A recent journal writing prompt, “What I let myself yearn for” lead me in several directions. What I wondered is “do I really let myself “yearn”? How would I define it? A longing in my heart? Any sort of longing, so it could include even clothes I see in catalogs? “Yearn” sounds like something that creates an ache because of its absence, maybe an ache so deep it’s unrecognized as being there at all.
Last week in a class, I told my adoption search story. It wasn’t a time where everyone was sharing, but I offered to talk of it. It became personal and not really classroom –focused. What I mean is, I didn’t try to talk about it and tie it to the information we had just been presented on searching for adoptive parents. I just sort of laid my story out there, with some of the time-line I’d experienced. I told how it’s not a “search and reunion story”. It’s just the search.
My birth father lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Since 2000, when I turned 40 and did life-cycle-change things like participate in a triathlon, I’ve been trying to contact him. In my head, I’ve always, honestly always, known I was adopted by my father, Don Barner. Following his death in 1998 and my brother’s soon after, I was propelled in so many directions due to my emotional upheaval. One of those was this “search”. The thing is, after all this time, my birth father doesn’t reply. I have decided my next step is family members.
Last week in class it became very clear to me why the serach weighs heavy on me (1) the sense of rejection that is perpetuated because he has never responded (2) the feeling I carry that I’m the “dirty little family secret” (3) the disconnected feelings of attachment that I carry because of the adoption. It’s engraved in my small child self – the one who at 3 years of age went excitedly to court when she became a ”Barner”. There are so many times I wonder “why” about my feelings about things and honestly, I don’t want to ‘wonder why’ any more. Instead of analyzing I’d just rather do something – analyzing makes me feel stuck; paralyzed and in the “freeze” part of freeze•fight•flight.
“Buck it up – figure it out – take some action – make a decision”. Can’t say that’s my higher self talking there, but some very determined part of me.
The plan – write a letter to the family:
“Hello, my name is Flo Holt…”