I wanted to say “Happy New Year,” but it felt wrong. For one, I’m not super happy, and for another, I just don’t think it’s my place to tell you how to feel. So, hey. It’s 2017.
I looked back at the blog and it’s been half a year since I wrote in this space. A lot happened after that. A few weeks after my birthday, I had a job interview, and while it was two months before a decision was made, I then moved across the country in the fall and moved in with my significant other. Nothing like changing EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE to upset an adoptee applecart, right?
My insurance kicked in back in early December, but I’m starting therapy again in January. Happy New Year to me and my anxiety. This is a good thing. I have struggled mightily to adjust to all the changes in my life — my living situation, my geography, my time zone, my job. I’m functioning, but not at a high level, if I’m honest. I have goals this year, and one of them includes getting adoptee anxiety back down to a meaningful lower level. So therapy it is.
Meanwhile, I’ve been coping in very 21st century ways. I have a commute now and I’ve been occupying it with podcasts. After a few false starts (as on “WHOA, maybe not today”), I’ve really enjoyed Haley Radke’s Adoptees On podcast, which is simply adoptees telling their stories of adoption, searching, reunion, and life as an adoptee. Some of the episodes are hard, but what won me over was how NORMAL I felt listening. I recommend it. I also finished Adoptees Come of Age by Ronald Nydam (Amazon link, no affiliation). I heard Nydam speak at an AAC conference, but I still had concerns about the book, as it is written for pastoral counselors and I’m an atheist. I’m not interested in “finding god” or religion, just understanding myself and my adoption experience in ways that help me grapple with how it plays out daily. And I can say that, as an atheist, certain parts did not help. But the parts of the book that did help definitely outweighed them. I felt understood by Nydem, with or without the religion part. I also discovered and very slowly dipped my toes into the support forums at http://adultadopteesupport.freeforums.net — adoptees only, so it’s a safe space to be.
So that’s where I start 2017. Good things have happened for me. Some of them have come with a great deal of baggage. I’m glad to know there are places to go to feel supported. If you have any resources you’d like to share, please share them in the comments or on Twitter (@legallyfiction).