Y’all! This Is Us is back and as can be expected, I cried. Why? Because this episode illustrated one of my many insecurities as a mother. Don’t tell me I’m the only one who worries that my child will be messed up because of something that I do as Mom. And no matter how hard I try, I know I fall short. I’m human. I know I’m not perfect. But Rebecca did the best she knew how, and still it wasn’t enough. Interesting how that’s exactly how Kevin says he felt growing up.
But let’s talk about perspectives. One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. In a pivotal moment of Scout’s life, Atticus delivers a tidbit of wisdom that completely changes her perspective: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Scout transformed once she began to see things from a new perspective, or through a different lens, as Randall describes it in last night’s episode.
Did you catch Randall’s analogy? As someone who relies on corrective lenses, I totally related. He describes how he didn’t even realize how blurry his vision was until he could see. As a young boy, Randall walked into the optometrist and looked through the “better machine.” He explains that within 60 seconds he looked through 12 different lenses. All new views of life.
Our own life experience gives us 1 main view. A single perspective. That is our own experience and it is what we know. It’s what people call our truth because it is ours only. No one else can own our personal experience. However, we can and should strive to understand different perspectives outside of our own. While Kevin was explaining how he felt about his childhood, there were 3 others in that room who lived through the same events but have very different experiences. Different lenses. Different perspectives. Each valid and holding truth.
When you open the door and step into adoption, there are many perspectives you must constantly consider. It can be difficult to do that, especially during an emotional time, but to avoid doing so is damaging. For adoptive families, birth mothers and birth families, and adoptees alike, there is a sea of emotions that adoption creates. Loss. Pain. Joy. Anger. Abandonment. Fear. Love. Confusion. Peace. If we are too afraid to look through a particular lens, we risk never receiving the clearer view of life. When we cling to our lens alone, we are the ones who miss out. Even when it’s uncomfortable, we must look through the other lens . . . and when we do, others will most more inclined to look through ours.