When my daughter talks to me, which isn’t very often, our conversations are one-sided. She does most of the talking, which is usually a rant, and I do the listening. She’s toxic, and it’s better when I don’t take the bait. When she leaves or hangs up the phone, I fill my journal with what I wanted to tell her. I thought I’d share with you a recurring theme.
“Why did you adopt me?”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” I replied.
She scrunched up her face. The answer, after all, implied that if I had hindsight, my decision would have been different. Well, what did she want to hear? Because I loved her? Because she needed a family? Because it was the right thing to do? All this she already knew. The truth is, even when I try to remember the reason, I really don’t have a better answer.
Honey, you’re thirty-seven, an adult. So your life sucked for the first eight years, then you got a new family. It’s been twenty-nine years and you’ve yet to call me Mom. Your therapist said you couldn’t say it because the word dredged up feelings of horror, pain, and dread. Maybe if I had pushed the issue, made you talk the talk, eventually you’d see me as your “real” Mom. Just so you know, being the “adopted one” never made you any less of a sister or daughter.
We accepted you for yourself, the crooked sapling that we loved regardless. Could anything have straightened out that sapling so its trunk wouldn’t grow up gnarly? Does it matter?
Is that why you stuck the needle in your arm? You blame your heroin addiction on being adopted? Well, Honey, that’s what addicts do – they blame. All the therapy in the world won’t change that. True, you could have been someone else’s daughter. But you’re mine, and nothing will change that, either.
So, why did I adopt you? I can’t promise you’ll like this answer any better. It’s a divine poker game and God’s dealing. When He gives you a chance to love, even if the stakes are high, you don’t fold.
And if God ever gives me the chance to tell you this, I will.
Writing this has helped. It’s her birthday and I’ve no way to contact her.
Thanks for stopping by.