Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same. – Flavia Weeden
“…and then they go away. Like that. Poof! Close your eyes and they are gone.” said the beautiful Hispanic girl standing next to me in the grocery store aisle.
I smiled at her. I had no idea she was talking about, who she was saying went away with a poof, but her long dark curly hair, huge brown eyes and fabulous skin tone easily brought a smile to my face.
I smiled at her as I reached over her to grab the Knorrs rice packets. I looked down quickly to make sure I wasn’t going to hit her head with anything and she looked up at me.
“Really, they go away. I miss them when they go away.” She said to me with a slight sad tone to her voice.
Again I smiled. I was about ask “who goes away, honey?” when my expression was interrupted by her Abuela.
“Alecia. Come here. Stop talking to strangers” yelled the portly grandmother.
Alecia turned to me and extended a small tan hand.
“Adios" she said quietly as she walked way.
I continued my grocery shopping and realized how Alecia had become the physical manifestation of something I had been stewing over: people in adoption communities that go away, disappear, don’t contact you, shut down blogs, like POOF, virtually over night.
I don’t begrudge anyone that I know that has gone away – whatever the reason is. I understand all too well how difficult this stuff is and have often, many times in fact, wanted to go away myself. It’s a regular thought. For me, going away would be done with a false belief that if I just dropped out of adoption stuff I would somehow no longer be afflicted. That the avoidance would somehow be akin to developing an antibody that would prevent me from ever being infected with adoption sadness ever again. Maybe if I went away I could pretend and really believe that I did not have a daughter that I cannot see and talk to. Maybe if I went away I would not have to deal with the nightmares that plague me regularly. Maybe if I deleted all those google alerts then thoughts of Easter House and Gehring Hall and maternity homes would also go away.
(I have tried. It doesn’t work too well for me)
While I don’t begrudge anyone for exercising their own self care, I do wonder if they realize they are missed. Lately I have been asked what happened to Claud. I was also asked why a member of my private ehbabes.com left our list with no explanation. I was asked about my friends Robin and Joanna.
They all went away with no explanation. No "hey, see you later". No " catch you on the flip side". No "later alligator" or "after a while crocodile". Just gone.
It is surprising to me that some don’t let me, us, others know that they need space or want to go on and live a life without adoption affected individuals in it.
Don’t they know how those of us that they leave behind will feel?
Those of us torched by adoption, abandoned by our families, know all too well what it feels like to be left. Why don’t we let people know when we are leaving? When we need space? What does it trigger in us to go away? Why don’t we think we will be missed? Are we testing people to see if we will be missed or do we really want to go away?
How literal is the desire to go away?
I worry terribly when people just disappear. Knowing what I know about some of my adoption torched friends I regularly worry that they did something awful to themselves. Are they okay? How do I reach them? Why aren’t they answering their phone?
In light of all these questions, I realize the only behavior I can change is my own and I am confident that if I ever went away from adoption land I would let my inner circle of close friends know.
And if you are Robin, or Joanna, or Peggy or Liz or Chris or Heidi or Marie or JM or Jeff or any of the other people that I care about that I haven’t heard from in a long time, please know you are missed and that I hope you are well.