Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Even Though He Looks Like Me

Ronan is almost exclusively wearing Liam's hand-me-downs these days. I've been having flashbacks. Dan and I were following Ronan yesterday as he toddled around the neighborhood in Liam's blue sandals, grey shirt and khaki shorts from 2013. We were commenting on how surreal it was; how familiar. The boys really do look so much alike. 

top: Ronan at 18 mo, bottom : Liam at 20 mo.

This past weekend, I took a solo trip up north to run a half marathon. On that trip, I listened to podcasts while the boys napped and watched movies. One podcast, Adoptees On, was created by a college classmate of mine. She is an adoptee who has an extraordinary story about connecting with her birth family as an adult. As a result, I've been digging into adoption these past few days. 
Quick plug for Adoptees On podcast. If you're an adoptee or adoptive parent, please take a listen! These stories will reshape some of your ideas, inspire and heal you. 

Through this process, I keep thinking about my boys and how much they look alike! I keep thinking about how Liam has my temperament and I totally understand his little idiosyncrasies. When we brought Liam home, we knew he would fit in. We knew that if we adopted him he would never have to tell a soul if he didn't want to. Not all adoptees have that and I figured it was a good thing. But, the more I listen to the adoptees stories, I am realizing that no matter how much he looks like us or acts like us, he may feel adopted for his entire life. I'm learning that adoption is trauma. No matter how abusive or brief, a child is connected to his flesh and blood. Adoption takes a child from its mother, the person that this child LIVED INSIDE OF. Is there anything more traumatic?

I'm realizing that Liam needs to know where he came from, no matter how much he fits in with us, no matter how broken his origins are. So, I'm reaching out to his mother a little more. I want him to know her someday. I want him to meet his father - if I can ever get a hold of him. Am I afraid? A little. I'm afraid that his origins are so, so broken that he will associate himself with that and it will hurt his identity. I'm not afraid that he will like them. He probably will! And who am I to decide that that is unnatural or not okay? It's perfectly natural. I raised him as a my own and I love him but he's not really, truly mine (and neither is Ronan). My children belong to God. Liam is allowed to feel however he wants to feel and if he ends up meeting his mother (whom he hasn't seen in 5 years) and feeling connected to her, I wont be threatened by that. (If he rejects me and Daniel, I will! But that's a whole other blog post for a later date.) I am preparing my heart for it. For him to love his birth parents. I hope that he does. I hope they get their lives together and become better versions of themself.

Adoption is complicated and messy but my brilliant, simple, impulsive, loving boy tells his story like this just yesterday, "I was alone and I lived with other parents and they didn't know how to take care of me and now you're my mom and dad!". Then, happily goes back to eating his orange sherbet and laughing at Ronan.

1 comment:

  1. Your story (or I guess each of your stories) is so, so sweet, even though there's a bitter side. I LOVE Liam's explanation. Thank you for sharing. <3


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