Updated: Jun 20
For someone who writes others' adoption stories mine is significantly absent.
This is because, like many adoptees, I struggle with boundaries, specifically when sharing about myself. When I publish a piece here, I ask myself a myriad of questions before hitting send.
The most important ones being
"Why am I sharing?"
"How much am I sharing?"
"Am I emotionally ready for disagreement or judgment?"
If I can't answer these questions with
"To foster connection."
"The appropriate amount that reflects my current values and comfort."
"Yes, with a strong back and soft front" (To use the analogy from Brene Brown's Braving The Wilderness).
Then I don't publish - I have roughly 15 drafts saved in my blog right now. But not one of them is my adoption story which I have never put down in writing.
I can't answer these questions that way when it comes to my adoption story. And I have no idea when I will be. Right now, I think someday I will.
My first extremely personal writing shared here was Identity, and it inspired the questions above. After thinking about it for decades, I finally wrote it. I then published and removed and published multiple times. I would wake up with a pit in my stomach knowing it was out there, even though the audience size was less than 20 and most of them already knew those things I had written. I still feel discomfort about it, but it is mostly like all my writing - fear of being misunderstood. That is a feeling I am encouraging myself to move through. Eventually, I reached a point where I felt vulnerably confident enough to share.
I say vulnerably confident because no matter how honestly I answer those questions, my values and comfort change, and the hypotheticals of the last question cannot accurately reflect what it will feel like in reality. So I assess as best I can with what I know at the time and remind myself to give grace when I've gotten it wrong.
For now, I find remarkable value in sharing and supporting other adoptee stories, waiting for the right time to share my own.