More than 30 years slipped away before my mother and I really discussed my
adoption. My earlier attempts were delivered in the form of sporadic, cautious hints. I would mention Vietnam or one of my writing projects in the hope it would develop into further discussion. However, only silence resulted, followed by her strategically changing the topic. Why did this have to be so difficult?
Baffled and infuriated by her continued reluctance, I had to accept that dancing on eggshells would get me nowhere. Direct confrontation would eventually be my only option. So during a recent phone conversation, I told her that I’d been researching my adoption history. She asked if I’d spoken to my father to which I replied, “Yes but I need to know what you have to say.”
“You know that’s all water under the bridge…” she began before I cut her off. My frustration had reached its peak, “Mom, I don’t want to do this anymore. Whatever it is, all I’m asking for is your side of the story.”
It really was that simple, which left me wondering why it had been so difficult in the first place. I’ve yet to fully understand why we never talked about my adoption in depth and still look back with great sadness. Establishing honest communication
lines between us might have prevented years of misunderstanding and offered
a more solid foundation on which to build our relationship. The silence fostered only presumption, frustration, and mistrust and led to more silence.
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