As some of you might know, I was struggling with feelings surrounding my adoption that reappeared as we started planning our first holiday to my birth country for later this year (it’s coming up fast – hold me). However, I blogged about it and I reached out to my family and loved ones. I felt encouraged and supported and despite being drained and confused, I felt like I could just release those feelings – throw them up in the air and surrender to letting them fall where they may.
It turns out I got quite a quick (but unexpected) cure for this recent unrest the other night. There was some interaction between some adoptees in a Facebook group that really made me realise the importance in having a good attitude. You can’t control the sh*tty things that happen to you (or happened to you in the past) but you can control your attitude towards those things. You can choose to be happy (or work diligently towards finding happiness) or you can focus on what’s wrong and how you’ll never be whole or belong anywhere. Misery may love company, but what are you going to do about that misery? Wallow together indefinitely or find ways to lift each other up? I realised that those in the group (the ones who spoke the loudest, that is) were in a different place on a different journey to me. I don’t want to be surrounded by the rhetoric I was witnessing daily. It wouldn’t be beneficial for me, personally. While I do think it’s very important to face your feelings, to honour and acknowledge them and to know you’re not alone when things feel like crap, it is also important to find a way to move forward that may give you peace in your life and improve you as a person.
I see my adoption as a part of my history, a part of my life story. A story worth telling, but a story that doesn’t soley define me as a person. A part of my life that has contributed to the person I am today. A part of my life that has felt challenging at worst, but character building and soul enriching at best. I have a good life. I refuse to be the ‘victim’. I am a thriving survivor. My life is better because of it.
Maybe I’m just too idealistic or optimistic, but I believe that we are given tough lessons in life and it’s up to us what we do with them. I refuse to spend any more of my time consumed with bitterness or anger or despair than I need to. Life throws enough of that at a person in their every day lives and I feel like I don’t want to spend time searching for more and delving deeper and deeper into the hole.
I left that group. I didn’t want to read yet another article (and its subsequent member comments) about why being adopted sucks. I know some of the reasons it can suck, but there is so much more to life than just that. So many blessings to be noticed and appreciated. So many other experiences with adoption that can be laughed at and enjoyed. Some adoption stories are even heartwarming.
Not seeing the negative challenges of adoption in a very concentrated and biased form each day can only benefit me. Honestly, I do wish for the remaining members (there are many) to find happiness. I do wish them well. Some of them are in a place that I cannot relate to, but I do hope their healing begins or continues. I want them to feel as blessed in life as I do.
I’m not trying to simplify what can often be very complex and difficult situations, but I do believe where possible we should always try to use our energy wisely and positively.
I feel that spending hours on end googling for evidence of everything that allows me to justify feeling sorry for myself would not be a constructive use of my time. I feel that introducing that negative content to my fellow adoptees is not going to benefit them either. Where are the articles on how to navigate ourselves through hardships and come out better? Where is the advice on making the best out of a situation? I have seen none in that group. I’d be hard pressed to ever believe that someone might post an article on the funny side of being adopted or a list of reasons being adopted can be positive. The comments to follow would just be too sad anyhow.That’s OK. That’s their journey (I don’t have the right to tell them how to go about it despite my own opinions), but I have the ability to say that I don’t want it to be mine. I don’t want to spend my whole life chasing something I can’t attain. I have to find peace from the inside out. Life’s too short.
So this is my offering. Just like anything else in life, there is pain and there is joy. There are two sides to each story and we can look for the positives or focus on the negatives.
I LIKE BEING ADOPTED. I shouldn’t have to feel weird about that. I don’t tell other people they have to like it, so don’t tell me that I’ve been deeply wronged and should be upset about it and we’ll all be cool.
I have issues just like anyone else. Seriously. Who doesn’t have a single issue? No-one, that’s who. Some of mine might have started with my adoption, but the way in which I need to work through them is no different to the way anyone else needs to deal with theirs to better themselves and find happiness.
I remember now who I am and who I want to be. So I guess I have that group to thank. It just came in a surprising way.
I am grateful. For my sake. Not anyone else’s. I choose it.