I missed a "blog carnival" at Grown In My Heart with the topic "What No One Told Me About Adoption". OK, truth is I've never even heard of this blog or a blog carnival, but today when I checked in on "American Family", the post was fantastic. So I clicked along. Interesting stuff.
Of course, my experience with adoption is really different from those in the adoption triad. I'm not an adoptee or an adoptive parent or a first mother. I'm the wife of a transracially adopted man. But there are a whole lot of things that no one told me about adoption. We're on the front end of this movement to adopt transracially in some ways, maybe no one really had thought about it yet, and back in 1987 when I got married, there was no easy way for adoptee spouses to connect. Our experiences are probably very different anyway, but it's so good when we do connect to hear that in some ways, the journey is very much the same. So what do I wish I'd known?
Things I wish I'd known about being married to a TRA.
Race does matter, it just does. It's a part of identity and soul and how we all view the world.
As the white one, I'll never really understand what it's like to be a transracial adoptee. Never.
Coming to terms with his racial identity was the hardest thing my husband ever had to do, the pain was huge, bigger than huge and there was really nothing I could do but stand by and watch.
Gatherings for adult adoptees are dangerous places for committed relationships.
There is no support equal to that of other adult adoptees.
Having children who look like him has been a profound joy for husband. And for me.
Racism is everywhere. Everywhere.
Raising mixed race kids breaks your heart a little. Especially when they tell you that they feel like "freaks of nature". Even at Korean Culture camp, they don't fit in.
Looking like Keanu Reeves is a good thing for teenaged boys. Can you say "The Matrix?"
I wish someone had told me that I will never feel safe when my husband is in Asia. And did I mention he leaves for Korea tomorrow?
Celebrating Loving Day is very cool.
There is no support like knowing other spouses of transracial adoptees. And finding them is almost impossible.
We have a good life, we've built a good family. But my God, it was not easy, and for a while there it hurt so much that sometimes I had to breathe through it like labor pains. Sometimes I didn't even want to breathe through it.
We're off to buy trinkety gifts from Seattle for the people my husband will see in Korea. And we're going to try to stop picking fights with each other, which is what we always do before he takes a trip to Asia. It makes it easier for me to think about him coming home and telling me he wants a divorce. But he's not going to do that this time. I know he's not. We're a happy old married couple with crazy busy teenage boys and a nice little dog. We're so far past that crushing part of the journey it sometimes seems like it never really happened. But of course it did, and there's a bit of a PTSD kind of thing that happens when he heads off to Asia again. Maybe I'll do better this time. And maybe someday we'll even get to a point in time that it's not hard at all, that we just breeze right through. I hope so.
I really hope so.