At first, your essay upset me—angered me even. It angered me because it simplifies the issue of adoption and suggests that answers can be gotten from a magical trip and a photograph. I quickly realized, though, that I wasn’t truly angry but sad.Go read the whole thing, you'll be glad you did.
I wish I could tell you directly how much you are leaving out, how you are giving your daughter and future adoptive parents the wrong (and perhaps dangerous) impression. That there are answers that can make someone at peace with being adopted. Peace for an adoptee does not come from seeing the place she was left. (Or even, I might argue, how or why.) I know this. Peace is not about answers. As far as I can tell, from everything I have learned and questioned about myself, it is about accepting that there will always—always—always be questions. The answers are never really answers.
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But speaking from experience, going back to your orphanage does not allow you to understand your adoption. If, Ann, you meant to talk about specific answers, like what it was like there, and who took care of your daughter when she was there, and what she was like as a baby, then I wish you had framed your essay like that. I wish you hadn’t made it sound like *adoption* had been answered, like your daughter is healed now of that deep deep loss we never truly “get over.”
4 weeks ago