“Our minds become magnetized with the dominating thoughts we hold in our minds and these magnets attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.” – Napoleon Hill
There was a time in my life that my girlfriends jokingly called me the “weirdo magnet”. If we went out clubbing, to dinner, to any event I was sure to attract some interesting characters. It was uncanny how of all the people at a large event a strange person would find me. My girlfriends used to beg me to try and attract stray animals instead of stray people.
When I lived in Chicago, I was regularly followed by homeless people. I was once assaulted by a young woman who had stopped her car in the middle of traffic, got out and followed me to my apartment. This was after she had grabbed my right breast and attempted to stop me from walking out into traffic when I was trying to get away from her.
We joked that it had to be a pheromone or something in my beguiling eyes. We could not explain why I was consistently befriended by the interesting members of society. I did not make eye contact. I did not talk to strangers. I did not go looking for the fruit loop of the day. They easily found me.
Over the years, that weirdo magnet seems to have morphed into an adoption magnet. I am consistently amazed how I can attract individuals traumatized by adoption. I am further amazed at the synchronicity that has occurred between my life and that of many of my friends.
Consider my friend Hilly. I facilitated Hills search and reunion with her mother. Hilly now lives in the same apartment I lived in 20 years ago. Spooky.
My friend Karin. I was drawn to her mother. We just clicked. Imagine my surprise when Karin learns in her early thirties that she is not her mothers’ first child but her second. The first child, a brother, had found her mother. Karin called me to discuss her feelings and shock at her newly discovered sibling.
My newest neighbors W and S. A couple I really like. We hit it off and spent a fair amount of time chatting at a cocktail party. Towards the end they tell me they are adopting from China.
It’s all around me. Everywhere I look. It is there. It finds me when I least expect it. I can run but I can never ever hide.
I recently made a new friend.
A great guy. Brilliant, sensitive, attractive. We had been corresponding and becoming friends. He is well read, well spoken, educated and expressive. I enjoyed talking to him. He was easy to talk to.
I admit part of me was somewhat attracted to him as well. Who wouldn’t be? Smart, sensitive, perceptive and knowledgeable of trauma. We had great conversations. To quote a word from Oriah Mountain Dreamer he had “touched the centre of his own sorrow”.
He was just neat.
Was I crushing? A tad bit. But more than that I was enjoying him. Our talks. I liked him as a person.
He shared some of his personal trauma with me and I in turn shared mine. I felt safe to do so.
Imagine my surprise sometime later when he tells me he is an adoptive dad.
Did this surprise me? Not really.
Did it punch me in the gut?
This is not about him.
He is still a great guy and smart and sensitive. I am not throwing this new found friend into the rotten adoptive parent bin. It’s not my style. To stereotype him, to judge him, for adopting a child would be putting myself into the slut or nut crack whore birthmother bin. Who would I be, but a hypocrite, if I were to say don’t judge me yet I was to judge him.
But I admit it was hard for me. I was somewhat disappointed. Not in him or his choices but in myself.
It was like walking into a minefield only you don’t know you are in a minefield. Or even more harsh, it felt like I was a rape victim being told that my newest best friend is a former rapist. (That’s a harsh analogy and not stated to make my friend look bad but rather to show how I felt – exactly how I felt.).
His sharing ripped open wounds I thought I had healed.
I was disappointed in me. In my recovery.
I have enough adoptive parent friends to know that I am not anti-adoptive parent (Margie, Mo, etc. can attest to that). Many of them were taken in, lied to and used by the agencies just like I was. The agencies saw that desire for a child in their face and took as much money from them knowing many parents would pay any price to obtain a child. Many adoptive parents I know took out second mortgages, borrowed money from family or went into serious debt to pay off the agency.
It’s not about my friend as an adoptive parent. I am sure of that. It’s something with me. Something undiscovered, something unhealed, something still festering.
I wonder if its about my daughters father? Since this is the first adoptive DAD I have gotten to know? What did he trigger in me?
Why, I ask myself today, did this punch me in the gut like it did?