"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell. " ~Edna St Vincent Millay
In honor of National Adoption BEWAREness month, I am recycling some old posts. This post is dedicated to the extended families of those separated by adoption.
When a child is lost from a family tree, that loss is felt, even subtly, be all members of that tree. When my daughter was surrendered and given to complete strangers to raise, my parents lost their first born grandchild, my siblings lost their niece, my subsequent children are missing a sibling. Adoption causes a life long wound to an entire family constellation. The degree of pain felt by the members of that constellation can vary, but the pain and loss is there. I know. I have seen it in my own family. I have seen my brother cry and felt his body shake when he held me as he acknowledged the horror of what happened to me. I have heard the cracked tone in my fathers voice when he apologized for his role in the surrendering of my daughter. I have felt my mothers attempts at understanding what she cannot understand.
My entire family was damaged by the loss of my daughter to adoption.
My baby sister was then, and is now, an enormous source of support, love and laughter for me. Shortly after finding my daughter in 2005 (and my sister was very instrumental to this search), she wrote this poem. It still makes me cry.
Yes, as noted earlier, my son is missing a sister. My own sister is missing her first born niece.
My Sister’s Eyes
So many years ago, I heard the cries
I saw the tears in my sisters eyes.
Only 13 I hadn’t a clue
She cried every night, what could I do?
It came one day, she confided in me
At 17, she was a mother to be.
She’d be leaving soon, going so far away
My big sister, how I wished she could stay.
We gave big hugs, said our goodbyes
I saw the tears in my sister’s eyes.
She’d had a girl, mom told me in May
Mom would go see her, for a quick stay.
I had no idea, the anguish gone through
Not pain of birth, but her heart ripped in two
Half went to baby, half with her stayed
Hoping together, they would be one day.
I went to visit, had some good times.
But I could still see the tears in her eyes.
Move forward some years, now with husband and son
A new chapter in life, for sure has begun
And then it had happened, on June 28
Her picture on-line, we did locate.
There was no mistake, yet could it be?
She looked so much like her amazingly
She has my sisters eyes.
I cannot imagine the anguish she feels.
The primal desire, but unable, surreal.
The hunger for daughter, yet to satiate
How many more years must she wait?
It’s awful to see, to witness her pain
Nothing can I do, no comfort obtain.
Until it should come, a blessed of days,
She will be met with her own gaze.
She will see her eyes
My sisters eyes.