Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the need to belong

more beginning thoughts...
As I focused on what to write here, what to share about adoption that might be useful to others, an old childhood memory came floating through my mind.   I used to love having the Little Golden Book version of Cinderella read to me over and over again.  The story was good, but I especially loved when we would get to the last page.  It was a picture of Prince Charming and Cinderella holding hands, the Prince dressed in his military regalia, Cinderella in what looked like a wedding dress, their backs to us, gazing off into the sunset.  The caption read: “…and they lived happily ever after.”  I used to stare at it squinting, trying to get him to turn around so I could see what my Prince Charming would look like, and trying to see myself as a bride.  I never could quite get there.  While I didn’t know what happily ever after looked like, I was certain of one thing…without any need for doubt.  I took it for granted that I would have a family and I would be a mom.  Well, things don’t always work out as we plan or expect.  Sometimes, they take a turn and we must be ready to continue, to keep going forward, to go outside the lines.

I keep thinking about the adoption process.  For many, there is a moment when we are faced with a fork in the road and we must choose the next direction in life.  Some choose the familiar; some stay stuck waiting for a sign from elsewhere to guide them; and still others take a risk.  Though some have always planned to adopt as a way to grow their family,  so many choose it after agonizing life events.  Recognizing the loss, mourning the dream, letting go of the story we had expected to live can allow a new chapter to be written.   The chapter can be a new route for getting to the same place - family.  And it is this challenge to dream anew, this process, this journey to belong to each other, to foster that sense of entitlement to be a family that is the task in adoption.

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