I’m not sure we know what to do with honesty. Oh sure, we want truth and we expect people to be trustworthy, but there always seems to be a line. A fine line where seemingly too much truth scares people away and too little makes people wary of you and what you’re saying. Authenticity desired and coveted, but then a double edged sword if it strays too far from the norm.
Mostly, though, I believe we have to get better at hearing the truth of each others stories. We have to be honest enough with ourselves that we don’t know everything. We have to admit that our degrees, our constant access to information, and the lens in which we view the world might also be limiting our vision and our understanding of each other.
We label. We brand. We categorize. We demonize and we diagnose.
I do it all the time. And it hurts my personal growth and it harms those I encounter.
So for today, I going to speak to my adoptee tribe; keep talking and telling the truth of your stories. You don’t owe anyone anything except the truth of how you feel and how you are today. Keep speaking of the hurt, the joy, and the struggle you might have encountered along your journey
Keep speaking up for you and against those who want to put words in your mouth because your story doesn’t match the one that was supposed to happen.
You are enough with or without the multiple diagnoses people want to lay on you. Diagnoses that help you and others understand what is going on, but don’t define who you are or who you will become. Diagnoses that seem to stay put and forever describe brokenness rather than a healing work in progress. Why? Because that is the story that gets repeated when things get hard. Your unique story reverts back to the broad stroked label.
The reason I argue for adoptees to tell their own stories and to be heard is that yes, we are diagnosed, but we also get to fight, pray, love, listen, medicate, grow, counsel, wrestle, struggle, work, ourselves to a diagnosis of complete healing. It is possible, but only if we get to own our stories as they are and by ultimately trusting the One who keeps weaving them together.
You are stronger than you know. Maybe hurting, reeling, lashing out, and barely holding your head up above the water, but never damaged goods when trouble rolls on through nor a shiny trophy held up when all is going well.
The work you put in toward healing and recovery are worth every painful step. Do the work required. One foot in front of the other. Ask for and get help for wounds that aren’t healing and listen well to the wisdom of those who know and treasure your story. The ones who acknowledge the trauma you experienced. The ones who hear your voice clearly amongst the noises in adoption world.
And never listen to the ones who want to always keep you forever “the child”. The child who will always need rescuing, saving, labeling, and fixing. Who want to keep cautioning or silencing your voice around the adoption table. The ones who tell you how “lucky you are”. Rejection never ever feels lucky.
Most of all, let love and loveliness on in.
It is there too.