I went home this weekend to hopefully find some more clues hidden in my adoption paperwork. What I found wasn’t a clue to lead me closer to what I was looking for. What I found instead broke my heart.
I’ve been reading and watching a lot about adoption since I began this process. Things from other adoptees, birth mothers/first mothers, adopted parents and psychologists. This process has become more than just finding out who gave me life; it is now a full on healing process, from things I didn’t even know I needed healing from.
You see adoption, especially as an infant, has always been treated as a positive in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to change that, I’m not wishing I wasn’t adopted, but I think we need to begin treating it differently. We need to acknowledge that as wonderful as adoption can be, the only reason it is happening is because a terrible thing happened: a mother relinquished her child (often because someone made her). It’s a traumatic event for both mother and child.
Think about this: there are multiple studies that show how newborns immediately and instinctively know their mothers. They can pick out their mother’s breast milk out of multiple choices. They recognize their mother’s voice. That baby longs to be held by its mother, and that mother longs to hold that baby. When I had my girls, I remember the nurses bringing them to me and stating: “we tried to keep her so you could get come rest, BUT SHE JUST WANTED YOU.” In other words: this baby won’t stop crying no matter what we do: she needs her mother to soothe her.
When a newborn is taken from their mother, there is a serious trauma that occurs. One that I’m now realizing has sunk in to my subconscious. It’s easy to say, Oh you were adopted as a baby so you don’t remember anything so you’re fine. On the surface it can appear that way, but deep down it affects us, even if we don’t realize it.
So what were the words that broke my heart? On several of the evaluations of my newborn self the doctors felt the need to include that I was a “fussy baby.” When I read those words, all I could think was, “well what do you expect?”
If adoption is part of your life or you want to know more check out these resources:::
If you like psychology and have an hour to kill watch this lecture by Paul Sutherland: he explains this newborn/mother separation as a developmental PTSD.
Or if you prefer to read check out this book the Primal Wound, : which I still need to pick up
If you want to know more but only have a few minutes: check out this link that I’ve shared once before: