel some sort of gratitude for the trauma that brought me to my adoptive parents but there was always that deep curiosity and thirst for understanding.

I took on a deep fear of rejection with an even deeper fear of hurting my adoptive parents’ feelings and I tucked the grief underground.

It all felt so complicated.

I felt broken in a sense.

Adoption at its core begins with brokenness.

October 22nd, 2008.

She wasn’t supposed to be here until November, but I was glad that she came early.

I was so exhausted, lonely and scared.

I didn’t know what this was going to do to me.

How could I place her in the arms of her new parents knowing how she might feel after the fact?

I surrendered.

Reading over the paperwork, the words pierced my heart, they seemed so cold.

My love for her was the first real love I have ever felt. It was the biggest feeling I have ever known.

I signed.

I had to break my own heart to mend someone else’s.

I had to do what love dictated.

Tears barreled down my face as I handed her to her new mom.

I finally understood. The anger subsided. The suffocating grief melted away.

I walked out of the hospital that day holding my adoptive mother’s hand.

I believe that was the most monumental moment of my life.

As I laid my head down to sleep that night with an awkwardly empty belly, I felt loved. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

“You’ve got to let go of who you were, to become who you are.”

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