Sitting down to commit even one sentence to paper before failing to do so happens daily. I miss the days when I had to drag myself out of my third floor dorm room, down the hill and into the sorority suites where a makeshift classroom held my creative writing class. But it was in that class that I sat for three hours straight, focused on nothing but writing and writers. Those were the days.
Now, I can’t even start.
The most difficult part of writing about my adoption experiences is actually two-fold. First, I don’t like telling others’ sides of the stories. I feel like I rob them of their storytelling chances while also violating their privacy. Second, I often forget I’m adopted.
Being adopted has affected me, sure. But it’s never defined who I am. People apply those labels to me for me. I’m just Karen.
But my mom does like to tell everyone and anyone how I was adopted. Grocery store checkout girls, luggage handlers, the AC guy. I know the story so well that I can guess exactly how she’ll say it before she opens her mouth. I already know what words she’ll choose, where she’ll pause for breath, how the emotions will spread uninhibited across her face before overcoming the top half of her and flowing out of her hands.
That is how I watch the love that is virtually radiating from every one of her pores pass from her into the other person. Everyone loves a happy story, but the tale is also one of hope and the fates, and it seems to be timeless in a sense. The love between parents and between parents and their children never gets old.
Maybe that’s why I keep trying to tell it. Especially now, when more of the puzzle has come together.
I’ve gotten the story of my past in pieces – the past being all that led up to my birth and the 6 months after. My parents, of course, gave me all of those pieces intact. And when I say all, I mean all. There was never and has never been any holding back. I think that’s how it should be.
So why did I hold back my decision to contact my birth family? Why didn’t I tell them the moment I decided to do it?
I’ll never know.
And there’s the rub. Perhaps the real reason I haven’t written down the story is because I’m not ready to confront what I’ve done…. or maybe it’s because of a myriad of other reasons, like I should be working out or getting sleep instead (haha). Whatever it is, I’m going to keep trying to put it to words.
What would you keep? Keep for yourself… or keep away from others.