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I placed my daughter in an open adoption in 2002. I started this blog in 2004 as a place to journal and eventually I became part of a community. The community has moved on, but I have decided to come back.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

On Luckiness

Imagine your beloved father (or any other loved one) is dying.

The illness is brief enough to spare your father a long drawn out death, but long enough for all of the family to say goodbye.

You go home to your own family one weekend, fearing that your father will pass while you are gone. He doesn't.

You go back on that Monday and have some precious final moments with him. Everything you've wanted to say to him was able to be said. Everything you wanted to hear from him was heard.

If your father had to die, this is exactly how you would have wanted it to be.

You are telling a friend about those last few days with your father- all the words that were said, all the moments that were shared- and your friend replies, "You're so lucky." Perhaps they follow it with "that you were able to spend his last moments with him." or "that he died peacefully." or "that you had a chance to say 'I love you'."

Now there may be a part of you that does feel lucky. You may feel grateful that it was the way it was. But I imagine your friend's comment feels like a slap across the face. What's lucky about losing your father? How dare someone tell you how lucky you are in a situation so filled with grief!

And so it is with adoption.

That is why I cringe to hear those words.

Like it or not, there is grief in adoption. It doesn't go away. It ebbs and flows, but it is there- maybe resurfaced at a baby shower or the sight of a pregnant woman. Maybe it comes up around the holidays. Maybe it is there when you look at your child's face and either do or do not see yourself reflected in it.

Put "That's really nice" in front of any of the above comments, and the sting is lessened.

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