Thursday, 17 July 2014

Adoption Ghosts

Though we've never met our children's parents I often feel they live with us in our day to day lives to varying degrees.

I'm sure that we don't realise how often they continue to exercise influence.

We see their presence in the lives of our children in a physical display, an outburst of emotion, a snarled comment, a look or gesture.

At other times it is more subtle, a hidden worry or quite thought, an emotion or mood, preferences, choices, likes and dislikes. 

We see shadows of the adults that we've read about in forms, seen faded photographs of perhaps even met,

But they linger in our family lives like ghosts in our home, a presence, an influence.

Ghosts come in all kinds of manifestations, frightening, friendly, malevolent or benevolent.

But our ghosts can't be exercised and shouldn't be.

Yes, we want them to behave and play by our rules. We don't want the malicious poltergeists that maintain their control and influence continuing to disrupt from the beyond. But we need to learn to live with them, tame them, they are with us and always will be.

We take control by opening the curtains and letting the light into the darkness.

Not cowering away from the shadows but shining a light into them.

We open the door to the ghosts and engage with them, we write letters and look through the photo books with our children, we tackle them head on.

I'm not frightened of ghosts, I am the here and now.





15 comments:

  1. Reads like poetry. Love the poltergeist label:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I needed to hear this. I will remind myself of the last line frequently- 'I'm not frightened of ghosts, I am the here and now.' Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you.
    Often we don't appreciate the significance of our own influence as we feel intimidated by the shadows.
    Hold fast.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am glad I gave you the ghost idea to inspire your blog :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Comfort the child, the grief of loosing your first family is all encompassing. Despite all the PAL (positive adoption language) you want to use (aka brainwashing) the child knows that they were given up, their first parents abandon them.... Let your child know it's normal to grieve... be open about this and do you your best to help them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for contributing. For adult adoptees I imagine it is a tempting to take a revisionist view of events leading up to and including the adoptive placement. We have found that our children have all had a very different experience and consequently a different view of their lives and their parents. Only by shining a light have we been able to allow them to develop their won perspectives.

      Delete
    2. "revisionist view of events"

      How dismissive

      Delete
    3. I'm sorry it sounded dismissive but I was trying to reflect the diversity of experiences and journeys through the adoption experience. The reality is that in the UK the vast majority of contemporary adoptions are not through the choice of the birth parents. Consequently the idea of being 'abandoned' does not ring true for my children or many others.
      Obviously, other opinions are available

      Delete
  6. Only when the ghosts become real does the adoptee find healing. We don't enjoy living our entire lives as half a ghost.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree, though for some facing the reality of there past can be challenging, for some an irrelevance. We have six unique responses and we are always led by their wishes balanced against need. As they mature our light gets stronger.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am aware that I am fortunate to have met a number of my son's birth family members and spent rather a lot of time with his birth mum. And yet, the ghosts are still there. Thanks for this thought-provoking post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you we've found that meeting family has helped us to exorcise some elements of the ghosts. However, it has highlights other traits that we would have perhaps not seen. Overall, a positive experience.
      Thank you for your comments.

      Delete
  9. This really touched me and gave me an insight into being an adoptive parent, thank you for sharing it. So powerful Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

    ReplyDelete