I haven't posted recently, and in trying to figure out why, I realized it was because I was just having too much danged fun to sit in front of my computer very much these last two weeks; I finished my teaching semester in mid-May, and I've been playing hooky from being an adult ever since; for fun I have gardened like crazy, mountain biked in the leafy spring woods, celebrated my birthday by surfing, buried my 5-year-old up to his neck in sand (his idea, not mine), decorated sand castles with clam shells and crab legs, went on a few dates with my husband, saw the Cezanne and Beyond exhibit at the Phila. Art Museum (gorgeous), sometimes spent three hours a day at the gym (!), went thrift shopping, and hosted my parents for a nice little visit. Generally, I have been packing all the fun that I should have been having during the past five months into the last two weeks. That's what summer is like for us teachers.
So, on to my latest thoughts about adoption.
Let's talk about Abyss Management, shall we? What is Abyss Management? It's the term that Dr. Joyce Pavao, adult adoptee, author of the excellent book The Family of Adoption, and founder of the Center for Family Connections, uses to describe the task adoptees are faced with post-reunion, which is to recognize and deal with the missing spaces in both places in one's life--the feelings of longing and loss we feel about both our adopted family and our birth family; for while reunion may engender feelings of wholeness, completion and healing in the adoptee (it certainly did for me), reunion also throws into stark relief the holes that remain--holes that really cannot be patched because they have existed for so long. One way I try to deal with these abysses is to think of myself--an adopted person--as being from two "countries," wherein one country is my birth family, and the other is my adopted family. Working to integrate these two countries is a lifelong process. I have been told it gets easier the longer you work on it.
Your thoughts? I'd love to hear them!!