I have been debating a “retirement” from adoption following my presentation at the American Adoption Congress in Denver this week. I shared this fact on my Facebook and all friends were quite supportive though a few remarked they doubted if it would be possible for me. One friend, who has seen adoption find me over and over again, suggested I could retire from it but it may not retire from me. Another friend suggested I would come back from AAC re-invigorated. First friend might be correct. I am hoping the second one is wrong.
I am not sure if I am completely retiring as much as I am stepping down or back another level. My daughter will be 30 this coming May. I found her over ten years ago. Prior to that I was obsessed with adoption search and reunion. Over the years that obsession has waned a bit by design and somewhat organically. I am very conscious each time I pull back a bit more. Early on I pulled back due to wanting a different vibe. I had taken what I could from the actively angry adoption community (and I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with angry, just that for me, it was a phase I needed to go through and then sought other voices). I then pulled back from friends who did not support my feelings or position. I pulled back again when my marriage fell apart and I realized how much my involvement with adoption had contributed to the demise of my marriage. Yet again I pulled back when my therapist pointed out my mothering style (or not) as it related to my sons and my adoption trauma. If I was to use medical terms, I might suggest I am administering a step down therapy treatment, that is, a staged reduction in the dosing and agents used to manage my adoption trauma condition.
These days I find I want to devote energy elsewhere. I would like to make real progress on this memoir I have stopped and started and stopped and started again. I am hoping I get into a local college’s Creative Writing program. If I do, I will need time to dedicate to my studies and my writing. On the less tangible side, I find myself so very tired of the chronic anxiety adoption causes me. I realize this may never go away. It has been 30 years after all. However, I feel in some ways I create it by actively seeking out adoption matters, by sharing them, by engaging in dialogue. I am curious if my anxiety will lessen at all if I take yet another step back and focus my energy elsewhere. My thinking is much like my friends, it may still find me but I can, and should, make better choices in self care.
At least that is my current thinking. As a Gemini (known to flip flop easily), I may indeed change my mind post Denver.