Adoptive love is a difficult subject. We tenderly tiptoe around it because everyone’s experience is so different. And because in a world set on perceived perfection, adoption isn’t. Just like all love. Love isn’t always smiles and sunshine and unicorns. Love is hard. All love is hard. But love shared through this crazy hard journey called adoption is a treasure and almost impossible to actually explain, but I’m going to try.
In adoption, love and loss are the two sisters that dance in all of our hearts. True heartbreak occurs in adoption. With a small intimate group of sometimes strangers, you experience a unique shared experience that, while saturated in love, is also saturated in loss. To me, the moment is most perfectly caught in these words, “I’m the lucky one whose life will forever be divided into a before and after because of you.” An important part of adoption love is recognizing loss from all sides of the triad. While each member of the triad will experience the before and after individually, the universal message is “I’m the lucky one” who got to love you at all. In the beginning I thought the “who” of the above quote was the child, the more I learn about adoption the more I realize it applies to all members of that small intimate tribe. It is my believe that true loss and empathy help us to greater understand love.
But don’t forget the other dancing sister. She is the sister of love. Buddha said, “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases from being shared.” I believe Buddha would approve of a substitution of the word happiness for love. Love never decreases from being shared. I believe love shared only multiplies and allows for more to be blessed by that love. And that is the beautiful part about adoption: every part of it happens because of love. Adoption has brought me one of the most complex, sacred relationships of my life. And while it isn’t always smiles and sunshine and unicorns, it is beautiful. And I am so thankful to be one of the lucky ones whose life has been forever divided into a before and an after because of the love of another.