Friday, February 15, 2013

Motherland, Day 6: Solace in solitude

I've been trying to figure out why I react the way I do to learning information I have actively sought out. Yesterday, sitting in the adoption information center's waiting room trying to absorb all the new information, I felt a mix of numbness and sadness. This morning I cried in the shower.

Some have compared the adoption emotional journey as one of grief and loss. Just yesterday I asked someone, "How do you grieve what you don't know?" And this morning it hit me. Every piece of the puzzle that I find -- every detail I didn't know that I now know -- is one I must grieve. Learning of new, or more vividly described, family members makes me wonder what might have been. It makes the loss of family and culture more acute. It makes me sad to think of people with whom I will probably never have a relationship. Uncles Miss M may never know. Grandparents I never knew.

Understanding how I feel is also what prevents me from pulling out all the stops to find these family members. Just as I grieve to learn of them, surely learning of me could cause them some sadness. Or maybe not. Maybe they will assume I am so lucky, they did me a favor, I should be grateful, or -- worse -- I owe them. Yet another reason to be cautious in my search. I have a family of my own to protect.

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