Saturday, June 19, 2010

Orphan out of Carolina

I wanted to point you to a very good essay about adoption.

I've followed Lorrie over at Clueless In Carolina for years. She's that rare blogging combination of thoughtfulness and literacy that makes for genuinely good reading. She's hit a rough patch lately, and I hope things look up for her, but she's still a good read.

And her latest post was about adoption - her own.

I blog about adoption quite a bit. I have to; when a quarter of your public is adopted it kinda gets in your face. So it was painful to read;
"Today I realized for the first time that there is an unbridgeable gap between an adopted child and a person who can pick up the phone and call the people who brought them into the world and point to the bed where they were conceived. "I dread Father's Day," I told Roger tearfully. "I've lost two fathers."
And realize that there's really nothing you can say beyond that.

You know our story; we lost a daughter. Lorrie lost a father. Twice. Which is more heartrending, to lose the future, or to lose the past? I don't think that grief bothers keeping score.

I once wrote something about the effects of grief, and said;
"I realize anew reading "We must never limit the universe." from my friend's blog that what this old grief scar does do IS limit my universe. I'm perfectly functional, but I've taken the big wound. I can't ever again KNOW that something good is on the way. Because it was once and what arrived was pain and loss and sorrow. And nothing I could do - and I once foolishly said that anything that wanted to hurt my family would have to kill me first - was enough to stop the awful emptiness that still exists, a tiny universe of nothing but Dark Matter, in the locked room at the top of the stairs in the back of my head."
And now Lorrie knows that she, too, has that locked room where she can climb the stairs, and stand in the doorway, and see the face of Loss and say, welcome, old friend, old enemy.

Have you come to stay with me for a while?

I think you can sum up the entire business by remembering that every adoption begins with tragedy.

We Americans are especially bad at tragedy. We're the ultimate shiny happy people, and in a lot of ways that's a good thing. But not here.

I wish I had some words of wisdom or consolation for Lorrie. I don't. Some things are just pure grief.

The loss of her fathers, like all losses, like all griefs, can be softened by time and distance. As they are for all of us; the grieving parents, the harrowed soldiers, the bereft adoptees.But they will always be there, waiting, at the top of the stairs, waiting patiently to ask us if we want to sit with them on the top step and remember all the pain and heartache of the end of our yesterdays, and our tomorrows.

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