Another exercise we do in Adoption School is to sculpt a scenario with the adoptive and birth families. Each of the 12 of us in the class has a role to play – one is the birthmother, another the birthfather. There is the adopting mom and the adopting dad. Others are parents and family of the bio- or adopting couple. Finally, there is the baby –- my assignment.
“Piece of cake,” I think, “Of course I’ll be eager to join my forever parents and we’ll live happily ever after.”
The facilitators take us to various points in the adoption process, like finding out about the pregnancy, telling the parents about deciding to make an adoption plan, choosing adoptive parents, the match meeting, the birth, leaving the hospital, and the 1st birthday. At each point, we are to get in a position -- in relation to the others -- that shows how we feel.
As the baby, I am surprised at how cozy I feel being inside my mother’s body. How I don’t want to leave her. How her sadness touches me. How it feels somehow wrong for everything to change once I am born. And finally how I fall in love with my other parents.
I don’t right away lean to the adoptive parents. In fact, I cling to my birthmother and feel sadness and loss. I am so surprised at these emotions – I hadn’t expected them.
Who knows what feelings any of us would really have? This experience gives me a perspective I hadn’t had before. I think that in adoption, the more you can see from other points in the triad, the more comfortable you are with your own position in it, and the more compassion you have for the others.