On Adoption


Adoption is exciting to me, I suppose, because I am adopted, but what is it really all about? Is adoption just an activity of grafting children from lesser circumstances into better homes, giving them a better chance?

Let’s see, who are some famous people that have been adopted? There was the famous author Truman Capote, Johann Sebastian Bach was an orphan but was actually raised by an older brother, the famous singer Joesphine Baker, the actor Ted Danson, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock, the Native American freedom fighter Crazy Horse, crooner Nat King Cole, and the most famous of all Jesus Christ, who was adopted by Joseph.

That’s just a very short list, most all of you know some really famous person who was adopted. Despite that and considering Jesus himself was adopted, what do we really know about adoption and why all the attention?

In my opinion just from the list above the one common theme of all the individuals is that they lived mostly tortured lives. Always having a hard time fitting in, feeling accepted, rejected much of the time, but persevering through much hardship and finally making a name for themselves. Yes, Jesus Christ included!

When I think about adoption, I think of it as a tribute to boys and girls, men and women who came into the world with the odds against them, and despite it all accomplished much, enriched many lives, and touched many people. But I also think about the countless adoptees who you will never know about, who lived the same tortured internal lives, and eventually committed suicide or died tragically. The bottom line, being adopted is not easy. It’s a tough way to start out life and it typically doesn’t get much better. Perhaps not always in the outer world, but in the inner world where all great struggle lies. Adopted individuals are born wounded or become wounded at some point in their lives. Yet the wounds are invisible too much of the world. They are emotional wounds.

Sadly, parents that adopt are not aware of such wounds. I oftentimes wonder about the adopted children who don’t show any emotional wounds, do they exist? I’ve met countless adoptees, not had a chance to really get to know them in depth but after years of being a very attuned psychotherapist it is not difficult to see the wounds, see the pain, the longing, even when it is masked by joy, success, family, and acceptance. I wonder what it all means.

Perhaps it’s the divine plan: Send out wounded angels to give others a reason to bring one into their home, and in the process of trying to heal the angel they too receive healing. I’ve often said that adopted children, especially the really challenging ones, are God’s little gifts to help parents have an opportunity to deal with stuff that is still yet undealt with in their own lives, thereby giving them an opportunity to live a life of greater consciousness, openness and love. But if that’s true, I wonder what is the divine plan for the wounded angel? That dear parents and professionals, is your job to figure out. Who doesn’t love a good mystery?

Choose Love.