Adoption is a two-part deal. A fracture and a bandage. I don’t believe the fracture ever fully heals. When families are fractured it does irreparable damage. When children are adopted, their adoptive families become the intended bandage. My bandage was crafted thoughtfully and beautifully. It restored a sense of family and belonging, but if you look close, you will see the fracture still exists. This kind of wound cannot be healed and it must be acknowledged as the broken foundation on which everything else is built.

Adoption begins with the severing of the most intimate relationship; mother and child. And this fracture is a devastating one. Adoption can give. Adoption can provide safety, security, and a sense of belonging, but even when that is the case (and it isn’t much of the time), the bandage is just that; a temporary covering for a massive, bleeding wound.

So often adoptees are asked to do the unthinkable: forget. Even those of us adopted as infants cannot ever forget the brokenness which led us to our second families.

But, adoptees are resilient above all. We boldly share our stories because society has categorized us as either grateful or angry and both are far too narrow to describe even one aspect of being adopted.

We must share our own stories with our own voices, because if you are not adopted, you cannot imagine how we feel without listening to us speak for ourselves. Adoptees carry heavy grief; a grief so weighty it seeps into every part of who we are, how well we give and receive love, and leads to a lifelong identity crisis for many of us.

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