Today Noah, Maya, and I went to visit Damian. Damian has been working hard to distance himself from us and it has been difficult to get him to talk. So instead of our usual card games and puzzles in the dining hall I took my little crew up a hill and to a quiet picnic table. I was too nervous to look at any of their faces as they cautiously talked to each other about the weather.
We sat down and I took a deep breath. I was about to open some very deep wounds. I was going to knowingly inflict pain on my 3 in desperation to bind them together in that pain. I was going to open the doors on the adoption memories of all 3. Not the happy, politically correct, flowery adoption talk but the ripping, ending, lose of their first mothers and families. These hard talks have always been done individually so that we honored each child’s privacy.
Today I forced them all to share, remember, yell, cry, walk away, and come back.
They argued about loss, pain, and family.
They fought over suffering and wether it is equal or not.
They stared me down in anger and questioned me brutally.
They sat as far away from each other as they could, they offered a hand in sympathy, a touch to a shoulder, they buried their heads in their hands, threw up their arms, and changed seats a thousand times.
When they were exhausted, their eyes swollen and red, they became silent and still. Sitting closely together in a circle on the ground, with me at a distance at the picnic table.
They sat there for what seemed like forever but was most likely just minutes. Then Noah got up and came to sit next to me, with Maya and then Damian following.
Finally Noah said, “I guess we all have issues don’t we?”. To which I replied, “Suffering may not be created equally, but it is felt equally.” Damian replied, “I guess everyone has pain.” And Maya closed with, “Everyone has these pieces of their life that they try to forget but you can’t get rid of them no matter how hard you try. You can’t get rid of them because they are a part of you.”