I was reminded again this week that my insecurities are still a much bigger part of me than I had hoped they would be in my forties. I won’t go into the sordid details, because frankly, they’re not THAT sordid, and most would say, just get over it! But, here is my point as it actually pertains to adoption. I have realized that there are benefits to not having a biological connection to my child.
|My handsome D.|
First, let me let you in on a little secret. I have self-esteem issues. Yes. It’s true. And those of you who know me really well are not at all surprised by this declaration. Those of you who know me on a little more superficial basis are probably somewhat surprised. Exhibit A. The title of this blog. As I went back to research it a little more, I realized that the phrase comes from a novel entitled “Fear and Loathing in Vegas.” I would, of course, be the one to add in the “self” part. I have had that phrase stuck in my head for a long time, “Fear and Self-Loathing” and it’s not even correct! But, I’m digressing a bit.
Here’s the thing. I have realized that because I have some unaddressed issues that keep me from feeling as confident and self-assured as I would like to feel, I have a really hard time feeling that confidence about anything I do, whether it’s artwork or writing or anything I have had a hand in creating. Like children. But, I’ve realized, that since I didn’t have a hand in creating these children, that I find they are exempt from this. I used to pine away over not being able to get pregnant. But, I’ve realized that maybe that was one of the greatest blessings. Not just for me, but for them, too. They will never have to suffer me coming down on them because they represent something I never was. To me, they are even more beautiful and more amazing partly because they came from somebody else. I feel perfectly justified in bragging about them and in telling them, or others, how handsome they are, because there is no part of me that feels they are beautiful because they carry any of my genes. I am removed from them in a good way. They will never carry my baggage. I will never feel to cut short a compliment because, in some roundabout way, I might feel I am bragging about myself. Or worse, YOU might feel that I am bragging about myself.
|My beautiful S.|
Maybe this is all just a little twisted. And yes, I’m sure I need therapy. And I am not saying that others withhold because of these reasons. I am speaking to me and my case alone. Contrary to what this might portray, I am a silver lining kind of a girl. And this is one of the unexpected silver linings to adoption. I love these boys partly because they are NOT a part of my gene pool. I shower them with compliments. I tell others (probably to an annoying, nauseating degree) how beautiful these boys are. How amazing and talented they are. How funny and smart and thoughtful they are. How athletic and bound-for-the-Olympics they are. And, even though I know some of that comes from how they are parented, I truly believe that a lot of it came with them when they were born. I love these boys more than I thought I would be capable of. And maybe, when I truly feel that love for myself more, I will be capable of even greater love for them, too. I hope to get there someday. But for now, I know I am released from any boundaries that would inhibit feeling and expressing my love for them, because they are released from representing any part of me that I don’t love. And that is a great thing.
P.S. PLEASE don’t see this as a call for compliments and reassurances that I am just so wonderful. It won’t change me. I have to be the one to change myself, and I am truly working on it. It only makes me think you don’t know me so well! :)
(photos by the amazingly talented www.ashleykressinphotography.com)