Moving forward by looking back

I have often, in the past few years, wondered if I could go back to looking resolutely forward as though my past doesn’t affect my present or future. This was a stance that I took, and strongly, as part of my own personal fog. If the past didn’t matter, if my roots didn’t matter, if my story’s beginning didn’t matter, then I could keep moving forward, hauling that invisible heavy baggage. That fog began to lift the day I decided to search for my first family, but it still wisps around during times I’m frustrated.

The #flipthescript movement of National Adoption Awareness Month (#NAM, #NAAM) brought me forward. I read about that, and I read some of my own writing, and I realized I had a lot to say about life as an adult adoptee. The more I write outwardly, rather than inwardly, the more I realize I have to say. So I don’t plan to stop at the end of this month. I plan to finish all the posts I’ve started, and write a few more as the need arises. I guess I figure that, at this point, I want to be part of the chorus.

The only way to construct a building that lasts is to build a strong foundation. Only in looking at my past — at my adoption, at what my birth and surrender and first family mean to me, at what adoption and my adoptive family mean to me, at the questions all these things bring up — can I figure out what comes next. Only in asking these questions can I figure out who I want to be in relation to the matrix that brought me to today. Only in understanding where and how and who I come from can I become who I may be going forward.

The historian in me understands this. The scared adoptee doesn’t always understand this yet. So I write.

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